Chairman of the Barbados selection committee Henderson Wallace has sought to explain the reasons behind certain selections and omissions for upcoming matches against the Windward Islands in the Super 50 and Four-Day Regional competitions.
While fast bowler Fidel Edwards has been considered for the Super 50 encounter, he has been side-stepped for the four-day match. Similarly, while West Indies discard Sulieman Benn has been considered for the four-day encounter, he has been overlooked for the 50-over game.
Belligerent middle-order batsman Dwayne Smith has been selected for the short version of the game against the Windward Islands but has been given the boot by the selectors for the four-day match.
But Wallace has suggested that the decisions were made as the selectors sought the “best combinations and continuity” in light of Edwards, Smith and fast bowler Jason Holder all leaving for the imminent Indian Premier League that runs from April 3 to May 26.
But ironically, Holder, 21, who only made his international debut last month in the One-Day International series against Australia “Down Under”, has been included in both squads.
Wallace said discussions with the trio as well as Benn, played a part in Benn being picked for only the four-day match.
“Fidel, Dwayne and Jason are all going to the IPL so it’s a case of trying to work out the best combinations that are suited for (a) Barbados, (b) individuals and (c) continuity,” Wallace said.
“Those are the things which the selectors had to be consider and not in any particular order.
“We discussed certain things with them and came to an understanding. Persons may be disappointed but at the end of the day it is for a common goal and that goal is what would be in the best interest of Barbados’ cricket,” Wallace said.
In the IPL, the 29-year-old Smith will again be playing for Mumbai Indians, Edwards, 31, is representing Rajasthan Royals, while Holder is having his first taste in that tournament for Chennai Super Kings.
Touching on the 31-year-old Benn, who like Edwards is representing Barbados for the first time this season, Wallace said: “In discussion with Sulieman, it was decided at the moment to concentrate on four-day matches rather than Super50.”
Wallace also said that the inclusion for the first time in the four-day squad of uncapped 19-year-old batsman Shai Hope, who also keeps wicket, was “purely as a batsman” with Shane Dowrich as the first choice wicket-keeper/batsman.
“But if something were to happen to our main wicket-keeper, Shai can keep as well,” Wallace said.
Wallace confirmed that 24-year-old fast bowling all-rounder Christopher Jordan, who is Barbados’ leading wicket-taker in the four-day championship with 16 wickets at 15.18 runs apiece in three matches, had returned to England to play in the County championship for his new club Sussex after he was released by Surrey, which he joined at the age of 17.
Jordan also jointly has the most wickets (eight) with off-spinner Ashley Nurse for Barbados in the Super50 tournament. (BCA)