Champions Windward Islands will be forced to defend their Super50 title without captain and allrounder Darren Sammy who announced yesterday his decision to withdraw as a result of injury.
Sammy, the West Indies Test and T20 captain sustained a hamstring injury during the recent tour of New Zealand and has not fully recovered.
He will be replaced by fellow allrounder Craig Emmanuel, while Liam Sebastien will assume the role as captain and Andre Fletcher the new vice-captain.
“I suffered a Grade 2 injury in New Zealand and it is still not fully healed. I still require some more time to get back ‘on the park’,” Sammy told WICB Media.
“I want to make sure I’m at peak fitness when I make my return. I’m looking to make a return when we [West Indies] play against Ireland in Jamaica in second half of February”.
Sammy will travel to Antigua this week to continue his rehabilitation with Hector Martinez Charles, the West Indies team’s strength and conditioning co-ordinator.
New captain Sebastien was at the helm when the Windwards won the tournament last year.
“We [Windwards] did really well last year under the captaincy of Liam and won the tournament in style... so I’m backing my team to do it again this year,” said Sammy.
“Craig (Emmanuel) is a good, experienced cricketer who is very capable of performing at this level.”
The NAGICO Super50 tournament will run from January 30 to February 15 and will be broadcast live on ESPN for the television audience and on Caribbean Super Station radio. Matches will be played at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain and Shaw Park, Tobago.
Windward Islands squad: Liam Sebastien (captain), Andre Fletcher (vice captain), Johnson Charles (wicket-keeper), Tyron Theophille, Mervin Matthew, Craig Emmanuel, Garey Mathurin, Keddy Lesporis, Devon Smith, Dalton Polius, Delorn Johnson, Kenroy Peters, Romel Currency, Alston Bobb.
Zone A: Windward Islands, Jamaica, Guyana, Ireland
Zone B: Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Leeward Islands, Combined Campuses & Colleges
Thursday 30: Windwards vs Jamaica at Queen’s Park Oval
Friday 31: Guyana vs Ireland at Queen’s Park Oval
Saturday 1: Leewards vs CCC at Queen’s Park Oval
Sunday 2: T&T vs Barbados at Queen’s Park Oval
Monday 3: Jamaica vs Ireland at Queen’s Park Oval
Tuesday 4: Guyana vs Windwards at Queen’s Park Oval
Wednesday 5: Leewards vs T&T at Shaw Park
Thursday 6: CCC vs Barbados at Shaw Park
Friday 7: Ireland vs Windwards at Queen’s Park Oval
Saturday 8: Guyana vs Jamaica at Queen’s Park Oval
Sunday 9: CCC vs T&T at Queen’s Park Oval
Monday 10: Barbados vs Leewards at Queen’s Park Oval
Wednesday 12: Semi-final 1 – Zone A winner vs Zone B second at Queen’s Park Oval
Thursday 13: Semi-final 2 – Zone B winner vs Zone A second at Queen’s Park Oval
Saturday 15: FINAL – Winner of semi-final 1 vs Winner of semi-final 2 at Queen’s Park Oval