Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Sidelined national opener, Xavier Marshall, is crying foul following his omission from the country's training squad for upcoming regional tournaments.
Marshall, who has had a chequered career since making his regional debut at age 17, was left out of the 44-member training squad, which was named recently by the new Wavell Hinds-chaired national selection panel.
The squad, now going through its paces under head coach Junior Bennett, is gearing up to participate in upcoming regional Super50 and Four-day tournaments.
"I can't believe what has taken place," said Marshall. "Up to now no one has said anything to me, as all I have been hearing is things in the news. I really don't know what is happening," added the 27-year-old.
Marshall, who has a regional first-class average of 23.67 from 34 matches, represented Jamaica last season in one first-class and two Super50 games.
In the first-class fixture, which was Jamaica's first match of the season away to Barbados, the usually flamboyant opener made zero and six.
This, however, appeared not to have sat well with the then Courtnay Daley-led selection panel, who, despite having him in the 13-man squad for two subsequent matches, away to Windward Islands and at home Trinidad and Tobago, did not pick him again.
Instead, the panel decided to transfer him to the Super50 squad, and after making zero against Trinidad at Sabina Park and away to Guyana, he was dropped for the rest of the season.
However, according to Marshall, he thought he was unfairly treated.
He said, as was the case in previous first-class campaigns, had he been given the opportunity to complete the first-class season, things could have been different.
"I believe it's unfair the way they have treated me," said Marshall, who after making his Test debut at age 18 has gone on to record an average of 20.25 in seven matches.
TIME TO PROVE SELF
"All I ever wanted them to do is to give me a full four-day season to prove myself. They have never done that. It's like once I fail one or two times in a season, that is it.
"I would like a fair chance where every match I don't have to fret and worry that if I fail then that could be it for me for the season."
Marshall, who played three four-day matches two seasons ago before being dropped, also vowed to fight on amidst the setback.
"It is not the first time this is happening to me," he said. "It is about the third or fourth time.
"However, on each occasion I have been able to overcome, and this is no different. I am a fighter.
The first of five scheduled Super50 trial matches is set to get under way today at Sabina Park following which a 14-member squad will be named for the tournament. The tournament is set to take place in Trinidad starting later this month.
The Four-day tournament is set to bowl off on February 22.