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Ramdin, Rampaul, Barath, Bravo return for T&T

By Roger Seepersad

Trinidad and Tobago's top run-scorer Denesh Ramdin returns from injury to captain a strengthened national squad for the Regional Four-Day Tournament semi-final against Barbados, which bowls off on Friday at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain.

T&T also welcome back West Indies batsmen Adrian Barath and Darren Bravo and pace bowler Ravi Rampaul and chairman of selectors Dudnath Ramkessoon believes those players will bolster the team and give them the best chance of advancing to the final.

Ramdin and Bravo, who were T&T's most consistent batsman in the four-day tournament, were both called up to the West Indies squad for the ODI series against Australia, but Ramdin was sidelined with a finger injury, which ruled him out of the five-match contest.

Ramkessoon confirmed that the wicket-keeper has recovered and will be a big boost to the team's batting.

Gibran Mohammed was also retained in the squad and may keep wicket while Ramdin plays as a specialist batsman.

Barath, one of two players injured during the previous encounter with Barbados in February, returned to action with a century against Guyana and was subsequently called up to the Windies squad for the final two ODIs of the series.

Barath was not selected in the West Indies Twenty20 squad and will be available for Trinidad and Tobago.

Bravo played all five ODIs and the first T20 yesterday but Ramkessoon confirmed that the left-hand middle order batsman would be available for the clash against Barbados.

Rampaul has not played for T&T in the four-day tournament this season.

He returned to action for his club PowerGen Penal over the weekend and says he is eager to make a comeback following injuries and illness which kept him on the sidelines since the Caribbean T20 in January.

"This is definitely a strengthened team. We got back four of our international players, which will be a big boost heading into the match," Ramkessoon told the Express yesterday.

"Barath came back against Guyana and made an immediate impact. Ramdin, Bravo, Rampaul...these are all West Indies players with a lot of experience and we welcome them back," he added.

Making way for the for the returning players are Jason Mohammed, who has struggled with the bat this season, all-rounder Teshawn Castro, who made his first class debut against the Leewards last weekend, and left-arm wrist-spinner Emile Rajah.

T&T squad: Denesh Ramdin (captain), Justin Guillen, Marlon Barclay, Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Rayad Emrit, Gibran Mohammed, Aneil Kanhai, Ravi Rampaul, Shannon Gabriel, Kavesh Kantasingh, Imran Khan, Elvin Lewis

Officials: Omar Khan (manager), Kelvin Williams (coach), Ronald Rogers (trainer), Oba Gulston (physiotherapist), Denesh Mahabir (video-analyst).

Points standings following the seventh and final round of preliminary round matches in the Regional Four-Day Championship which finished on Monday:

M W L D Pts

Jamaica 6 6 - - 72

Barbados 6 4 2 - 48

T&T 6 3 2 1 46

Guyana 6 3 2 1 39

Windwards 6 2 4 - 28

CCC 6 1 5 - 16

Leewards 6 1 5 - 12

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