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Tino’s back!

Haydn Gill

Tino’s back!

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Tino Best’s big chance to wear the maroon West Indies cap is coming again after two-and-a-half years.
The ebullient Barbados fast bowler has been named in a regional 13-man squad for the first three Digicel One-Day Internationals against Australia starting next week Friday in St Vincent.
There is no place, however for compatriot Fidel Edwards, who will only be considered for Test and Twenty20 formats at this time.
In making the announcement to reporters at Kensington Oval yesterday, chairman of selectors Clyde Butts said the 30-year-old Best had been rewarded for his consistency on the regional circuit.
“We think that over the past year he has been working very hard and bowling very well in regional cricket,” Butts said.
“Ravi Rampaul is unavailable. He [Best] fits that position. He’s shown us on the field that he wants to play for West Indies.”
Best, who has made an impression with his pace in grabbing 14 wickets in three matches at the start of the 2011 four-day competition, last represented West Indies in at the 2009 Champions Trophy in South Africa and his selection comes amid widespread calls from armchair selectors.
While Best gets his chance, fellow Barbadian Edwards is missing out in a strategic move in which the selectors are considering the management of his workload.
Edwards had originally been lined up to play in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) last month but was advised by the selectors to sit out and eventually travelled to South Africa for the MiWay T20 Challenge with the blessing of the Butts-led panel.
“We advised Fidel initially that we would only pick him for T20 and Test cricket because of his workload and where he was coming from. Subsequently, Fidel got a contract to South Africa and we advised him not to go because he advised us that he was going to get a contract in the IPL [Indian Premier League],” Butts said.
“He did not get an IPL contract, came back to us, told us he got a contract to South Africa and he would like to go. The selectors and the coaching staff decided that it was only fair that we give him the opportunity to play T20 cricket – cricket that we said he should be playing.”
The squad includes no complete newcomers to international cricket, but aggressive opening batsman Johnson Charles, who played two Twenty20 Internationals in England last September, is only selectee not to have appeared in a One-Day International.
Charles’ opening partner is the left-handed Keiran Powell, whose place could be in doubt after sustaining an ankle injury during a training camp at the 3Ws Oval a few days ago.
If Powell does not recover in time, Barbadian Dwayne Smith, who has made a fine transformation to his game over the past year, will be his replacement.
Kirk Edwards, who has stood in as an opener for West Indies in the 50-over form of the game and has made immense strides in Test cricket, was not viewed as a major contender for this squad.
“At the moment we are not considering Kirk for one-day cricket. He played for us in one-day cricket last year and didn’t do too well,” Butts said.
“We’ve asked him to play Test cricket and re-establish properly in the longer version of the game. Certainly in the future, he would be considered for one-day cricket.”
Darren Sammy, captain since October 2010, will lead the team for the entire series that comprises two Tests, five One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals, while Denesh Ramdin has been named vice-captain for the first three One-Day Internationals which will be played at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex on March 16, 18 and 20.