West Indies plans to rekindle fast bowling

St.John’s (Antigua), March 23 (IANS) The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) says it wants to stage a series of fast bowling camps as part of a plan to rekindle an area of the game that has been struggling in recent years.

WICB director of cricket Richard Pybus made the announcement at the conclusion of the ten-round Professional Cricket League (PCL) regional four-day tournament on Monday, reports CMC.

The WICB is pondering over the introduction of an off-season training programme targeting fast bowlers after spinners dominated the just ended four-day tournament.

“We are prioritising and looking at some camps for our fast bowlers… possibly some measures off season to prioritise fast bowling in the four-day competition,” said Pybus on Tuesday in an interview with WICB media.

“This is going to be central to us getting that back at the heart of West Indies cricket again”.

Spinners featured prominently during the tournament, including the top wicket-taker, Jamaican spinner Nikita Miller who had 65 scalps from nine matches.

“The competition has been still dominated too much by the spin bowlers,” said the WICB director of cricket.

“That is something that we will have to seriously address during the off season to make sure that we are prioritising the fast bowlers”.

Guyana’s Leon Johnson with 807 scored the most runs for the season followed by Devon Smith of the Windward Islands who scored 719 – though from two matches less.

Guyana’s Vishaul Singh and Barbados’ Royston Chase were the other players who scored over 700 runs.

“I think something which is exceptionally positive is the quality of the batting. We are getting a consistency in the scoring,” said Pybus.

“We got a core group of young players who have put their hand up all the way through the competition. We are getting consistent with hundreds being scored. Volume of hundreds and volume of runs which I think is very positive”.

Guyana Jaguars were crowned champions of the tournament for the second straight year.

They finished with 149 points – seven clear of nearest rivals Barbados Pride – to regain the George Headley/Everton Weekes Trophy, symbol of regional first-class supremacy.

“The first season of the PCL was very rushed and the systems we wanted to put in place to be able to support it were not where we wanted them to be,” he said.

“So this year is closer to where I would like to see the system in terms of providing support to the players and the structure of the season regarding the off season programmes for the players”.

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