WI recall Cornwall and Warrican, McKenzie and Athanze set for Test debuts

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Allrounder Rahkeem Cornwall was recalled to the West Indies Test team today as the Maroon Men prepare for the first of a two Test series against India from 12 to 16 July.

The 30-year-old Cornwall was one of four new faces in the 13-man squad, alongside 31-year-old left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican and the uncapped duo of left-handed batsmen Kirk McKenzie (22) and Alick Athanaze (24).

Leeward Islands spinner Rahkeem Cornwall (second from left) bowls at a T&T Red Force batsman during West Indies Championship action at the Diego Martin Sporting Complex on 20 May 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Cornwall and Warrican have not represented the West Indies Test side since the tour to Sri Lanka in late 2021.

Cornwall has 34 wickets from nine matches at an average of 37.76, while he has a batting average of 18.30 with two half centuries.

Warrican took 15 wickets for the West Indies from as many Test matches at an average of 35.21.

With spinner Gudakesh Motie still recovering from injury, Cricket West Indies (CWI) lead selector Desmond Haynes said Cornwall and Warrick will offer spin options to captain Kraigg Brathwaite.

“We are without Motie, who is doing his rehabilitation, and this has created an opportunity for Warrican and Cornwall in the spin bowling department,” Haynes told the CWI Media. “They have both played at Test match level before and are capable of doing the job.”

West Indies spinner Jomel Warrican.
(Copyright Getty Images)

The West Indies are also without pacer Jayden Seales who is doing rehab from surgery and “is not yet quite ready to return”, while they opted to rest allrounder Kyle Mayers.

“Kyle Mayers was also considered but he has some niggles,” said Haynes, “and the precaution is not to have him in the rigors of a five-day match at this stage.”

Their absences created an opportunity for the youthful pair of McKenzie and Athanaze.

West Indies legend Brian Lara (centre) is flanked by young batsmen Kirk McKenzie (left) and Alick Athanaze.
Photo: CWI Media​

“We were very impressed with the approach to batsmanship of McKenzie and Athanaze on the recent ‘A’ Team tour of Bangladesh,” said Haynes. “These are two young players who got good scores and played with great maturity, and we believe they deserve an opportunity.

“[…] Looking ahead to the series we know it will be a challenging one as we start the new cycle of the ICC Test Match Championship. We want to build and improve and strive to move up the ladder.”

(West Indies Test squad)

Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kirk McKenzie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican.

Traveling reserves: Tevin Imlach, Akeem Jordan.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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