Windies, the dark horse of the competition

Published: Sunday, February 17, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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From a team which boasts a galaxy of former U-19 players who have graduated onto successful international careers, including Brian Lara, Jimmy Adams, Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan, comes a side of promising and talented youngsters, ready to take off from where their seniors left.

West Indies has had its fair share of memories in the tournament. In 2004, they beat all odds and reached the final, only to lose to Pak by 25 runs and lost to India in the last eight round of the 2006 issue.

The side has prepared itself by taking part in a variety of events during the past twelve months. Twenty players were short-listed in preparation for the World Cup and this squad participated in the Senior West Indies Regional Tournament in last Oct.

Although many lessons will have been learnt, this was not a successful experience as they lost all three matches and attracted worldwide headlines for recording the lowest total in domestic one-day cricket, just 18 all out against Barbados with Pedro Collins taking 7-11.

The side finalized preparations for the event with a training camp in Barbados and a short tour of Bangla, before landing in Malaysia.

The present Carib side has enough firepower in their line-up and tipped as tourney favourites along side India and Pakistan. Brooks-led Carib side have beaten the Aussies in the warm-up and are keen to take this momentum into the main event.

The team will benefit from all the experience of coach Larry Gomes while much responsibility will lie on the shoulders of captain and first-class cricketer, Shamarh Brooks, who participated in the 2006 edition of this tournament, and is a very good all-round cricketer.

Key Players:

Adrian Barath is considered to be the best batsman in the team, having scored 485 runs at 53.88 in his six first-class appearances, and is also valued for his fielding skills. Devon Thomas is also highly-rated and Darren Bravo, the younger brother of Dwayne, will be hoping to follow in his sibling's footsteps.

Fast bowler Jason Dawes has the potential to be a match-winner and the team is also looking forward to some quality left arm spin bowling from Veerasammy Permaul, who has already captured 18 wickets at first-class level.

Squad: Shamarh Brooks (capt), Devon Thomas, Kieran Powell, Dawnley Grant, Delorn Johnson, Steven Jacobs, Veerasammy Permaul, Andre Creary, Horace Miller, Jason Dawes, Nkrumah Bonner, Shacoya Thomas, Darren Bravo, Adrian Barath and Kyle Corbin.

Windies Colts' World Cup record:
1988: Semi-final; 1998: Plate R-up; 2000: 3rd in Super League poll; 2002: Semi-final; 2004: R-up; 2006: 5th place


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