Barbadian Akeem Jordan and Alick Athanaze have been named in the 15-member squad for the upcoming two-Test Series against South Africa. Athanaze, the left-handed batter is the captain of Windward Islands Volcanoes and is from Dominicn, while Jordan, a right-arm seam bowler, plays for Barbados Pride.
Both have demonstrated good form in the first two rounds of the current four-day West Indies Championship. Athanaze had scores of 41 and 51 against Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in Round 1 and followed up with a career-best 141 against Guyana Harpy Eagles in Round 2. He is a product of the West Indies Under 19s Rising Stars where he was one of the stand-out players at the 2018 ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup.
Jordan had match figures of 5 for 86 against Guyana and followed up with 7 for 113 against Jamaica Scorpions to be one of the leading wicket-takers in the West Indies Championship after two rounds of matches.
Athanaze and Jordan replace left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican and batter Nkrumah Bonner who were part of the squad for the just-concluded series in Zimbabwe. Jayden Seales is unavailable for selection following a knee injury and subsequent surgery, while Anderson Philiip has returned to training but is not yet match-fit.
“Athanaze is one of the young players who we have invested in, and he played well in the ‘A Team’ and CWI President’s XI,” said lead selector, The Most Honourable Dr Desmond Haynes.
“He showed great promise in the CG United Super50 last year and then got his first hundred in the West Indies Championship last week. We believe he should be given an opportunity at this level. He has also showed leadership, as captain of the Windwards at the start of this season.”
Haynes added: “Jordan has been very impressive from last year, he has continued to bowl well, and has been excellent in the first two matches so far this year. He is very skilful, can bowl the new ball, and looks to put the ball in the right areas. He is also a sharp fielder and good catcher close to the wicket. This will be a challenging tour. There is no easy away tour in Test cricket. South Africa have a good team, but I am sure we will be up for the task and will do well in these two Test matches.”
The upcoming Series is the final Test fixture for both teams in the ICC World Test Championship. West Indies are currently in sixth place and have the opportunity, with a Series win to move above South Africa, currently in fourth place, in the final table.
West Indies are due to arrive in South Africa on February 17. They will face South Africa in two Test matches at SuperSport Park in Centurion (February 28 to March 4) and the Wanderers in Johannesburg (March 8 to 12). Following the Tests, West Indies will then play a white ball series. The squads for these will named at a later date.
FULL SQUAD: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice Captain), Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Akeem Jordan, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers and Gudakesh Motie. (PR/SAT)