Miller replaces Narine in WCup 15
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's left-arm spinner, Nikita Miller, has expressed delight at his inclusion in the West Indies squad for next month's ICC World Cup, and has vowed to put his best foot forward for cricket's showpiece event.
Miller, consistently one of the best performers in regional cricket in recent years, was named yesterday to replace Trinidadian off-spinner Sunil Narine, who withdrew from the 15-man squad earlier this week.
Narine, who led Trinidad and Tobago to the WICB NAGICO Insurance Super50 title last weekend, withdrew after saying he needed more time for work on his remedial bowling action.
"I'm really happy for the call-up," said Miller, who left the country yesterday for New Zealand and Australia, where the World Cup will be held.
"It's unfortunate that Narine, world-class bowler, had to pull out.
"But I have been called on to do a job, and hopefully, I can go there and do the job for the region."
Miller, who has played 45 one-day internationals for the West Indies, and has taken 40 wickets at 36.52 apiece, and an economy rate of 4.59, last represented the West Indies in March last year during England's three-match one-day tour of the Caribbean.
The 32-year-old, who was a part of the West Indies unit during their quarter-final showing at the 2011 World Cup in India, joins fellow left-arm spinner, Sulieman Benn, as the specialist slow bowlers in the West Indies' squad.
"It (selection) came as a surprise, but I am always ready, and, quickly can switch on get myself sorted for a challenge," commented Miller.
Miller, currently sixth in the WICB Four-day Professional League standings with 17 wickets at 14.05 apiece, was ninth in the overall Super50 bowling standings with six wickets at 15.50.
The Super50 standing was topped by Narine, who took 12 wickets at 7.25, with left-arm spinner, Guyana's Veerasammy Permaul, who currently leads the four-day standings with 32 wickets at 10.09, finishing second on 11 scalps at 13.36.
West Indies will open their World Cup campaign on February 16 against Ireland, two days after the tournament bowls off.
The West Indies World Cup squad: Jason Holder (captain), Marlon Samuels (vice-captain), Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Nikita Miller, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor.