International players Narsingh Deonarine, Kirk Edwards and Ryan Hinds headed the list of imported draft choices, when the Player Draft of the WICB Professional Cricket League took place at the Accra Beach Hotel yesterday.
Deonarine, Edwards and Hinds were the three eye-catching picks, as selectors from each of the six franchises were stipulated for the second edition of the Draft to pick a minimum of two players from outside of their home territory, unlike the inaugural edition last year.
Deonarine, the Guyanese left-handed batsman, who also bowls off-spin, is expected to be a big boost for the Leeward Islands Hurricanes which finished last in the six-team Regional Four-Day Tournament and failed to reach the knockout stages of the NAGICO Super50 Tournament.
“The Draft went extremely well for us,” said new Hurricanes head coach Reginald Benjamin. “There is always going to be a few surprises at a player draft and we were fortunate to have been able to secure Narsingh Deonarine.
“He was the best available batsman in the Draft and his off-spin bowling will be a plus, so we are now looking forward to him helping us to become a successful franchise in the coming season.”
Edwards, the Barbadian batsman who distinguished himself with a Test hundred on debut, has been given a chance to revive his stalled international career with the Jamaica Franchise.
“Kirk has been an outstanding batsman on the regional circuit in previous seasons,” said Jamaica franchise chairman of selectors Wavell Hinds. “He has also had some success at the international level and still has the desire to play international cricket again.
“We believe we can offer him the environment and the opportunity to propel himself and put his hand up so that the West Indies selectors get to have a good look at him once again, so we think it turned out well for us to have secure a player like him.”
Ryan Hinds, a long-standing left-handed all-rounder from Barbados, will add greater depth to the batting of the Guyana Jaguars and his left-arm spin bowling will make this part of their attack even more potent along with the West Indies duo of leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo and another left-arm spinner, Veerasammy Permaul.
Hinds will be one of three Barbadians that will be lining up for the defending Regional Four-Day champions next season. Left-handed all-rounder Raymon Reifer was selected in the Draft last year and was placed on the Jaguars’ protected list for the coming season, and fast-medium bowler Javon Searles will join him and Hinds in Georgetown.
“Raymon was very effective for us last year and we are hoping that Ryan and Javon will continue this trend,” said Jaguars chairman of selectors Rayon Griffith.
“I think Ryan will bring real value to our side. It is a huge loss for us not having Narsingh in our line-up and to play the role that he has for a long time as batting all-rounder, so we were fortunate to grab Ryan, a season campaigner in domestic cricket, and we hope he will help to cushion the blow from the loss of Narsingh.”
The other eight players selected from outside of their home territory were: Darren Cruickshank (Hurricanes), Nkrumah Bonner and Kyle Hope (Trinidad & Tobago Red Force); Trevon Griffith (Jamaica Franchise); Kyle Mayers and Kevin McClean (Windward Islands Volcanoes); and Preston McSween and Hayden Walsh Jr (Barbados Pride).
Noticeably overlooked by the franchises were Barbadian fast bowlers Tino Best and Fidel Edwards, as well as discarded West Indies and Guyana stalwart Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Edwards, however, is currently plying his trade on the English county circuit as a Kolpak player.
Final franchise squad lists
BARBADOS PRIDE: Carlos Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Kyle Corbin, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Ashley Nurse, Shai Hope, Jomel Warrican; Justin Greaves, Preston McSween (Windward Islands), Omar Phillips, Kevin Stoute, Hayden Walsh Jr (Leeward Islands)
GUYANA FRANCHISE: Christopher Barnwell, Ronsford Beaton, Devendra Bishoo, Anthony Bramble, Rajendra Chandrika, Assad Fudadin, Shimron Hetmyer, Veerasammy Permaul, Raymon Reifer, Vishaul Singh; Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Ryan Hinds (Barbados), Keon Joseph, Javon Searles (Barbados), Paul Wintz
JAMAICA FRANCHISE: Dave Bernard Jr, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Dawes, Nicholson Gordon, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Tamar Lambert, Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley; Carlton Baugh Jr, Kirk Edwards (Barbados), Trevon Griffith (Guyana), Paul Palmer, Shacaya Thomas
LEEWARD ISLANDS FRANCHISE: Quinton Boatswain, Kacey Carty, Rahkeem Cornwall, Alzarri Joseph, Steve Liburd, Orlando Peters, Sherwin Peters, Jacques Taylor, Devon Thomas, Gavin Tonge; Nelson Bolan, Darren Cruickshank (Trinidad & Tobago), Narsingh Deonarine (Guyana), Colin Hamer, Shane Jeffers
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO RED FORCE: Yannick Cariah, Kevon Cooper, Rayad Emrit, Steven Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Kjorn Ottley, Ravi Rampaul, Marlon Richards; Nkrumah Bonner (Jamaica), Kyle Hope, Akeal Hosein, Yannick Ottley, Jeremy Solozano
WINDWARD ISLANDS FRANCHISE: Sunil Ambris, Alston Bobb, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Mervin Matthew, Kenroy Peters, Liam Sebastien, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Tyrone Theophile; Delorn Johnson, Keddy Lesporis, Kyle Mayers (Barbados), Kevin McClean (Barbados), Dalton Polius.