BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Barbados defied conventional wisdom and chose Kirk Edwards to lead the national team in the Caribbean Twenty20 Championship next month.
Edwards gained the nod ahead of all-rounder Dwayne Smith for the tournament, which Barbados co-hosts with Antigua and opens on January 9.
The 27-year-old Edwards impressed for West Indies in Tests over the last year, but he has failed to make the same impact in the shorter versions of the game – and was not considered for the national side for last year’s CT20.
Edwards had been identified last September as the national captain for the 2011-12 regional season, including limited-overs competitions.
But speculation arose that the Barbados Cricket Association board of management may have a re-think, after Smith led the West Indies A-Team in two matches against Bangladesh-A last month, and the national team in a series of pre-tournament T20s against Canada over the last few weeks.
It was also reported that the selectors had recommended Smith to be captain, but the BCA rejected the suggestion, leaving Edwards in the post.
Ryan Hinds, the Barbados captain last season, was not a contender, nor was Kenroy Williams, a stop-gap in the position during the Regional Super50 tournament last October, when Edwards was touring Bangladesh and India with West Indies.
No vice captain has been named, but Windies-A coach and BCA Director of Coaching Hendy Springer has been retained as Team Director, former national batsman Emmerson Trotman is batting coach, and Vasbert Drakes is bowling coach.
Barbados have been drawn in Group-B with Jamaica, Combined Campuses & Colleges, Sussex Sharks and the Netherlands.
They open against the Dutch on January 12 at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua.