Liburd to captain Leewards
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
Kittitian batsman Steve Liburd has been retained as captain of a 13-man squad named this weekend by the Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA) for the start of the 2010 West Indies first-class season.
Liburd will have Nevisian Tonito Willett as vice-captain for the Leewards' January 8-11 opening game in Jamaica against Barbados.
The squad includes six players with West Indies experience, among them three rookies who made their West Indies debut against Bangladesh last summer - exciting left-handed batsman Kieran Powell, pacer Gavin Tonge and wicketkeeper Devon Thomas.
The other West Indies players in the John Archibald-coached unit are batsman Runako Morton, all-rounder Omari Banks and pacer Lionel Baker.
Morton was among the leading scorers last season, compiling 1,010 runs which was bettered only by Guyanese Narsingh Deonarine, with 1,068.
Morton had started the 2009 season as captain but was replaced by Liburd during the tournament because of disciplinary reasons.
Tonge and the leg-spinner Anthony Martin also featured prominently in the 2009 bowling statistics, claiming 44 and 42 wickets, respectively, to be among the top five in the extended double round-robin season.
The Leewards will be hoping to improve on their 2009 showing, when they placed third in the WICB Regional Four-day table, with 77 points behind champions Jamaica (106) and the Windward Islands (79).
Hugh Gore has been retained as team manager.
LEEWARDS SQUAD: Steve Liburd (captain),Tonito Willett (vice-captain), Kieran Powell, Montcin Hodge, Runako Morton, Codville Rogers, Wilden Cornwall, Devon Thomas, Omari Banks, Anthony Martin, Justin Athanaze, Gavin Tonge, Lionel Baker.