Windwards, Jamaica clash in feature
ST GEORGE'S, Grenada (CMC):
The leading West Indies cricketers will be on show today when the Regional Four-day Championship enters the fourth round with matches in Barbados, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago.
Some teams are boasting their full contingent of players, including those on West Indies duty, as the tournament heats up ahead of a mid-season break.
Front-runners Windward Islands, on the hunt for their fourth straight consecutive outright victory, are at home to defending champions Jamaica at the national stadium in St George's.
Two left-handed opening batsmen on both teams are expected to attract much attention in front of a local crowd whose appetite for the game was revived following last week's ODI clash between West Indies and Zimbabwe, signalling the return of international cricket to the island after about four years.
Chris Gayle is returning from his self-imposed break after a hectic international schedule and will appear for Jamaica, while local fans are anxious to see homeboy Devon Smith who has already scored three centuries and a knock of 99 for the season.
Over at Queen's Park Oval, both Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago will be at full strength for their fourth-round encounter.
Guyana's struggling batting has received a major boost with the return of Test batsmen Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Narsingh Deonarine, as well as the captain, left-arm spinner Veersammy Permaul, and all-rounder Christopher Barnwell.
The five were drafted in at the expense of batsman Sewnarine Chattergoon, Rajendra Chandrika, leg-spinner Amir Khan and all-rounders Rajiv Ivan and Zaheer Mohamed.
Trinidad and Tobago will also be boasting their full contingent of players, including those on West Indies duties against Zimbabwe, such as Denesh Ramdin, Dwayne and Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Shannon Gabriel and Samuel Badree.
Meantime, history will repeat in first-class cricket with the inclusion of Chanderpaul in the Guyana squad playing alongside his son Tagenarine.
Such an occurrence has been rare and is believed to have happened only once in the Caribbean, some 91 years ago.
In September 1922, Lebrun Constantine made his final appearance in an important match for Trinidad and Tobago against Barbados in British Guiana at the age of 48, playing alongside his son Learie Constantine, who had just turned 21.
The third match in the regional four-day competition starting Wednesday is a bottom-of-the-table clash between Leeward islands and Combined Campuses and Colleges at the 3Ws Oval.
Windward Islands are leading the championship on 36 points, Barbados are on 24, while Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are on 12 points each.
Guyana and Leewards are on six and three points, respectively, while CCC are yet to register a point.