Athanaze and Jordan replace Bonner and Warrican for South Africa Test series
The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Men’s Selection Panel has named two newcomers, Alick Athanaze and Akeem Jordan, in the 15-member squad for the upcoming two-Test Series against South Africa.
Athanaze, the left-handed batter is the captain of Windward Islands Volcanoes, while Jordan, the right-arm seam bowler, plays for Barbados Pride.
Both have demonstrated good form in the first two rounds of the current four-day West Indies Championship. Athanaze had scores of 41 and 51 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in Round One and followed up with a career-best 141 against Guyana Harpy Eagles in Round Two.
He is a product of the West Indies Under-19s Rising Stars where he was one of the stand-out players at the 2018 ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
Jordan had match figures of 5-86 against Guyana and followed up with 7-113 against Jamaica Scorpions to be one of the leading wicket-takers in the West Indies Championship after two rounds of matches.
Athanaze and Jordan replace left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican and batter Nkrumah Bonner, who were part of the squad for the just-concluded series in Zimbabwe.
Jayden Seales is unavailable for selection following a knee injury and subsequent surgery, while Anderson Philiip has returned to training but is not yet match-fit.
Lead Selector, The Most Hon. Dr Desmond Haynes said: “Athanaze is one of the young players who we have invested in, and he played well in the ‘A Team’ and CWI President’s XI. He showed great promise in the CG United Super50 last year and then got his first hundred in the West Indies Championship last week. We believe he should be given an opportunity at this level. He has also showed leadership, as captain of the Windwards at the start of this season.”
Haynes added: “Jordan has been very impressive from last year, he has continued to bowl well, and has been excellent in the first two matches so far this year. He is very skillful, can bowl the new ball, and looks to put the ball in the right areas. He is also a sharp fielder and good catcher close to the wicket. This will be a challenging tour. There is no easy away tour in Test cricket. South Africa have a good team, but I am sure we will be up for the task and will do well in these two Test matches.”
The upcoming series is the final Test fixture for both teams in the ICC World Test Championship. West Indies are currently in sixth place and have the opportunity, with a Series win to move above South Africa, currently in fourth place, in the final table.
West Indies are due to arrive in South Africa on February 17. They will face South Africa in two Test matches at SuperSport Park in Centurion (28 February to 4 March) and the Wanderers in Johannesburg (8 to 12 March). Following the Tests, West Indies will then play a white ball series. The squads for these will named at a later date.
FULL SQUAD: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice-Captain), Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Akeem Jordan, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach and Devon Thomas.
FULL MATCH SCHEDULE
21 to 24 February: vs South Africa Invitational XI at Willowmoore Park, Benoni
28 February to 4 March: 1st Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion
8-12 March: 2nd Test at the Wanderers, Johannesburg
16 March: 1st ODI at Buffalo Park, East London (day/night)
18 March: 2nd ODI at Buffalo Park, East London (day/night)
21 March: 3rd ODI at JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
25 March: 1st T20Is at SuperSport Park, Centurion
26 March: 2nd T20I at SuperSport Park, Centurion
28 March: 3rd T20I at the Wanderers, Johannesburg