West Indies cricket news. If the ‘A’ team concept is all about encouraging talent to find form and expression, the West Indies have done pretty well during their current tour of India.
Five of their players (six including left-arm seamer Sheldon Cotterrell who was sent back following a knee injury and replaced by Fidel Edwards) have been included in the main West Indies team scheduled to play two Tests and three ODIs in India in November and that must be a feather in the cap of the A team’s coaching staff which includes former Test opening batsman Stuart Williams and head coach Junior Bennett of Jamaica.
Obviously, these chosen cricketers, three of whom are batsmen – skipper Kirk Edwards, Keiron Powell and Narsing Deonaraine – have been rewarded for their fine performance in the ongoing ‘A’ team tour of India. Their one-month acclimatisation in Indian conditions, including pitches, will come in handy, especially as playing here is a tough challenge for most international cricketers.
It is in this context that the timing and selection of the A team members must be appreciated. Fidel Edwards, their express fast bowler, coming from an injury, was gingerly tested on the India A tour. His string of no-balls in the first innings sealed his fate.
But Chadwick Walton was rewarded for his good work as was left-arm spinner Veerasammy Perumal. Pacer Miguel Cummins, who too was impressive, is not in the squad and is probably being preserved for a more pacer-friendly tour.
“There are some guys who do nothing and get selected while others despite good performances get ignored. I know the feeling and I have gone through it. The one hard done by has to work harder. It is for each player to handle disappointment his way. I have no sympathy,” said West Indies ‘A’ skipper Kirk Edwards when asked if he thought any of his players had been given the short shrift by their selectors.
Edwards said he was glad to be back in the main West Indies team and added that the past two years in the wilderness had been tough. “I’m not yet in the playing eleven. But this selection has got me closer to where I want to be. Worse things have happened to me. So I’m not going to say I was confident of getting selected. The exposure on this tour has been good and we’ve learnt to play on different pitches and conditions. I’ve no complaints.”
Asked why fast bowler Fidel Edwards was not used on Friday, he said the bowler had some problems and he wanted to preserve him for later. He added that he was not allowed to speak about the fast bowler’s problem. “You might hear about it in a couple of days time,” he said.
The squad: Darren Sammy (captain), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sheldon Cottrell, Narsingh Deonarine, Kirk Edwards, Chris Gayle, Veersammy Permaul, Kieron Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford, Chadwick Walton.
Tests: November 6-10 and November 14-18. ODIs: November 21, 24 and 27.