Cottrell lands WI retainer
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
Batsman Leon Johnson and left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell have both been handed retainer contracts by the West Indies Cricket Board, despite not featuring for the regional side over the last year.
The pair are among a list of 15 players announced by the WICB late yesterday who have been retained for the period beginning last October 1 to September 30 later this year.
Johnson, a 28-year-old left-hander, has been repeatedly overlooked in recent months despite the West Indies' continued struggles at the top of the order.
He averages nearly 40 in his four Tests and gathered scores of 54 and 44 in his last Test - against South Africa in Cape Town last January.
Fellow Guyanese Rajindra Chandrika has been the preferred choice despite three noughts in six Test innings and an average of 14.
Cottrell, meanwhile, has not suited up for West Indies since the one-day series in South Africa last January.
The 26-year-old has struggled with injury this year and only recent resumed bowling when he turned out for Jamaica Scorpions in the Regional First Class Championship.
He played the last of this two Tests in December, 2014, and has played two one-day internationals.
Marlon Samuels has been also retained despite a torrid time with the bat in recent months. The Jamaican gathered 30 runs from four Test innings against Sri Lanka last October and managed only 35 runs in five outings against Australia in the just concluded three-Test series Down Under.
Rookies Shai Hope and Shane Dowrich, who like Chandrika both made their Test debuts last year, are also among the 15 retained.
RETAINED PLAYERS - Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite, Rajendra Chandrika, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel, Jermaine Blackwood, Jerome Taylor, Sheldon Cottrell, Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich, Leon Johnson, Kemar Roach.