PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Devon Smith, the Windward Islands opening batsman, who led his team to the 2013 Regional Super50 crown with the bat, has been recalled to the West Indies squad.
Smith was named in the ICC Champions Trophy 15-man squad, which was released by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) on Saturday afternoon. Dwayne Bravo has been named the new One Day International captain. His deputy is fellow Trinidadian Denesh Ramdin, the wicketkeeper/batsman.
Smith, at 31 years, enjoyed his best ever domestic season this year, particularly in the shorter form of the game. In eight innings, the left hander scored 348 runs at an average of 58.00, striking one century and three fifties in the Regional Super50. He was easily the best batsman of the tournament, copping the Sir Vivian Richards Award for leading batsman. The Grenadian strokemaker also shared the Gus Logie Award for fielding with Kyle Corbin, taking seven catches.
Also named in the squad is Guyanese middle order batting stylist Ramnaresh Sarwan, who has been gaining valuable experience in English conditions, playing county cricket for Leicestershire County Cricket Club. When the Champions Trophy was last held in England, in 2004, West Indies won, memorably beating England in the final. Sarwan was then named Player of the Tournament, having scored 166 runs at an average of 83.00.
Several young players will also have the opportunity to play in what will be the final edition of the last ICC Champions Trophy. Twenty-one-year-old Barbadian fast bowling all rounder, Jason Holder, who impressed in his two ODIs against Australia earlier this year, is the among the 15 named. The new captain’s younger brother, Darren, will also touch Champions Trophy waters for the first time. Among others will be Johnson Charles, mystery spinner Sunil Narine, hard-hitting right hander Kieron Pollard and Ravi Rampaul.
Tino Best has played just one Champions Trophy game while Kemar Roach will feature in his second consecutive tournament. Former captain, Darren Sammy, was part of the 2004 and 2009 editions of the tournament. Veteran, Marlon Samuels, returns to the team after suffering an eye injury while playing in Australia’s Big Bash earlier this year.
The West Indies bowl off their Champions Trophy campaign against Pakistan on Friday June 7th at Kennington Oval in London, before taking on India four days later at the same venue. The group stage rounds off against South Africa on June 14th at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
West Indies ICC Champions Trophy Group Matches:
Friday June 7th: Pakistan v West Indies – Kennington Oval, London
Tuesday June 11th: India v West Indies – Kennington Oval, London
Friday June 14th: South Africa v West Indies – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff