West Indies players sing their cricket anthem © Getty Images
Consistent batsmen and fast bowlers clocking more than 80mph are on the West selectors’ wish list when the Regional Four-Day Championship begins on October 26.
“Finding a few consistent batsmen is important, but what is also key for us is to unearth some young fast bowlers, so that we can add to the pool that we currently have, especially players that can clock in the high 80 to 90 mph range,” Courtney Browne, chairman of the Cricket West Indies selection panel, said. “So this upcoming regional season is key for players. There is an upcoming tour to the Caribbean by the England Lions early next year and such a high-profile ‘A’ Team tour has not happened in a number of years. It is where our players can showcase their talent and we can identify players for selection to our ‘A’ Team.”
Spanning ten rounds, the Regional Four-Day Championship will have six regional franchises playing each other home and away. The teams are: Barbados Pride, Guyana Jaguars, Jamaica Scorpions, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and Windward Islands Volcanoes.
Browne urged the players to focus on fitness and consistency in performance, should they harbour hopes of retaining their place, or breaking into, the West Indies side.
“We would also like to urge players to work on their fitness and aim at achieving the fitness levels expected as our international teams have ramped up their fitness and conditioning work,” Browne said. “There are cases where players do perform and may not make it into the senior team as quickly as persons expect.
“If there are players in the senior team that are already there, they have to be given a full opportunity and the emerging player will have to wait a bit longer than usual, rather than the chopping and changing approach. But we would urge them to continue to strive for consistency and show it over a longer period and not a one-off performance.”
The tournament will be played in three phases – from October 26 to January 21 – with all matches starting on a Thursday. Six matches will be played with a pink ball under lights.
“As selectors, we are happy with the length of the season,” Browne said. “We believe 10 matches in the #D4Day [the four-day championship] is a good yardstick for the players and for us.”
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