FALMOUTH, Trelawny, CMC – WICB President’s XI head coach, Graeme West, said Thursday it was important those players on the fringe of West Indies selection used the three-day tour game against Pakistan to remind selectors of their credentials.
The side, led by Shamarh Brooks, face touring Pakistan in the contest starting at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium on Saturday, and West said the fixture was also another opportunity for regional playes to test their skills against international opposition.
“These are really, really big games and I think it is important that we play against all the touring sides when they come over,” he pointed out. “It’s great for the selectors, they get to see the players and how close they actually are to progressing to the senior team and for the guys themselves it’s about proving to themselves that they are able to play as this level and the different challenge is the Pakistani seam attack.
“They’ve got great skills – swinging the ball – plus we know this particular squad has several leg-spinners and again there is a shortage of those in the Caribbean.” The President’s XI squad includes the likes of left-handed opener Kieran Powell and fast bowler Kemar Roach both of whom are looking to force their way back into the Test squad following spells on the sidelines. Just as importantly, players like opener Kyle Hope, all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall and Jahmar Hamilton will be all hoping to force their way into contention, after already impressing at the West Indies A level.
West said while it was the objective of every player to break into the international side, it was also crucial they continued to develop their skills.
“[It’s] another chance to demonstrate that the learning that is taking place in first class cricket is put to the test against international quality – the world’s best in some cases,” the Englishman said.
“We’ve had a couple of days now to start to come to terms with the facilities here at Trelawny [and] get a bit of familiarity with everything. Of course the objective for every player is to get into the senior team and do well at that level. “This is a stepping stone for the players, some who are probably still gaining experience whereas others will feel they are knocking the door quite hard at the moment.”