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Solozano gets maiden WI Test call-up for Sri Lanka tour, Harper: ‘good depth in all departments’

Twenty-six year old left-handed opening batsman Jeremy Solozano was the only uncapped player selected in the West Indies 15-man squad announced today, when the Cricket West Indies selectors named their tour party for the two-match Test series in Sri Lanka.

Solozano, who hails from Arima in Trinidad and Tobago, forced his way into the squad on the basis of his showing at two recent ‘Best v Best’ warm-up matches at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago opening batsman Jeremy Solozano in action against the Leeward Islands at the Brian Lara Academy in Tarouba.
(Copyright Vashti Singh/ Newsday)

“Jeremy [Solozano] played for the West Indies ‘A’ Team in 2019 (against India ‘A’) with success,” CWI lead selector Roger Harper told the CWI Media, “and in the Best v Best matches, he displayed a sense of application, patience, and composure—while looking very comfortable against both pace and spin, which encouraged the panel to invest in him at this point.”

The West Indies team is captained by Kraigg Brathwaite and includes two members of its current T20 World Cup squad, Roston Chase and Jason Holder.

“The squad is well balanced, with good depth in all departments,” said Harper. “The composition is very similar to the squad that brought us success in our last away tour to Bangladesh, with a few changes in personnel. 

“There are a number of players who are familiar with Sri Lankan conditions and most of the others have good experience in the Indian sub-continent, so they know what to expect and are gearing themselves for it.”

West Indies have a four-day warm-up match in Colombo from November 14 to 17 before they face Sri Lanka from 21-25 November and 29 November to 3 December in the two Tests at the Galle International Stadium.

Photo: West Indies batsman Roston Chase drives down the ground during Day Four of the Second Test against New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton on 12 December 2017.
(Copyright AFP Photo/ Michael Bradley)

The series is the second of six, three at home and three away, that West Indies will play in the 2021-2023 ICC World Test Championship.

Harper hopes the Best v Best outings will help prepare the West Indies players for what lies ahead.

“The Best v Best matches provided the opportunity for the players to spend some time in the middle honing their skills for this tour,” he said. “The aim was to simulate as much as possible, the conditions that the team will likely face in Sri Lanka. So it was good to see the batsmen spending time at the crease while putting some scores together and the bowlers looking to build pressure and create wicket-taking opportunities.”

West Indies squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Kyle Mayers, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Jeremy Solozano and Jomel Warrican.

Photo: West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite hits for four during the Second Test against Sri Lanka at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua on 29 March 2021.
(Copyright Randy Brooks/AFP via Getty Images)

Match Schedule

14 to 17 November: Warm-up match in Colombo

21 to 25 November: 1st Test at Galle International Stadium

29 November to 3 December: 2nd Test at Galle International Stadium.

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