Speedy Thomas eyeing lift from Windies 'A' chance
Rising young Jamaican fast bowler Oshane Thomas says he hopes to use the upcoming series between West Indies 'A' and Sri Lanka 'A' to advance his career and challenge for a spot in the West Indies team.
Thomas, a standout for the Jamaica Tallawahs during the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20, could potentially make his 'A' team debut in the series, which gets under way in Jamaica next week.
Sri Lanka, with several players having Test cricket experience, are slated to play three four-day Tests and three one-dayers at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium and Sabina Park.
"Getting a call-up to the West Indies 'A' team is a big move for me,'' said 20-year-old Thomas, who in bowling at speeds of over 150 mph, was one of the fastest bowlers in the 2017 Caribbean Premier League.
"I get to learn a bit more about cricket and about the longer versions of the game, as my aim in the end is to play Test cricket, one-dayers, and Twenty20 for the West Indies.''
Thomas, a former Jamaica Under-19 seamer, who represents Melbourne Cricket Club locally, made his first-class debut for Jamaica Scorpions against the Windward Island Volcanoes last season and played one match, where he claimed two for 26 in one innings to end with match figures of two for 35.
This had followed an encou-raging 2016 CPL campaign where he impressed with his pace and control, and played a helping hand in the Jamaica Tallawahs lifting the title.
The 2017 edition of the CPL then saw Thomas lit up Sabina Park again with his pace and control in his first match of the season against the Chris Gayle-led St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
He earned the Man of the Match award in that encounter after claiming three for 31 off his maximum four overs.
He was to subsequently get a hammering from the Guyana Amazon Warriors in his only other match of the CPL, and thereafter was dropped from the Tallawahs line-up for the rest of the tournament.
However, seemingly impressed with his attributes, Thomas was served with a call-up by the West Indies selectors, a move which he says he is looking to capitalise on.
"It was a big surprise for me getting the call-up,'' Thomas chimed. "I know that I was bowling fast, but still it was a surprise.
"My aim at the start of the season was to cement a place into the Jamaica Scorpions four-day team, do well and hopefully get a West Indies call from there
"Fortunately, however, I was able to get the call from the Caribbean Premier League, and for that I am grateful.''
He continued: "I think at this moment of my career I am bowling raw pace and still have room for improvement, but I still think I am capable of handling international cricket.
"I have been working with the national coach Robert Samuels and my club coach Andrew Richardson, and they have been pushing me along with my high school coach, Mr Azan. My aim therefore from here is to just go into the 'A' team series, bowl fast, get some wickets, and hopefully it will help me to the next level.''