Vaccinated Trinidad and Tobago cricket fans can enjoy some live sport from Wednesday morning as the West Indies Championship returns with two first-class four-day fixtures in Trinidad.
The T&T Red Force face the Jamaica Scorpions at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba while the Windward Islands Volcanoes tackle the Guyana Harpy Eagles at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair. The day’s third match sees defending champions Barbados Pride host the Leeward Island Hurricanes at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
All matches start at 10am. There is no cover charge for patrons in Trinidad but to be allowed entry they must present their vaccination card and some form of photo ID.
Barbados won the regional four-day competition in 2020, in the process ending a run of five successive wins by Guyana. The Barbados Pride will be led by West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite and their roster includes Jonathan Carter, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Raymon Reifer and Jomel Warrican.
In the 2022 season, Leon Johnson again captains the Guyana outfit, which also includes Shimron Hetmyer, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Veerasammy Permaul and Gudakesh Motie.
Trinidad and Tobago have not triumphed in this contest since 2006, when Brian Lara, Mervyn Dillon, Rayad Emrit and Daren Ganga were all members of the squad. In the current season, the Red Force are led by Imran Khan and their line-up includes Joshua Da Silva, Jayden Seales, Jeremy Solozano, Jason Mohammed and Shannon Gabriel.
The Windward Islands, captained by Kavem Hodge, will give senior debuts to West Indies Under-19 captain and talented middle-order batsman Ackeem Auguste and WIU19 opener Teddy Bishop.
The Headley/Weekes Trophy is at stake for the teams but the individual players will have a chance to press for a place in the West Indies squad for the Apex Test Series against England in March.
Two rounds of the Championship will be completed from 9 -12 February and 15 – 18 February before there is a break for the England Test series. Action will resume in May with the final three rounds being played.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) also announced a ‘special player loan’ system for the 2022 tournament so as to ensure that teams can complete their fixtures in the case of Covid-19 cases.
“If a team has a player(s) ruled out due to a positive Covid-19 result,” stated a CWI release, “they can request to use a player(s) from another team and/or from a pool of locally registered reserve players.”
CWI CEO Johnny Grave described the Championship as ‘the ideal preparation for our Test players’ while Jimmy Adams, CWI director of cricket, is pleased at the restart of the regional game in hibernation since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This competition plays a critical role in our player development pathway,” Adams told CWI Media, “and, after almost two years, we are delighted to have our regional players back playing competitively in this format.”
The Championship will also be streamed live in India on FanCode as part of CWI’s partnership with the Indian broadcaster.
(West Indies Championship rosters)
Barbados Pride: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jonathan Carter, Shane Dowrich, Jonathan Drakes, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Chaim-Alexis Holder, Chemar Holder, Akeem Joseph, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Shamar Springer, Jomel Warrican, Tevyn Walcott, Ramon Simmonds.
Guyana Harpy Eagles: Leon Johnson (captain), Antony Adams, Anthony Bramble, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Tevin Imlach, Keon Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Akshaya Persaud, Clinton Pestano, Vishaul Singh, Nial Smith.
Jamaica Scorpions: John Campbell (captain), Alwyn Williams, Jermaine Blackwood, Leroy Lugg, Oraine Williams, Romaine Morris, Gordon Bryan, Paul Palmer, Jamie Merchant, Marquino Mindley, Nicholson Gordon, Derval Green, Patrick Harty, Kirk McKenzie, Brad Barnes.
Leeward Islands Hurricanes: Jahmar Hamilton (captain), Rahkeem Cornwall, Devon Thomas, Montcin Hodge, Amir Jangoo, Kieran Powell, Colin Archibald, Terance Warde, Jeremiah Louis, Keacy Carty, Ross Powell, Nino Henry, Kofi James, Daniel Doram, Kian Pemberton.
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force: Imran Khan (captain), Joshua Da Silva, Jeremy Solozano, Keagan Simmons, Jyd Goolie, Jason Mohammed, Yannic Cariah, Khary Pierre, Terrance Hinds, Anderson Phillip, Jayden Seales, Isaiah Rajah, Kirstan Kallicharan, Bryan Charles, Shannon Gabriel.
Windward Islands Volcanoes: Kavem Hodge (captain), Keron Cottoy, Denis Smith, Devon Smith, Kimani Melius, Alick Athanaze, Ryan John, Larry Edward, Kenneth Dember, Shermon Lewis, Preston McSween, Teddy Bishop, Darel Cyrus, Josh Thomas, Ackeem Auguste.
(Play starts at 10am)
Round 1: 9 – 12 February
Barbados Pride v Leeward Island Hurricanes at Kensington Oval;
Windward Islands Volcanoes v Guyana Harpy Eagles at Queen’s Park Oval;
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force v Jamaica Scorpions at Brian Lara Cricket Academy.
Round 2: 15 – 18 February
Barbados Pride v Jamaica Scorpions at Kensington Oval;
Guyana Harpy Eagles v Leeward Island Hurricanes at Queen’s Park Oval;
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force v Windward Islands Volcanoes at Brian Lara Cricket Academy.