Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Higher calling


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In a stunning move, West Indies’ cricket selectors have gone beyond the boundary and past Barbados’ own selection panel to pick both embattled former captain Kirk Edwards and the overlooked Miguel Cummins for a one-off One-Day International (ODI) against touring Ireland later this month.
It’s just the latest twist in a whirlwind story surrounding Edwards, who made major headlines after being sent home from the on-going NAGICO Super50 in Trinidad for refusing to sign for his match kit.
Cummins’ selection was a little less surprising, though. The Bajan pacer led all fast bowlers in wickets at last season’s regional four-day tournament and produced creditable performances for West Indies “A” in a home-and-away series against India “A”.
But apparently those weren’t enough for the promising 23-year-old to make his limited overs debut for Barbados as the local selectors picked Fidel Edwards, Tino Best, Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite.
Edwards’ inclusion probably shouldn’t come as a shock either, with WICB president Dave Cameron publicly endorsing his return to the maroon despite being embroiled in the disciplinary matter, saying Edwards is eligible for selection unless the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) sanctions him.
The West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) had initially taken up Edwards’ plight only to drop the case after reasoning that it was now a matter between the top order batsman and the BCA.
And the two sides were set to meet earlier this week but reports have indicated that Edwards and his attorney Donna Symmonds did not have that meeting with the board as planned.
It’s not the first time a Bajan player has been selected to represent the West Indies despite not being included in their own local setup, with Fidel Edwards making his Test debut in 2003 while failing to find favour for Barbados.
The news has also been favourable to dashing top order batsman Dwayne Smith, who has been recalled to the T20 squad for that series just one day after being picked up by Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings.
There was no room for Jonathan Carter, despite his recent hundreds for West Indies “A” and Barbados, as star batsmen Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels are set to return from injury.
Big-hitting all-rounder Kieron Pollard is rehabilitating from a knee injury suffered last year and was not considered for selection.
The Windies will play two T20s and an ODI against Ireland ­– all at Sabina Park – on February 19, 21 and 23.
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.
ODI: 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.


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