Barbados skipper Kirk Edwards has been selected to captain a West Indies ‘A’ Team squad for a one-month tour of India that starts on September 13. And while he has been retained in the One-day and Twenty20 squad for the same tour, he has been relieved of the captaincy which will be in the hands of West Indies opener Kieran Powell.
Edwards will be leading the side again following a home series against Sri Lanka-A in June this year when West Indies-A drew a two “Test” series before clinching a three-match One-day series 2-1 and a two-match T20 series 1-0.
“It’s a great honour to captain the West Indies at any level and I’m looking forward to the trip to India,” Edwards said.
“In addition to the honour there is great responsibility and, as one of the most experienced members of the squad, I know I will have a very important leadership role to perform on and off the field.
“We played well against Sri Lanka-A earlier this year and we expect to do very well against India-A as well.”
Powell is looking to regain form and confidence, as he seeks to recapture his place in the senior West Indies side.
This follows injuries that sidelined him from the senior side for the ICC Champions Trophy, Celkon Mobile Cup Series and home series against Pakistan before he made his return to the playing field during the just-ended Caribbean Premier League.
“This upcoming tour of India will be a challenging one, but as players we know it is a great opportunity to represent the West Indies and look to do well on the international stage,” said the left-handed opener.
“I played in India before and it’s a great place for cricket with the crowds, the atmosphere and the level of competition. We anticipate a good, competitive series. I’m eager and confident as we prepare for the tour and I know all the other players are as well.”
West Indies-A – led by Veerasammy Permaul – prevailed over India-A in a home series in June last year, when they won a three “Test” series 2-1 and followed up with 1-1 drawn series in the One-day and T20 formats.
However, some selections and non-selections, have raised eyebrows.
Despite being arguably the region’s best limited-overs bowler, especially in the Twenty20 format, Jamaican left-arm swing bowler Krishmar Santokie has shockingly been overlooked for the tour. His omission becomes even more glaring when it is taken into consideration that he was just named Player of the Tournament in the just concluded inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 Tournament for his 16 inexpensive wickets.
Another seeming selection gaffe is the exclusion of Andre Russell from the “Tests” segment of the tour. Arguably one of the region’s best developing all-rounders, it has been suggested in many quarters that Russell, who is in the limited-overs squad, be exposed to as many matches in all three formats as he seeks to return to the senior West Indies side where he obviously belongs.
Wicketkeeper/batsman Chadwick Walton, known for his pugnacious batting and one of the Jamaica Tallawahs’ more belligerent weapons in their victorious CPL season, has been included in the ‘Tests’ squad but omitted from the shorter versions of the game.
Edwards’ inclusion in the limited overs section of the tour is also puzzling. He has not been considered in either format for the West Indies and has not even been in Barbados’ Twenty20 regional plans. The regional selectors have relieved him of the captaincy for this section of the tour but have strangely still retained him in the line-up. (WG/windiescricket)