By Brandon Corlette
The 2023 Regional Super50 tournament is done and dusted, and the West Indies’ next assignment will be against England in the Caribbean.
West Indies and England will play three One Day Internationals and five T20 Internationals. The first ODI starts on December 3 in Antigua. According to unofficial reports, the West Indies side is expected to be encamped next week.
Additionally, the selectors have already made calls to some players as it relates to selection. Players who had solid performances at the recently concluded Regional Super50 Cup, will also be hopeful of a call-up.
The first name that comes to mind as it relates to selection after scoring heavy is Darren Bravo. He led his team to a 14th Super50 title, and the classy Trinidadian scored 416 runs in the season, at an average of 83, emerging as the leading batsman in the tournament.
Bravo, who last played for West Indies in February 2022, will believe he has done everything in his power to earn a West Indies recall.
Second on the list is Justin Greaves. Promoted to open the batting in the latter parts of the tournament for Leeward Islands, Greaves grabbed his opportunities with both hands and racked up 403 runs at an average of 80.
Brandon King and Kyle Mayers are the regular openers, and what Greaves has done, is challenge the duo for a spot at the top. Kjorn Ottley also made some runs, (317) but his chances to play for the West Indies is a slim one. If King is not yet available to play, Greaves may be the other opener to partner Mayers in the ODI team.
Retried spin magician Sunil Narine was the leading wicket-taker with 20 wickets, but Hayden Walsh Jr, who came storming back into form, also had 20 wickets.
The leg-spinner reminded the selectors of his worth after he faded away on the international scene for a while.
Yannic Cariah, who continues to improve, claiming 18 wickets. Cariah, who was in the recent white-ball squads, may have also secured his spot for the England series.
Akeal Hosein and Gudakesh Motie had fairy good outings in the Super50 Cup, and with both spinners being classy in their own rights, both should be selcted in the West Indies squad. However, left-arm spinner Daiel Doram (16) and Roston Chase (16) had more wickets than Hosein and Motie.
The man from Guyana, Motie had 14 wickets, including a match-winning spell of 5-17 against the Barbados Pride. Hosein had 10 wickets in the Super50, with a best bowling figure of 3-31. The important question will be, who will start in the West Indies starting XI against England, or will both left-arm spinners play?
Since Kevin Sinclair is on his way to South Africa with the West Indies ‘A’ team, Roston Chase is the other right-arm off-spinner.
Guyana’s best batsman Sherfane Rutherford, who struck the most sixes in the tournament and scored 278 runs has also thrown his name for a West Indies selection. West Indies Academy seamer Matthew Forde, who had a breakthrough 2023 around the globe may also earn a selection.
Despite claiming only five wickets and recording scores of 52, 28 03*, 02, and 06, Forde has shown great promise, and based on reports in sections of the media, a senior team call-up is perhaps on the horizon for the 21-year-old Barbadian.
The usual suspects are expected to return to the Shai Hope-led ODI side and the Rovman Powell-led T20 team. Once available, the likes of Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Romario Shepherd, Alick Athanaze, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, and co., will be selected.
Questions will be asked about Hetmyer’s consistency, as he recorded 21, 24, 04, 10, 19, 05, 62* and 03 in the Super50 Cup where he averaged 21 with the bat, but his capability and talent remains supreme in the Caribbean.
Cricnation592’s Possible West Indies Squad for ODIs vs England: Shai Hope (captain), Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Alick Athanaze, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo, Yannic Cariah, Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein, Gudakesh Motie, Alzarri Joseph, Jason Holder, and Matthew Forde.
Rutherford, Chase and Walsh Jr. are the reserves.
CG United One-Day Internationals
3 December: 1st CG United ODI, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
6 December: 2nd CG United ODI, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
9 December: 3rd CG United ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados
12 December: 1st T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
14 December: 2nd T20I, Grenada National Stadium, Grenada
16 December: 3rd T20I, Grenada National Stadium, Grenada
19 December: 4th T20I, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad
21 December: 5th T20I, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad