Left-handed opener John Campbell will be given a chance to extend his Test career and pacer Anderson Phillip will get an opportunity to start his career after they were named in the West Indies 13-member squad for the first Test against England next month in Antigua.
The selection panel of Cricket West Indies led by the Most Honourable, Desmond Haynes rewarded Campbell, 28, and Phillip, 25, for strong starts in the West Indies Championship for Jamaica Scorpions and Trinidad & Tobago Red Force respectively, over the past two weeks.
“I expect us to be very competitive against England,” Haynes said. “This should be a very exciting series, with a lot of players who are out to make their mark.
“We have a squad that has some experienced players, as well as some exciting young players, and we expect them to equip themselves well and do the job.”
The first Test will take place from March 8 to 12 at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Campbell averages 23.70 in 15 Tests after making his debut against the same opponents three years ago at Kensington Oval, where he made 127 for Scorpions against Barbados Pride last week in the Championship.
Phillip is the most sucessful bowler after the first two rounds of the Championship, taking 12 wickets at 14.25 apiece, with best figures of 5-82 for Red Force against Jamaica Scorpions at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.
“Anderson bowled extremely well and was very impressive in the first two rounds of the West Indies Championship, and we decided to give him an opportunity in the Test squad to face England,” Haynes said.
“He has been around the squad before in white-ball cricket, so he has some experience at the international level.”
The Pride trio of Roston Chase, Shai Hope, and Jomel Warrican, as well as burly Leeward Islands Hurricanes off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall and Red Force opener Jeremy Solozano are not included after being part of the squad on the Tour of Sri Lanka last November and December, while pacer Shannon Gabriel also misses out because of a hamstring injury.
Neither Chase, Hope, Warrican, nor Cornwall have been named in the 12-member CWI President’s XI squad against the English in a four-day, Tour match from March 1 to 4 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.
Solozano was included, however, as the selectors continue their search for a solution to the long-term problem of a reliable opening pair.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich was named captain of the President’s XI with Pride teammate, left-handed all-rounder Raymon Reifer as the vice captain.
The Windies squad will assemble from February 25 in Antigua for a training camp ahead of the Test.
Test: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice-Captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Joshua da Silva, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Veerasammy Permaul, Anderson Phillip, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales.
CWI President’s XI: Shane Dowrich (Captain), Raymon Reifer (Vice-Captain), Colin Archibald, Alick Athanaze, Keacy Carty, Bryan Charles, Shermon Lewis, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Jeremy Solozano, Shamar Springer, Devon Thomas.
(All matches start 10 a.m. local time daily)
1-4: Tour Match – CWI President’s XI vs England – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua
8-12: First Test – West Indies vs England – Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
16-20: Second Test – West Indies vs England – Kensington Oval, Barbados
24-28: Third Test – West Indies vs England – Grenada National Stadium, Grenada