St John's (Antigua), Dec 8 (IANS) Batting all-rounder Ashmini Munisar on Thursday was named as captain of the West Indies side for the inaugural edition of the ICC Women's U19 T20 World Cup, to be played from January 14 to 29 in South Africa next year.
Ashmini had captained the West Indies team on their tours to the USA in August and last month in India, where they featured in a quadrangular series alongside Sri Lanka U19, India A and B U19 sides in Visakhapatnam.
'It is every cricketer's dream to play for their country let alone be able to captain their team, it is an immense honour that I get to do it at this historic inaugural ICC Women's U19 World Cup. We have been playing together for the past few months and all the players are gelling and progressing quite nicely and we're all excited to represent the West Indies,' she said in an official statement.
The inaugural edition of ICC Women's U19 T20 World Cup will feature 16 teams playing in 41 matches to be hosted in Benoni and Potchefstroom. The official warm-up matches will be held from January 9 to 11.
'The Under 19 girls T20 World Cup will be an historic event being the first of its kind in women's international cricket. In preparation for this the team embarked on tours of the USA and the recent Tri Series in India against the hosts and New Zealand.'
'These series have identified some competent up and coming batters like Djenaba Joseph, Shunelle Sawh and Trishan Holder who are showing potential to transition to a higher level. We also had excellent performances from the two main spinners, captain Ashmini Munisar and Shalini Samaroo,' said Ann Browne-John, Lead Selector.
West Indies have been drawn in Group C alongside New Zealand, Ireland, and Indonesia. They will open their campaign against Ireland on January 15, followed by matches against Indonesia (January 17) and New Zealand (January 19). Top three teams from each group will progress to the Super Six round, where teams will be pooled into two groups of six.
'We've held training camps over the past few months and the preparation will culminate with a final camp to be held in Antigua this month. This international exposure would no doubt be extremely beneficial, not only to this group of players, but also serve as an investment and feeder group into the senior West Indies Women's set up,' added Ann.
The top two teams from each group in the Super Six stage will then progress to the semi-finals, which will be played on January 27 at JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom. The final will take place at the same venue on January 29.
West Indies squad: Ashmini Munisar (captain), Asabi Callendar, Jahzara Claxton, Naijanni Cumberbatch, Earnisha Fontaine, Jannillea Glasgow, Realanna Grimmond, Trishan Holder, Zaida James, Djenaba Joseph, K D Jazz Mitchell, Shalini Samaroo, Shunelle Sawh, Lena Scott, and Abini St Jean