Benn, Smith back in WI T20 mix
LANKY LEFT-ARM spinner Sulieman Benn and dashing all-rounder Dwayne Smith are still in the West Indies’ Twenty20 cricket plans.
So too are out-of-favour fast bowler Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach, who is recuperating from a shoulder injury.
They are among seven Barbadians named by the selectors yesterday in a West Indies provisional 30-member squad for the defence of their title in the 2014 ICC World T20 Tournament, slated for Bangladesh from March 16 to April 6.
The others are fast bowlers Tino Best and Jason Holder, who just returned home from New Zealand, where the injury-plagued Windies were thumped 2-0 by the Black Caps, and off-spinner Ashley Nurse.
Benn, 32, was the first-choice T20 spinner for the West Indies, making his debut in 2008 but subsequently lost his place to leg-spinner Samuel Badree and off-spinner Sunil Narine. Two other left-arm spinners, Veerasammy Permaul and Nikita Miller, who were recently chosen ahead of him, are also in the provisional squad.
Smith, 30, was dropped after playing in only the first match of the 2012 tournament in Sri Lanka when the West Indies won the title with victory over the hosts in the final at the R Premadasa Stadium.
He enjoyed a prolific run with Mumbai Indians in the T20 Champions League last October, being named Player Of The Series after reeling off consecutive scores of 63, 48, 59 and 44 in his last four innings.
A noticeable omission is stroke-making Nevisian left-handed opener Kieran Powell, who made his T20I debut in the first of the two matches versus New Zealand earlier this month.
Jamaican left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie, the leading wicket-taker and Player Of The Tournament in the inaugural Caribbean Premier League with 16 scalps at an average of 13.68 and an economy rate of 6.22, is also among the 30.
Also included is lanky 24-year-old Trinidadian all-rounder Kevon Cooper, who has the experience of playing with the Chittagong Kings and Rajasthan Royals franchises in the Indian Premier League and his compatriot, Rayad Emrit, who took ten wickets playing for the Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League.
The West Indies will play all their preliminary round matches at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur. They open against India on March 23 and two days later oppose one of the ICC qualifiers.
The third match will be against Australia on March 28, followed by a showdown with Pakistan on April 1. The semi-finals are slated for April 3 and 4, with the grand final on April 6.
PROVISIONAL SQUAD: Christopher Barnwell, Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Kevon Cooper, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Rayad Emrit, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Delorn Johnson, Nikita Miller, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Chadwick Walton.