This weekend’s Eastern Credit Union National League Premier Division could play a big role in helping the Trinidad and Tobago selectors decide on the final squad for next week’s Regional Four-Day Tournament match against Jamaica at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.
That was the view of T&T Cricket Board chairman of selectors Dudnath Ramkessoon who said he and the other selectors will be looking carefully at the performances of the players this weekend, especially after eight of T&T’s top players were drafted into a West Indies Cricket Board training camp in preparation for the limited over matches against Australia later this month.
The training camp, which starts today in Barbados and runs until March 12, clashes with Trinidad and Tobago’s top-of-the-table match with the defending champions (March 9-12) and Ramkessoon said they are already looking at their options.
“If you look at our players and the way they have performed so far, I expect a number of them will be playing for the West Indies against Australia. The majority of our players will make the cut once they are fit,” Ramkessoon said.
As it stands, Trinidad and Tobago who are already without Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath and Ravi Rampaul due to injury, could be losing their top two batsmen in Denesh Ramdin and Darren Bravo and leading bowler in Sunil Narine.
The other T&T cricketers in the camp are spinner Samuel Badree and pacer Shannon Gabriel.
Speaking about some of the players included in the camp, Ramkessoon said: “Sunil, based on his outstanding performances, should be a certainty on the team. Rampaul, I think once he goes to the camp and is fit and if he bowls well, he will play. He is one of their (West Indies) front-line bowlers. Bravo (Dwayne) has been called back so they will be looking at him.
“We have a number of players who I think can make the (West Indies) team but we will have to wait until Tuesday until they (the West Indies selectors) select the team and then we will know who will be available for us next weekend,” he added.
WICB CEO Ernest Hilaire said that the second part of the camp from March 5-12 includes testing of players during the first two days, following which players will be selected to the West Indies team and that those who are not on the (ODI) squad will go back and play for their home teams.
Looking ahead to the clash with Jamaica, Ramkessoon said: “We have a number of players who played in the last game who will be available and we have a number of reserves including Marlon Barclay, Teshawn Castro, Yannic Cariah and Atiba Allert.
“We have to look at the players that are available. The two-day league games this weekend will give us an opportunity to see how they perform before we meet to select the team on Tuesday.
Anybody showing form at this point in time could attract the attention and could find a place on the squad,” Ramkessoon added.