Hemraj, Paul in squad for Tri-Nations Series

Keemo Paul

ST JOHN’S, Antigua,  CMC – Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood and all-rounder Raymon Reifer have been named in a West Indies A squad for a Tri-Nations Series in England later this month, as selectors continue to fine-tune their plans for next year’s World Cup.

The 26-year-old Blackwood, who played the last of his two One-Day Internationals nearly three years ago, was recently dropped from the Test squad to face Sri Lanka starting next week.

Chandrapaul Hemraj

He was included in the 13-man CWI President’s XI squad for the ongoing three-day tour match against Sri Lanka in Trinidad but has not played.

Blackwood was in good nick for Windies A earlier this year, scoring two half-centuries in a three-match one-day series against England Lions in Antigua.

Reifer, currently campaigning in the Sri Lanka tour game, played his only Test against New Zealand last December. A steady left-arm seamer and lower order batsman, the 27-year-old is yet to play an ODI.

Sunil Ambris, meanwhile, has the chance to continue his comeback with his inclusion. He made his ODI on last September’s tour of England before making his Test debut against the Black Caps three months later, where he broke his arm in the second Test.

He made a return to competitive cricket in the ongoing tour game and is one four players in the A squad with Test experience, with left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican also named.

All-rounder Rovman Powell and Jason Mohammed, both fixtures in the ODI side, are joined by 20-year-old speedster Keemo Paul in the squad, which also sees the return of veteran wicketkeeper batsman Devon Thomas.

The 28-year-old Thomas has played 23 ODIs but has not represented West Indies in five years. He, however, struck an impressive unbeaten hundred in the Super50 Championship last February.

Highly-regarded 20-year-old Barbadian pacers Dominic Drakes and Chemar Holder have also gotten the nod.

“As we look ahead to preparing for the 2019 ICC World Cup, the panel has included a mix of current ODI players and also some exciting young fast bowlers that are part of the fast bowling camp currently ongoing in Antigua,” chief selector Courtney Browne said.

“Sunil Ambris is also returning from injury. The panel is looking forward to also identifying any talent that can be part of the 2019 ICC World Cup squad.”

West Indies A play warm-up one-day matches against Warwickshire on June 17 and Worcestershire two days later, before opening their Tri-Nations campaign against England Lions on June 23.

The tournament, which also involves India A, runs from June 22 to July 2, with the final slated for the Oval.

Mohammed will lead the side while former West Indies captain Floyd Reifer continues as head coach.

SQUAD – Jason Mohammed (captain), Sunil Ambris, Jermaine Blackwood, Rahkeem Cornwall, Dominic Drakes, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Chemar Holder, Andre McCarthy, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Devon Thomas, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican.

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