October 12 - (www.bcacricket.org) - A fairly predictable Barbados 14-man squad was today named for the WICB President’s Cup (50-over-a-side) championship in Guyana, October 26 to November 5.
Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Rashidi Boucher, Jonathan Carter, Nikolai Charles, Fidel Edwards, Kirk Edwards, Ryan Hinds, Alcindo Holder, Carlo Morris, Martin Nurse, Kemar Roach, Dwayne Smith, Kevin Stoute.
The Barbados Cricket Association said in a Press release that the captain and management team will be announced at a 10 a.m. Press conference on Wednesday, October 14, at Kensington Oval.
There are two specialist openers in the pugnacious and prolific Inspire Sports Wanderers left-hander Nurse and talented Boucher of Super Centre Spartan.
The other frontline batsmen – veteran all-rounder Hinds, his ICBL Empire team-mates Holder and Stoute, Caribbean Lumber YMPC’s Smith, Carter of Banks and CGI Maple captain Kirk Edwards, would have virtually picked themselves.
Six-footer Morris of Sagicor General Twenty20 champions and current Division 1 championship leaders TeleBarbados Carlton gets the nod as wicket-keeper/batsman ahead of the seasoned BNB St. Catherine player Patrick Browne, who has One-Day International experience.
There are three fast bowlers – all with current West Indies experience in Fidel Edwards (Caribbean Lumber YMPC), Best (ESA Field Pickwick) and the gifted Roach (Maple).
Another West Indies player, left-arm spinner Benn (Spartan) and LIME leg-spinner Charles are the specialist spinners with support from Hinds, who bowls left-arm spin and is yet another player with West Indies experience.
Smith, with his medium-pace is expected to feature heavily in the bowling and there is also variety in the likes of Carter (off-spin and medium-pace), Stoute and Nurse (medium-pace) and Holder (off-spin).
Apart from Browne, others who were expected to be on the short-list included fast bowling all-rounder Khalid Springer, his Carlton captain and off-spinning all-rounder Marlon Graham and batting all-rounder Shamarh Brooks of Spartan.
Though he has had a relative good season in both the Caribbean Alliance Insurance Division 1 and the Sagicor General Super Cup (50-over-a-side) championships, the 27-year-old Browne, who has played 58 first-class matches as well as five One-Day Internationals, probably lost his place due to poor form with the bat in the five-match trials while Morris was dominating with both bat and gloves.
In four innings at trials, Browne scored just 61 runs at an average of 15.25 – contrasting sharply to Morris’ 113 including a half-century from the very same four innings with three not outs, at the highest overall average of 113.00.
To boot, Morris had seven catches and one stumping.
The heavy-set Nurse is the leading run-getter in the Division 1 championship with 925 runs (ave: 71.15) including three centuries (one double) after starting the season from the second series but his batting form has declined in recent matches and his last eight innings have produced only 184 runs.
Nurse appeared hasty at the trials and mustered just 73 runs from five innings (ave: 14.60) but as he showed for Barbados in the two-match Twenty20 Classics against Grenada in St. George’s last weekend, he can be very dangerous.
Holder brought his fine Division 1 and Super Cup form with recent centuries in both versions into the trials, amassing the highest aggregate of 166 runs including two half-centuries at the second highest average of 55.33.
Barbados are competing in Zone ‘B’ with Guyana, Leeward Islands and West Indies Under-19, while Zone ‘A’ comprises title holders Trinidad & Tobago, Combined Campuses & Colleges (CCC), Jamaica and Windward Islands.
There are a whopping nine Barbadians in the CCC squad.
The teams are slated to assemble in Georgetown on October 26 before the hectic tournament, designed along the lines of the ICC Champions Trophy, opens two days later.
Barbados’ first match is against West Indies Under-19 at Bourda on October 28.