Regional selectors have eyes on Walton

In Barbados with the compliments of GT&T, Caribbean Airlines, P&P Insurance, Noble House Seafoods, Papi’s Supermarket (Corriverton) and Oasis Water Company.

Dinesh Ramdin certainly has competition for the wicket-keeping spot on the West Indies team.
No, it is not Jamaican Carlton Baugh or Patrick Browne of Barbados, two of the regular glove men who have been  used alternately by the Regional team in the past, but 23-year-old Jamaican Chadwick Walton who is at  present the man behind the stumps for the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) team.

In 29 test matches to date, Ramdin has scored 948 runs at an average of 20.60, with a top score of 71, while in first class matches he has put together 2,328 runs from 61 matches with a highest score of 131, one of his four centuries at that level.

On the other hand Walton, who made his first class debut in last year’s Regional four-day tournament when CCC played his native Jamaica, has played seven matches and has an average of 28.18 with a top score of 63 made against the Windward Islands last March.
Walton continued to be impressive behind the stumps also, achieving 20 dismissals in his seven first class games and although Ramdin may have more dismissals (183), his is at an average of three dismissals per game.

For this year’s competition, Walton has already picked up 11 dismissals behind the stumps from three innings, up to the end of Jamaica’s first innings in his team’s second match of the tournament, including five in that same innings.

He has scored 106 runs, with a top score of 51 not out against Guyana in the second innings which helped his side send the visitors to their second successive defeat of this year’s tournament, following his 44 in the first innings of that same match.

According to chairman of selectors of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Clyde Butts, his panel have their eyes on a few wicketkeepers who are strong contenders for the wicket-keeping spot on the West Indies team, with Walton being  top of the list.

“If we look at wicketkeepers in the West Indies, I don’t think we have a question whether or not Dinesh Ramdin is the best wicketkeeper in the Caribbean or not. But at the moment, he is the best. In the test matches he did keep pretty well in New Zealand, but he is lacking in getting runs.”

“It is not a case that he cannot score runs, but we think he can bat and we always want somebody to be there, getting runs and keeping the pressure on him.

Looking at Patrick Browne, I think he is a good cricketer, but needs to work on his glove work behind the stumps a little more,” said Butts

The former Regional record holder for wickets continued:  “Over the years, if you looked at Browne’s wicket keeping, there has not been any improvements or signs of it, as well as scoring runs and keep pressuring us.”

“One look at the “A’ team that was selected, you would see that there is young Devon Thomas in there. He was the wicketkeeper at the Under-19 World Cup last year. But only today, I was saying to the guys that Chadwick Walton does not look bad at all. He appears to be a fairly competent wicketkeeper and probably somebody we can look to in the not-too-distant future.”

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