Kirk Edwards might be out of favor with the Barbados Cricket Association, but today the 29-year-old middle-order batsman was named to a 13-man West Indies team to play a one-off One-Day International against Ireland in Jamaica on February 23.
Ireland will also play two Twenty-20 Internationals in the short series that precedes three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals against England.
About two weeks ago Edwards was expelled from the Barbados team currently contesting the NAGICO Super50 Tournament in Trinidad and Tobago after he declined to sign for cricketing uniforms which he considered to be of sub-standard quality. It was believed in some quarters his expulsion from the Barbados team might have affected his West Indies’ chances but those fears were allayed recently by West Indies Cricket Board president Dave Cameron.
Edwards will enter that international against Ireland without match practice having last played serious cricket on the tour of New Zealand where he scored his maiden ODI century.
And as if to pour skepticism on the commonsense of Barbados’ selectors, highly promising pacer Miguel Cummins was also named by the regional selection panel to the West Indies’ ODI squad. The uncapped Cummins was ignored by the Barbados selectors for the NAGICO Super50 competition and named only as a reserve despite a very productive 2013 season and rave reviews for his performances with the West Indies ‘B’ Team on the recent tour to India.
Three previously injured players have recovered sufficiently to be included in the squad. Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy and Chris Gayle will suit up once again for the West Indies following injuries sustained on recent tours to India and New Zealand respectively. None of the three has played in the ongoing NAGICO Super50 Tournament. The injury-prone Ravi Rampaul has also been included in the T20 squad.
Jamaica’s left-arm spinner Nikita Miller has got the nod over Guyana’s left-armer Veerasammy Permaul in the ODI squad. Miller has been consistently the best spinner of his type over the past few years but only recently returned to the regional set-up. Permaul has not been selected for either the ODI or Twenty20s.
In a release today the WICB said Kieron Pollard was not considered for selection to either side due to injury. He continues his rehabilitation following a knee injury sustained late last year.
Pugnacious St. Lucian batsman Johnson Charles, who has doubled as wicketkeeper in both ODIs and T20s, has also been axed from both squads. This follows a string of low scores at the top of the order in recent matches for the West Indies, as well as poor form in the ongoing NAGICO Super50 for the defending champions Windward Islands who have already been knocked out of the competition.
Barbadian middle-order batsman Dwayne Smith has also been recalled to the West Indies Twenty20 line-up. Bought yesterday by Chennai Super Kings for BDS$1.4 million in the Indian Premier League auction, Smith will be returning to the West Indies maroon after an absence of almost two years. He last played against Bangladesh in December 2012 at the Sher-e- Bangla Stadium in Dhaka. In the interim, Smith has been an integral part of IPL team Mumbai Indians winning that tournament as well as the Champions Trophy.
Also gaining a recall to West Indies colours is left-arm Jamaican swing bowler Krishmar Santokie. Shockingly ignored for T20 duties by regional selectors after being the best bowler in the inaugural Caribbean Premier League, Santokie gets another shot at international cricket after being in the doldrums for almost two years. He last appeared in a T20I against Australia in March 2012 at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in St. Lucia. Santokie, who was also ignored by the Jamaican selectors for the NAGICO Super50, recently expressed his dismay at that slight, indicating he had recovered sufficiently from a niggling injury to take his place in the Jamaica team.
Santokie will have double reason to celebrate after being bought this morning by the Mumbai Indians for $BDS96 000 in the IPL auction.
The team management unit has also been boosted with the addition of Saqlain Mushtaq. The legendary Pakistan off-spinner conducted a spin bowling clinic with a number of established and promising spinners in the Caribbean last year, and has joined the team management unit to fortify this area that has become critical in the side’s armoury.
Barbadian fast bowler Kemar Roach, like Pollard, was not considered for selection as a result of his on-going recuperation from injury.
Twenty20: Darren Sammy (Captain); Samuel Badree; Dwayne Bravo; Andre Fletcher; Chris Gayle; Sunil Narine; Denesh Ramdin; Ravi Rampaul; Andre Russell; Marlon Samuels; Krishmar Santokie; Lendl Simmons; Dwayne Smith.
One-Day International: Dwayne Bravo (Captain); Darren Bravo; Miguel Cummins; Kirk Edwards; Christopher Gayle; Jason Holder; Nikita Miller; Sunil Narine; Kieran Powell; Denesh Ramdin; Marlon Samuels; Darren Sammy; Lendl Simmons
Team management unit: Ottis Gibson (head coach); Richie Richardson (team operations manager); Stuart Williams (assistant coach); Andre Coley (assistant coach); Saqlain Mushtaq (assistant coach); C.J. Clark (physiotherapist); Hector Martinez Charles (strength & conditioning co-ordinator); Richard Berridge (video & statistical analyst); Virgil Browne (massage therapist); Philip Spooner (media relations manager)
Schedule of matches:
(All start times below are local times; Eastern Caribbean add one hour, Ireland add five hours.)
Wednesday 19: 1st Twenty20 International – Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica (2 pm)
Friday 21: 2nd Twenty20 International – Sabina Park (2 pm)
Sunday 23: Only One-day International – Sabina Park (9:30 am)