Service banking on experience to lead Jamaica U15 charge
National under-15 coach Phillip Service is hoping that the experience gained by his players from last year’s regional tournament will serve his team well this time around as the Jamaicans look to improve on their fifth-place finish in 2022.
Fourteen players from last year’s squad will be returning for the Rising Stars Under-15 Limited-overs Championship, which is set to be played during the Easter break in Antigua and Barbuda.
Having won one game last season in the T20 tournament in Grenada, Service is optimistic that the players will perform better with the tournament reverting to the original 50-over format.
“The batting let us down last year, but our bowling held its own. With the longer version now back, we expect improved performances from these youngsters,” said Service.
Leading the batting charge this year will be Nicholi McKenzie, who scored 21 runs in four innings in the last tournament.
Also expected to do well are Tyson Gordon Jr; Odane Binns, who scored 30 runs in three innings; as well as Damarco Scott, who scored 23 runs in five innings, with a top score of 17.
The bowling is expected to be spearheaded by off-spinner McKenzie, who picked up four wickets in four innings last year. Despite not picking up a single scalp last season, right-arm fast bowler Jahdae Moore from Manchester is also expected to create an impact in 2023 along with St Elizabeth Technical’s left-arm pacer Adrian Silvera, who is said to be bowling at speeds beyond his age.
With the experience and tailored training, Service believes this could be the year the team surprises some of the title favourites such as defending champions Barbados.
“The guys are a little more advanced this year and so will the other teams, but I expect an improved performance because we were very competitive against Barbados, who won the tournament, along with Trinidad and Guyana, who eventually beat us,” Service said.