“[…] The selectors have no room for sentimentality; in order to qualify automatically for the October/November 2023 World Cup in India, we have to get the points against Sri Lanka. We must pick the best 18-man squad from among all the available players.
“I would go with three openers: Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (who can also keep wicket) and Sunil Ambris. Lendl Simmons is a shoo in for the T20 squad, and although I am a great admirer of Brandon King, he simply has not come to the party in the Super50…”
The following Letter to the Editor on the 18-man ODI squad that should represent West Indies in Sri Lanka was submitted by Francis Warner, the former head of the QRC English Department who spent many, many hours supervising QRC cricketers working on the Queen’s Park Oval scoreboard:
The West Indies ODI team which performed poorly in Bangladesh in late January was guilty of making track for other West Indian players to pass. Consequently, many of those who chose not to go to the sub-continent now have a clear path to selection in the ODIs against Sri Lanka from March 10 -14.
The selectors have no room for sentimentality; in order to qualify automatically for the October/November 2023 World Cup in India, we have to get the points against Sri Lanka. We must pick the best 18-man squad from among all the available players.
I would go with three openers: Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (who can also keep wicket) and Sunil Ambris. Lendl Simmons is a shoo in for the T20 squad, and although I am a great admirer of Brandon King, he simply has not come to the party in the Super50.
My choice of batsmen is Nkrumah Bonner and Kyle Mayers (who can bowl as well), both of whom have shown their pedigree in Bangladesh, and the experienced and accomplished Darren Bravo. Nicholas Pooran, who is a sure pick purely as an outstanding batsman, is my choice of wicketkeeper-batsman.
The talented Rovman Powell’s batting has fallen off and his bowling is virtually non-existent; Andre Mc Carthy is a work in progress. I have been quite impressed with the consistency and level-headedness of Jason Mohammed in the Super50 but I will still plump for the supremely gifted but disappointingly intemperate Shimron Hetmyer.
If only he would read ‘Overconfidence, Shot Selection and Valuing Your Wicket’ by Hugh Brisse.
The all-rounders are so important in the white ball games. Owing to his mediocre performance with both bat and bowl, I have reluctantly omitted the highly regarded Fabian Allen; Keemo Paul suffers the same fate.
Skipper Kieron Pollard and the tried and proven Jason Holder and Roston Chase have important roles to play; his impressive pace bowling and aggressive batting should earn the up-and-coming Romario Shepherd a spot.
We have had some fine performances from the spinners: Larry Edwards, Akil Pierre, Ashmead Nedd, Gudakesh Motie and Kevin Sinclair all merit consideration. Sunil Narine, who is slowly getting back to his wicket-taking best, leads the way. Additionally, we know what he can do with the bat,
Owing to their wicket-taking potential, I am willing to go with both leg-spinners, the experienced Imran Khan and the irrepressible Hayden Walsh Jr who will blossom under a captain who knows how to handle a wrist-spinner. Akeal Hosein, with his accurate and penetrative left arm finger spin, gets the fourth spot. All three are more than capable lower-order batsmen, a big bonus.
With Holder and Shepherd bolstering the fast-bowling department, supported by Pollard and Mayers, I have gone with just two additional pacers. I am incredibly impressed with the pace and late swing of Oshane Thomas but overall his performances do not warrant his selection.
Anderson Phillip, Jayden Seales and Akeem Jordan have performed creditably. However, the exciting Alzarri Joseph, whose batting has greatly improved, and the experienced Sheldon Cottrell, who has a knack of getting early wickets, are my choices.
I am waiting to hear what Roger Harper and his fellow selectors have to say. I am confident that they will do a good job and not make a track for the Sri Lankan team to pass.
My ODI Squad vs Sri Lanka:
- Kieron Pollard (Captain) All-rounder
- Sunil Ambris Batsman
- Nkrumah Bonner Batsman
- Darren Bravo Batsman
- Roston Chase All-rounder
- Sheldon Cottrell Left-arm pacer
- Shimron Hetmyer Batsman
- Jason Holder All-rounder
- Shai Hope Batsman/wicketkeeper
- Akeal Hosein Left-arm finger spinner
- Alzarri Joseph Right-arm pacer
- Imran Khan Right-arm wrist spinner
- Evin Lewis Batsman
- Kyle Mayers All-rounder
- Sunil Narine All-rounder
- Nicholas Pooran Batsman/wicketkeeper
- Romario Shepherd All-rounder
- Hayden Walsh Jr Right-arm wrist-spinner