Windies 'A', England Lions clash in Trelawny
A number of out-of-form and peripheral West Indies Test players will be hoping for a change in fortune when they suit up for West Indies A against England Lions at Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium, starting this morning.
The clash, which bowls off at 10 a.m., will be the first of the unofficial 'Tests' between the sides, with the second carded for Sabina Park, starting next weekend.
The third and deciding match, a day and night affair, will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Among the West Indies Test players who will be seeking to impress regional selectors are batsmen Kieran Powell and Jermaine Blackwood, wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, fast bowler Miguel Cummins, all-rounder Raymon Riefer, and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican.
Powell recently returned to international cricket after a self-imposed two-year break but has struggled with just two fifties in 19 Test innings.
The diminutive Blackwood, who has one hundred in 27 Tests, has scored 14 runs in his last five innings, while 26-year-old Dowrich, in 18 Tests, has scored one century and averages 24.13.
The 27-year-old Cummings has an average of 39.1 from eight Tests, with one five-wicket haul to his name, Riefer has played a solitary Test, while Warrican makes a return to the international stage after playing the last of his four Tests two years ago.
"It's a very good opportunity for a number of the players to gain back some form and confidence," said West Indies A manager Rayon Griffith.
"Our preparation over the last four days leading into the match has been going well, with most of the players looking good, having been playing cricket, including the on-going regional Super50 in Barbados and Antigua. It's just for them to turn in the match and execute," he declared.
England Lions, in the meantime, will also feature several Test representatives, including captain and opener Keaton Jennings, who scored a century against Jamaica; batsman Haseed Hameed; fast bowler Toby Roland-Jones; and leg-spinner Mason Crane.
"A lot of guys are in a really good place and we have got, I suppose, a bit of tough choices to make come the Trelawny Test," stated Jennings.
"I thought as a group we got a lot out of the Jamaica tour match as our bowlers got through quite a few spells and guys batted for good periods of time.
"We intend to, therefore, take a look at the wicket, look at the conditions, and select what is our best team going into the match," he added.
West Indies A squad: Kieran Powell (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Jermaine Blackwood, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Jahmar Hamilton, Keon Joseph, Jeremiah Louis, Raymon Reifer, Vishaul Singh, Jomel Warrican
England Lions squad: Keaton Jennings (captain), Joe Clarke, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, James Porter, Paul Coughlin, Saqib Mahmood, Nick Gubbins, Alex Davies, Haseeb Hameed, Daniel Lawrence, Ben Foakes, Toby Roland-Jones, Jack Leach, Mason Crane, Josh Tongue.