Opportunity for players to make a name, says CWI Director of Cricket
The absence of 13 regular faces in the West Indies squads has forced Cricket West Indies to fill the One-Day International and Test squads to Bangladesh with several uncapped players.
However, Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, in looking at bigger picture, believes this as a launchpad for new players into international cricket.
The contingent to Bangladesh has seven players without ODI experience, and four uncapped Test players; they are heading to a place where more experienced players lost both Tests and ODIs on the last tour in 2018-19.
Ten of the players, including Test captain Jason Holder and limited-overs skipper Kieron Pollard, have opted out, due to COVID-19 concerns.
Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich declined for personal reasons and Keemo Paul was omitted due to injury concerns.
The absence of these ‘frontline’ players has forced the selectors to hand the Test captaincy to Kraigg Brathwaite, who was relieved of Vice-captaincy duties on the recent tour of New Zealand, while Jason Mohammed, who last played international cricket in 2018, will lead the ODI set-up.
“Circumstances with players choosing not to go is something that I view as an opportunity. The subcontinent has individual challenges over the years that a lot of West Indian players have almost made a name for themselves in touring pretty early in sub-continent conditions and I look at this group of players who will not have the experience of some of those who would have pulled out,” Adams stated a Virtual press briefing on Tuesday.
He added, “I don’t think they are short of talent and I have every confidence with the management we have put around them that we have every of seeing not only good performances but the start of some very long and fruitful careers.”
Adams further stated CWI has appointed a sport psychologist, who will travel with the squad as they continue to learn the long-term effect of ‘bubble’ tours on the players.
Additionally, Chief Selector, Roger Harper, felt these players can perform and put pressure on the senior players, especially with the busy 2021 schedule.
West Indies are expected to host Sri Lanka, South Africa, Australia and Pakistan, all before the Caribbean Premier League.
“Bangladesh is a tough place to tour and the Bangladeshis play well in their own conditions, but I think we have a group of guys who would be very keen to display that they belong at this level and I expect they will be very competitive and play with a sense of passion and purpose,” Harper expressed.
“I think they will probably be able to put some pressure on the guys for a while and I think this is a tremendous for them (and) for us as it gives an opportunity to see where these guys are and maybe surprise us all.”
West Indies arrive in Bangladesh on January 10, after which they play three One-Day Internationals from January 20-25, followed by two Tests, which start on February 3 and 11.
West Indies Test Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Shayne Moseley, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Raymon Reifer and Jomel Warrican.
West Indies ODI Squad: Jason Mohammed (captain), Sunil Ambris (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Kjorn Ottley, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr.