Merry Boys medium pace all-rounder Marlon Richards has earned a call-up to the Trinidad and Tobago senior team ahead of their Regional Four-Day clash against the Combined Campuses and Colleges, which starts today at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain.
The former T&T Under-19 player, who scored 98 against Queen's Park Cricket Club last weekend, replaces left-arm spinner Kavesh Kantasingh in the 13-man squad.
Chairman of selectors Dudnath Ramkessoon said yesterday that the last-minute change was influenced by the news that Dwayne Bravo would not be able to bowl on the first two days of the encounter due to a slight back injury.
Ramkessoon also noted that the Oval wicket played a part in the decision.
The home team will be strengthened with the inclusion of leg-spinner Yannic Cariah, who is T&T's leading wicket-taker in the four-day competition.
He has ten wickets from two matches and is returning after missing the previous game against Guyana.
Middle order batsman Jason Mohammed is also coming back into the team after recovering from a hamstring injury. He slammed a century for his club PowerGen last weekend.
Fast bowler Ravi Rampaul is also back after recovering from a knee injury and T&T coach David Williams expects the pacer to be a handful on the Oval pitch which he says will suit the faster bowlers.
"Rampaul is a world class bowler and on that surface he is going to be a handful. We know what type of bowler he is and it is just for him to go out there and do his stuff," said Williams.
Speaking about the absence of Narine, the coach said while they will miss the spinner "we have good guys who can do the job for us."
Williams is also expecting CCC to put up a better fight in the four-day match and says patience will be the key for both teams.
"It is a different format. Four-day cricket will demand a lot more patience. We are getting used to the surface so we know what the conditions are like. We are going in with some momentum, but it is a different day and different game and we will play it as we see it," he added.
T&T will be chasing their third straight win of the 2013 campaign and are also hunting their third consecutive win over CCC in the four-day arena.
CCC have not beaten T&T since 2010 when Kantasingh, playing for CCC, put his T&T countrymen in a spin, grabbing 12 wickets in the match to hand the "Students" a 151-run win inside two days in Jamaica.
Since then T&T have come out on top and will be looking to continue that trend.