West - HPC’s chance to make their mark
Barbados Nation article.
Bridgetown, Barbados - The next generation of West Indian cricketers will get an opportunity over the next three weeks to stake claims for selection on the West Indies’ senior teams during a series of matches against the touring Bangladesh “A” team.
Starting today, a West Indies High Performance Centre (HPC) team, under the captaincy of Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite, will take on the young Bangladeshis in a four-day match at Windward Club in St Philip.
Englishman Graeme West, who is the head coach of the HPC programme, said the selectors had assembled “a group of players that have all got something to prove one way or the other”.
“All of those guys are going to be hungry to get some success over the next couple of weeks. The games are going to be a great opportunity for some of those guys to demonstrate what they are learning,” he said.
Over the past week, they have benefited from advice from legendary former West Indies captain and master batsman, Sir Vivian Richards during a preparatory training camp.
The West Indian reserves will be up against Bangladesh “A”, who include as many as eight players who have Test experience, including captain Nasir Hossain, exciting left-handed batsman Monimul Haque, opener Imrul Kayes, off-spinning all-rounder Sohag Gazi and left-arm spinner Elias Sunny.
Hossain averages 42.45 after 14 Tests while Monimul has already scored three hundreds and three half-centuries in seven Tests while averaging 75.50.
Sunny and Gazi both marked their Test debut against the West Indies with six-wicket innings hauls.
Apart from Brathwaite, HPC have three other players in leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, left-handed batsman Assad Fudadin and left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell, who have played Test cricket.
West reckons Bishoo, who took 40 wickets in his 11 Tests and was named ICC Emerging Cricketer Of The Year for 2011 but was subsequently dropped, is starting to rediscover the art of wicket-taking.
“There were good signs toward the end of the regional season. He’s certainly gaining in confidence,” West said in reference to his 15-wicket match haul against Trinidad and Tobago, including nine first innings wickets.
West is also hoping for more consistency from talented left-handed batsman Jonathan Carter.
The teams will meet in a second four-day match at Kensington Oval, June 2-5, followed by a three-match One-Day series, June 8, 10 and 12 and two Twenty20s on June 14 and 15.
Sagicor High Performance Centre (from): Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Sunil Ambris, Ronsford Beaton, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Miguel Cummins, Assad Fudadin, Leon Johnson, Ashley Nurse, Chadwick Walton.
Bangladesh “A” (from): Nasir Hossain (captain), Naeem Islam, Imrul Kayes, Shamsur Rahman, Mominul Haque, Marshall Ayub, Abdul Majid, Mustafizur Rahman, Nurul Hasan (wk), Sohag Gazi, Muktar Ali, Elias Sunny, Robiul Islam, Subashis Roy, Taijul Islam.