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Five members of the West Indies Academy have earned places in franchise teams for the first and second rounds of the upcoming West Indies Championship four-day first-class tournament, starting on 31 January.
The West Indies Academy players that have been selected are Kirk McKenzie, left-handed batter for Jamaica Scorpions; Kevin Wickham, right-handed batter for Barbados Pride; Ashmead Nedd, left-arm spinner for Guyana Harpy Eagles; and Teddy Bishop, right-handed batter for Windward Islands Volcanoes. Kelvin Pitman the right-arm fast bowler has been listed in the 13-member provisional squad named by the Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
Graeme West, CWI’s High-Performance Manager who has overseen the West Indies Academy programme since its inception in 2022, anticipates good performances from the players when the tournament bowls off next week in Grenada and Antigua.
“It is really good to see players being selected to participate in the West Indies Championship. It shows the investment made by CWI in the development of these young players is bearing fruit. The West Indies Academy played in the CG United Super50 last November, some players also got picked in the CPL earlier in the year, and this was great exposure in the white ball formats. Now, with the first two rounds of the West Indies Championship in front of us, we have players being selected for the red ball format and we hope to see more graduate later in the tournament as well.”
“In addition to playing in the four-day tournament, we also have the chance to play in the Headley Weekes Tri-Series in April and May, another major investment in player development by CWI. This is an amazing opportunity for these young players to match skills against some of the region’s best and we view this as the right kind of platform at this stage in their development. They equipped themselves very well in the 50-over format last year in the CG United Super50 Cup and we anticipate more growth and eye-catching performances when they match up in the red ball format as well.”
The tournament will open with Windward Islands Volcanoes hosting Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at the Grenada National Stadium (GNS). This match will start on 31 January and will continue on 1 to 3 February.
In Antigua, defending champions Barbados Pride will start their bid for a hat-trick of titles when they face Guyana Harpy Eagles in the feature match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS) on 1 to 4 February. The third contest will see Leeward Islands Hurricanes hosting Jamaica Scorpions at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) from 1 to 4 February.
The second round will be played from 8 to 11 February when Barbados Pride will meet the Jamaica Scorpions at CCG; Trinidad & Tobago Red Force travel to face Leeward Islands Red Force at SVRS, and Guyana take on Windward Islands Volcanoes at GNS.
Following the West Indies Championship, the new Headley Weekes Series will follow the West Indies Championship and will feature three matches and three teams. Team Headley and Team Weekes will select from the best performers in the 2023 West Indies Championship and players outside the starting West Indies Test XI. The new West Indies Academy will provide the third team in the new Series.
Team Headley and Team Weekes are named in honour of West Indies pioneers and legendary batting greats George Headley and Sir Everton Weekes, whose names are also honoured on the Trophy for the winners of the West Indies Championship. All three matches will be played from 18 April to 6 May at CCG in Antigua.
Every West Indies Championship match will be streamed live on the Windies Cricket YouTube channel. Fans can follow each and every game from their mobile devices, computers or connected TVs, including access to live ball-by-ball scoring on the windiescricket.com live match centre.
2023 WEST INDIES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH SCHEDULE
All matches start at 10am Eastern Caribbean time (9amJamaica time)
GNS – Grenada National Stadium, Grenada
SVRS – Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
CCG – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua
31 January to 3 February – Grenada
Windward Islands Volcanoes v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at GNS
1 to 4 February – Antigua
Barbados Pride v Guyana Harpy Eagles at SVRS
Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Jamaica Scorpions at CCG
8 to 11 February – Grenada and Antigua
Windward Islands Volcanoes v Guyana Harpy Eagles at GNS
Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at SVRS
Jamaica Scorpions v Barbados Pride at CCG
15 to 18 March in Trinidad – Venues to be confirmed
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force v Guyana Harpy Eagles
Jamaica Scorpions v Windward Islands Volcanoes
Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Barbados Pride
22 to 25 March in Trinidad – Venues to be confirmed
Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Barbados Pride
Guyana Harpy Eagles v Jamaica Scorpions
Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Windward Islands Volcanoes
29 March to 1 April in Trinidad – Venues to be confirmed
Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Jamaica Scorpions
Guyana Harpy Eagles v Leeward Islands Hurricanes
Barbados Pride v Windward Islands Volcanoes
Headley Weekes Tri-Series
All matches to be played at CCG, Antigua
Match 1: 19 to 22 April: Team Headley v West Indies Academy
Match 2: 26 to 29 April: Team Weekes v West Indies Academy
Match 3: 3 to 6 May: Team Weekes v Team Headley (WestIndiesCricket)