After creating history by beating India by five wickets to win the first ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, the West Indies team was treated to a hero???s welcome on Tuesday on arrival at the Grantley Adams International Airport.

The members of the team were hailed by Acting Prime Minister, Richard Sealy; Sports Minister, Stephen Lashley; members of the sporting fraternity and other well-wishers for their achievement and ???remarkable conquests???.

Mr. Lashley said that he believed that the team???s performance during the championship had uplifted West Indies cricket, especially at a time across our region when there was an expectation that West Indies cricket could once again take its place ???at the very top???.

???I believe that your performance has helped to rekindle that hope among West Indians???Your victory is not only a victory that should remain relevant to this particular competition but I think that your victory has got to be part of the rebuilding effort as you Under-19 players take your proprietary walk or run towards the senior team,??? he added.

The Sports Minister told the youngsters that as a Caribbean team led by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), ???the seeds of a robust developmental strategy??? must be planted.

???This victory which places you at the apex of world Under-19 cricket must now be the point at which we put our heads together and formulate a strategy to ensure that as you move along in your developmental path, you transition in the senior team in a way that does not leave anyone behind,??? he stressed.??The Minister also congratulated Digicel for its continued sponsorship, as well as the WICB.

???I know that what is happening in terms of West Indies cricket there is a certain amount of heat being placed under the West Indies Cricket Board but I believe the interest of the Caribbean in the West Indies rising again is really an indication that cricket is owned by the people of the Caribbean. Therefore, even as we determine by argument or otherwise what the WICB strategy should be???I think that this would all be down to the betterment of West Indies cricket,??? Mr. Lashley stated.

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