ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Rookie Test players Kyle Mayers, Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua Da Silva have been rewarded with central retainer contracts for the first time while established Test all-rounder Roston Chase, along with batsman Shimron Hetmyer and gloveman Shane Dowrich have all been axed from the new list announced Wednesday by Cricket West Indies.
Newly appointed Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite has also earned a red ball contract after previously missing out due to poor form while the man he replaced, all-rounder Jason Holder, was the only player to retain an all-formats contract.
In all, 18 players have been handed central retainers for the next year starting July 1, down by four over the previous period.
“I am happy for all the players who have been offered retainer contracts for the upcoming period,” said director of cricket, Jimmy Adams.
“Especially pleasing was the number of players who were awarded first time contracts in recognition of their performances during the period under review.
“I know that the 11 players who have lost their International retainers will be striving and fighting hard to get back into the teams and earn their central contracts back next year.
“These players, along with our T20 specialists, will ensure that we have genuine competition for places that will push everyone to attain higher standards of performance.”
The left-handed Mayers burst onto the Test scene with an unbeaten double hundred on debut as West Indies stunned Bangladesh by three wickets in the opening Test in Chittagong last February , after astonishingly chasing down 395 on the final day.
He subsequently averaged 50 in the recently drawn two-Test series against Sri Lanka in Antigua, and currently boasts a Test average of 66 from tour matches.
Bonner, meanwhile, was one of the heroes of the Bangladesh tour, averaging 57 to end as Man-of-the-Series, before hitting his maiden Test hundred against Sri Lanka in the opening Test last March.
He averages 62 in four Tests.
Da Silva, meanwhile, made an encouraging debut last December on the tour of New Zealand when he replaced Dowrich for the second Test and struck 57 in the second innings.
He followed up by averaging 43 on the tour of Bangladesh before averaging 33 against Sri Lanka.
Head coach Roger Harper emphasised “strong performances” had been behind the new players on the central retainer list.
“Contracts offered for the 2021-22 period sees 18 players being retained, a decrease of four from last year. Jason Holder is the only player to retain his all-format contract due to his strong Test and T20I performances during the evaluation period,” Harper said.
“There are several new players offered red ball contracts earned by their strong performances during the last period. A number of players were not retained because they did not meet the minimum requirements.”
Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein, who made his One-Day International debut last January against Bangladesh, has also been rewarded with a white ball contract.
The 28-year-old has taken eight wickets in six matches.
Hetmyer, meanwhile, one of the promising lights of West Indies cricket, has found himself without a contract having played precious little international cricket of recent while Chase, vice-captain on the Test tour of New Zealand five months ago, has also found himself out of an all-formats contract.
Since the start of 2019, the right-hander has averaged only 21 with the bat in Tests and 33 in ODIs. Meanwhile, Hetmyer has underperformed at the Test level averaging a mere 28 after 16 matches where he has scored 838 runs without a century. He has done better in ODI cricket where he has amassed 1430 runs from 45 matches at an average of 36.66 with five centuries.
Dowrich, who abruptly left the tour of New Zealand for personal reasons and has not played again since, joins batsman Shamarh Brooks in losing his red ball contract.
Rovman Powell, who captained West Indies on an ODI tour of Bangladesh as recently as two-and-a-half years ago, has lost his white ball contract along with Sunil Ambris, Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd and Oshane Thomas.
While CWI have not revealed the value of the central retainers, up until three years ago an all-formats deal was worth between US$150 000 and US$200 000, while a red ball contract was worth US$100 000 to $140 000 and a white ball contract, US$80 000 to US$120 000.
Retainer contracts 2021-2022 list:
All-format contracts: Jason Holder.
OUT: Roston Chase
Red ball contracts: Kraigg Brathwaite, Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Kyle Mayers, Kemar Roach.
OUT: Shamarh Brooks, Shane Dowrich.
White ball contracts: Kieron Pollard, Fabien Allen, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Alzarri Joseph, Nicholas Pooran, Hayden Walsh Jr.
OUT: Sunil Ambris, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas. (CMC)