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Smith gets WI recall

HAYDN GILL, [email protected]

Smith gets WI recall

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Devon Smith’s prolific scoring in the 2017-2018 regional season has won him a recall to the West Indies Test team for the first time in three years.

The 36-year-old Grenadian opening batsman was named yesterday in a 13-man squad for an upcoming three-Test series against Sri Lanka in the Caribbean.

It comes after his remarkable run for the Windward Islands Volcanoes in the most recent Professional Cricket League Regional 4-Day Tournament in which his 1095 runs, made at an average of 84.23 and including six centuries, were the most by any batsman in the competition – almost more than 300 runs over the closest rival.

Most observers had given Smith little hope of playing international cricket since the last of his 38 Tests against England in his native Grenada in 2015 but the left-handed batsman maintained his consistency in regional competitions,
highlighted by his bumper performance this season.

It prompted a panel of journalists in the Sunday Sun Writers’ Roundtable column in January to call for his recall to the regional side.

 Just reward

The squad features the majority of those who were on last year’s Test tour of New Zealand but there is a first call-up for 27-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman Jahmar Hamilton, who becomes only the second Anguillan to gain selection in a senior West Indies squad, following Omari Banks.

Hamilton, who made his first-class debut as a teenager in 2008, averages 27 with the bat and in his most recent outing for the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, he scored 237 runs at an average of 16.92

In announcing the squad, chairman of selectors Courtney Browne said the inclusion of Smith and Hamilton was just reward for performance.

“We have retained the core of the Test team as they remain competitive even after a tough series in New Zealand. Devon Smith had an outstanding year and players who excel to that degree should be recognised. We are trying to improve our top order batting performances,” Browne said in a media release for Cricket West Indies.

“Jamar Hamilton comes into the squad after consecutive strong performances over the last three years and showed even better quality in the ‘A’ team series against the England Lions. We wish the team every success.”

Smith is one of three opening batsmen in the squad, alongside Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell, while Hamilton is one two wicketkeeper/batsmen, joining Shane Dowrich.

The three-match series will start on June 6 at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad with the second Test at the Daren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia from June 14 and the final Test – the first day/night Test in the Caribbean at Kensington Oval beginning on June 23. (HG)