He made his West Indies debut at the end of June, and since then, Samuel Badree has been waiting for his pick on the West Indies squad for a major tournament.
The PowerGen leg-spinner was understandably elated when the news came yesterday that he was among the eight Trinidad and Tobago players selected to the West Indies 2012 ICC World Twenty20 15-man squad.
Badree, together with T&T teammate Sunil Narine, are the only specialist spinners chosen, along with dashing opener Lendl Simmons, pacer Ravi Rampaul, brothers Dwayne and Darren Bravo—the latter is just returning from injury—and hard-hitting opener Kieron Pollard. T&T skipper/wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin also got the nod.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy will again lead the regional squad with Dwayne Bravo as his deputy. Also included are powerful opener Chris Gayle and middle-order batsman, Marlon Samuels.
Johnson Charles is the third opener in a strong West Indies lineup, that also boasts of express pacer Fidel Edwards, Andre Russell and dangerous all-rounder Dwayne Smith.
Badree revealed he was "quietly confident" of selection after what he felt was a "decent" performance against New Zealand. He was not disappointed.
"For any player in the West Indies to play cricket and actually make it onto the West Indies team is a dream," Badree told the Express yesterday, "and to play a huge tournament like that, I'm very elated that my childhood dream is coming to fruition.
"Over the last few years I've been consistent, I have had I think one of the best economy rates in the world, and it's good to see that all the hard work is rewarded."
Since the New Zealand tour, Badree has been training with T&T, who are currently preparing for the Champions League with a number of trial matches, as well as this weekend's quadrangular T20 festival being hosted at the Queen's Park Oval.
The West Indies go into camp next week before departing for Sri Lanka for next month's tournament. Their first warm up match is against the hosts on September 13, and they meet Australia in the first round of the tournament on September 22.
Badree, who usually opens the bowling for T&T feels West Indies have "as good a chance as any other team" to win the tournament. The Windies, he said, are strong with both bat and ball, with a number of capable all-rounders.
"As long as we prepare well and play the match as it ought to be played (we can compete)," Badree pointed out. "I see us going far and [we can] possibly win it. But it's in the crunch times that you need to perform and that will be crucial for us."