Hope, Reifer set for England tour
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
Uncapped Barbadians Kyle Hope and Raymon Reifer have been named in a 15-man West Indies squad to tour England for three Tests starting next month, while experienced seamer Kemar Roach has been recalled following a 19-month break.
Hope, a 28-year-old opener, recently made his debut in the One-Day International series against India, while 26-year-old Reifer, an all-rounder, is yet to play international cricket.
Both have gained favour with selectors following impressive first-class seasons. The right-handed Hope piled up 649 runs for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force to be the second-highest run-getter of the competition, while Reifer made 445 runs at an average of 37 and snared 36 wickets at 21 apiece with his left-arm seam.
Chief selector Courtney Browne said both players would be assets to the touring party based on their performances at the first-class level.
"We have two players who will be new to Tests, but they have experience at the first-class level, having played in the expanded Digicel Regional Four-Day tournament," Browne said.
Roach, meanwhile, has finally returned to West Indies colours after a long stint on the sidelines because of injury and loss of form.
The 29-year-old, who has 37 Tests to his name, picked up 23 wickets for Barbados Pride in the last first-class championship at 16 apiece, doing enough to convince selectors of his readiness again for international cricket.
West Indies will play three three-day games against County sides Essex, Kent and Derbyshire before facing England in the day-night opening Test at Edgbaston on August 17.
The second Test bowls off at Headingly eight days later with the third and final Test carded for Lord's starting September 7.
SQUAD: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Braithwaite (vice-captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.