THE NORTH/SOUTH cricket classics for Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-19, Under-17 and Under-15 players will be used as a launching pad in an aggressive campaign to reclaim regional titles later this year in the respective age groups.
This was made abundantly clear on Tuesday when the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board launched the 2016 edition of the eagerly awaited three-day 50-Overs a team fiesta which for the second straight year will by sponsored by Vasha Foods Limited of Freeport, central Trinidad.
Present at a media conference to announce details of the classics at the National Cricket Centre at Balmain in Couva were first vice-president of the TTCB Dr Allen Sammy, Chief Executive Officer SurujRagoonath, and Cricket Operations Manager DudnathRamkessoon.
Ragoonath, a former West Indies and national opening batsman, who still plays the game competitively, said that the three matches on June 3, 4, and 5 at the NCC Ground will be day-night affairs and will feature the best young cricket talent currently available to represent Trinidad and Tobago on the regional stage.
In expressing the TTCB’s appreciation to Vasha Foods for their generous sponsorship, Ragoonath said that the North/South Classics usually brings out the best in the cricketers and will serve as the final trial before the national squads are picked for the three regional tournaments.
“The national selectors will be looking at the players with a critical eye in an intense competitive environment especially in the 50-Overs format with an eye also on the ICC World Cup tournament in two years,” said Ragoonath.
He said the Under-15s will get the ball rolling on Friday, June 3; the Under-15s will be up next on Saturday, June 4; with the Under-19s on show on Sunday, June 5.
Trinidad and Tobago will host the regional Under-17 tournament from July 8 to 18, and will be looking to go one step further after finishing runners-up last year, and equate the accomplishment of 2013 when they captured the top prize.
The regional Under-15 competition will be held in Grenada from July 24 to August 4, which the local side ruled supreme in 2010 and 2013, but were set back in the last two years by inclement weather when the tournament was staged in Guyana and Jamaica respectively.
The Under-19s will take centre stage at the regional level in St Vincent and the Grenadines from July 24 to August 20. In the competition last year staged in Jamaica, the Trinidad and Tobago boys placed third.
Ragoonath urged cricket fans to turn up in their large numbers at the NCC next weekend and support the young stars in action as admittance to the venue is free with all matches timed to start at 2 pm.
Last year North made a historic clean sweep of the three classics,and will be depending heavily on the East Zone representatives in the squad to repeatin 2016 after capturing all three TTCB inter-zone age-group titles so far this year.
West Indies ICC World Under-19 Championship winner KirstanKallicharan has been named captain of the North Under-19 and Under-17 squads, while Leonardo Julien will skipper the Under-15s.
Tariq Mohammed is at the helm of the South Under-15s, while Cephas Cooper will lead the Under-17s, and SaibaBatoosingh will wear the captain’s armband of the Under-19s.
NORTH: KirstanKallicharan (Captain), Keagan Simmons, Nathaniel McDavid, Jordan Warner, Brandon Maharaj, Sachin Seecharan, Joshua De Silva, Joey Samuel, Jean-Paul Rocke, Jonathan Bootan, Joshua James, Kristoff Lewis, Jerome Gibbs
SOUTH: SaibaBatoosingh (Captain), Adrian Paharry, Dejourn Charles, ShatrughanRambaran, Negus Smith, Cephas Cooper, EmiloGopaul, Bryan Boodram, Daniel Williams, JalanieSeales, Jabarie Mills, Shaaron Lewis, Ronnie Goddard
SOUTH: Cephas Cooper (Captain), Christian Thurton, Matthew Patrick, Brandon Ali, Darius Gopaul, Rohan Singh, Jayden Seales, Jarrod Samaroo, Brandon Singh, Kyle Madoo, Fiaz John, Justyn Gangoo, AvinashMahabirsingh, Amit Gopaul
NORTH: KirstanKalicharran (Captain), Gereeb Lewis, Michael Ambard, NavinBedassie, Joshua James, Leonardo Francis, Nathaniel McDavid, Leonardo Julien, Shaundel Emmons, Te-Shaun Allen, Ronaldo Forester, Sameer Ali, TeronJadoo, RickashBoodram
NORTH: Leonardo Julien (Captain), Samir Ali, RivaldoRamlogan, Geovanni Gajadar, Aryan Sammy, Mikal James, Orlando James, Sion Hackett, ChadeonRaymona, Andre Seetaram, Leon Bassano, Andrew Rambaran, Anderson Mahase
SOUTH: Tariq Mohammed (Captain), Antonio Gomez, Kyle Roopchand, Darren Samlal, Vanir Maharaj, Jayden Seales,Rahul Pitiram, Shiva Sankar, David Arjoon, Nicholas Ali, AmritMaharaj, Brandon Dookieran, KeironRampersad