Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies pacer Ravi Rampaul will not be taking part in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) fitness testing in preparation for the limited overs leg of the upcoming Australian tour of the Caribbean later this month.
According to a WICB media release yesterday, Rampaul, who is under contract with the Board, is “unwell and unable to attend the fitness testing”.
Rampaul has not played for T&T so far in the 2012 Regional Four-Day Tournament due to injury.
Also out is Trinidad and Tobago opener Lendl Simmons, who is nursing a fractured finger.
The 17 other WICB-contracted players and 13 additional players, who are in contention for the ODIs and T20 internationals against Australia, were called to take part in the fitness testing, which starts today in Barbados and will be managed by West Indies coach Ottis Gibson.
The limited overs squad to face Australia will then remain in Barbados for a preparatory camp before travelling to St Vincent ahead of the first match of the series, which bowls off on March 16 at Arnos Vale Cricket Ground.
Among those not called for testing were Jamaica’s Chris Gayle and Jerome Taylor as well as Guyana’s Ramnaresh Sarwan.
West Indies face Australia in two T20 internationals and five ODIs and three Tests in April.
The other Trinidad and Tobago players called are batsmen Darren Bravo and Adrian Barath, spinners Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree, wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin, pacer Shannon Gabriel and all-rounders Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo.
Last year, T&T had as many as eight players in the West Indies ODI touring squad in India, with Narine and Jason Mohammed both making their international debuts and Pollard slamming his maiden ODI century.
Darren Bravo, Simmons, Ramdin, Rampaul and Barath were all involved in the Indian series, but it is unlikely that T&T will get as many picks this time around with Barath, Simmons, Ramdin and Rampaul all fighting to regain full fitness.
Barbados had six players called for testing, including pacer Tino Best and hard-hitting batsman Dwayne Smith.
Best last played an ODI for the West Indies in 2009, while Smith’s last ODI appearance was in 2010.
The other Bajans in the 30-man listing are pacers Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach and batsmen Kirk Edwards and Kraigg Brathwaite. Brathwaite is yet to make his ODI and T20 international debut.