Source: Caribbean National Weekly
Head Coach Andre Coley emphasized the significance of the West Indies A team’s tour of South Africa in shaping and enhancing the depth of talent in the longer formats of cricket within the Caribbean.
The team, under the leadership of wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva, embarked on their journey from Barbados on Tuesday. During this tour, they will compete in three “Tests” against South Africa A between November 21 and December 8, with matches taking place in Benoni, East London, and Bloemfontein.
Coley explained, “It will give us an opportunity to boost our red-ball opportunities outside of the Caribbean. Earlier this year, we went to Bangladesh, and we did well there, and now we are going to another part of the world – South Africa.”
Insights about South Africa as a cricketing destination
He continued, “It will give us an opportunity to explore the brand of cricket that we want to play. Our next international assignment is in Australia, and six months after that, we go to England, so this A team is positioned to offer red-ball playing opportunities on the back of the just-concluded Super50 Cup.”
Coley, who also serves as the head coach of the West Indies senior Test side, has experience accompanying Kraigg Brathwaite’s squad on their tour to South Africa last year. He shared insights about South Africa as a cricketing destination, saying, “The South Africans are a team that wants to play a specific way, and they always look to challenge you, but they respect our players.”
He added, “The pitches have offered pace, have offered bounce, so you will have pitches on which you can trust the bounce. Players can, therefore, express themselves, whether they are batting or bowling.”
Learn to win over time
While victories are the primary goal of the tour, Coley emphasized other objectives crucial for the development of the West Indies squad, stating, “You learn to win over time.” He emphasized the importance of key players performing well with both bat and ball and building partnerships in the lower order to enhance batting options.
Tevin Imlach was named vice-captain of the squad, which includes five players with senior Test experience. Additionally, three players who made their first-class debuts this year were named in the squad.
Assistant coaches Jimmy Adams and Shaun Tait, both with significant cricketing experience, will support Coach Coley during the tour.