Stoute, Braff new Barbados skippers
By Ezra Stuart | Thu, January 09, 2014 - 12:03 AM
In a dramatic turn of events, the outspoken Kirk Edwards has had his stumps shattered as Barbados cricket captain.
He has been replaced by affable Kevin Stoute who will now captain Barbados in the upcoming NAGICO Super50 Cup in Trinidad and Tobago, while 21-year-old opener Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the side in the regional four-day first-class championship.
Stoute and Brathwaite were informed of their appointments during a training session at Kensington Oval yesterday but up to press time the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) had not made an official release.
The news came only hours after Edwards, who led Barbados in both competitions last year, winning the four-day title, had fashioned a sparkling maiden One-Day International century in the fifth and final ODI against New Zealand in Hamilton.
Investigations by NATION SPORT revealed that Edwards was recommended by the selection panel, chaired by Hendy Wallace, but the BCA Board at a meeting on Monday night, rejected the recommendation, voting instead for Stoute and Brathwaite.
When contacted yesterday, the 28-year-old Stoute, who has three centuries in 34 first-class matches with a batting avearge of 29.03 and has captured 61 wickets at an average of 22.09, said he was up to the task of leading Barbados.
“It is a big surprise but it is always an honour to captain Barbados knowing its cricket’s legacy and all the greats who have captained Barbados before,” Stoute said.
Stoute, a former West Indies “A” player, has had some leadership experience, skippering St Michael Merchants in the C.O. Williams/UWI Inter-Parish Tournament and his club in Trinidad and Tobago.
He also led his local club, ICBL Empire in a few matches last season but this is the first time he is captaining a Barbados side at any level.
“I want to say thanks to the BCA’s Board and the selectors for giving me the opportunity and having faith in me to go out there and lead Barbados. It will be a challenge and I am looking forward to it as we have a very experienced side, full of West Indies players and “A” team and others who have played for Barbados for a while,” he said.
After failing to reach the semi-finals last year in the Super-50, Stoute is optimistic that they can be triumphant this time around when the One-Day tournament bowls off at month-end.
“I think we have a very good chance. The Barbados side is a very experienced one with players such as Tino Best, Dwayne Smith, Sulieman Benn and Kirk Edwards and others who have all represented the West Indies at some level.
“That makes it a lot easier for me, knowing there is so much experience on the team. I have been around the side for the last six years or so and know all the players very well,” he said.
“We also have a lot of all-rounders so we should have a lot of different options and that is always a good thing,” added Stoute, who averages 29.13 with the bat and 23.83 with the ball in 22 List ‘A’ matches.
Stoute said he has been heartened by the number of congratulatory calls he had received from senior players and past Barbados cricketers.
“I want to say thanks to everyone for the calls. Kirk also messaged me from New Zealand and wished me all the best. We also had a practice session this morning (yesterday) and everyone seemed keen.
“We laughed and had fun. The guys are ready to represent Barbados and play hard and tough cricket to win the title.”
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