Arnos Vale, St. Vincent – Fast bowler Delorn Johnson, the former West Indies A team and the current Windward Islands player will lead the national senior male team in the Windward Islands cricket tournament later this month. Johnson was elevated to the post after serving as deputy in 2017 when Sunil Ambris captained the team to the championship in the same tournament. Johnson’s promotion follows Ambris’s absence, as he prepares to play against a touring Sri Lankan team for a Windies selected side.
The skillful left-arm seamer, who has 132 first-class wickets at 24.53 and 49 List A wickets at 26.10 indicated his excitement at the opportunity to lead his national team. “It is a great opportunity and I look forward to the partnership with Keron Cottoy as the vice-captain, who is a personal longtime friend of mine,” said Captain Johnson. He further expressed his confidence in the team. “We have some exciting players, including new fast bowler Darius Martin, who is learning quite quickly, and the rest of the guys are ready to play good competitive cricket as a unit,” elaborated the tall fast bowler.
Cottoy is one of the senior players who is expected to lend support to Johnson. The new vice captain returned to competitive cricket earlier this year, following a 2-year injury-absence. He represented Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) in the Regional Super 50 tournament 2018 and currently is a cricket scholar at the Cave Hill campus, University of West Indies, pursuing a masters degree in sports science.
The team also includes the experienced Donwell Hector and Alston Bobb, both of whom have played first-class cricket and are expected to comprise the leadership core on tour.
Two debutants were promoted to the senior team, in wicketkeeper, Anson Latchman and right-arm fast bowler, Darius Martin. Other young players named by the Roland Wilkinson-led selection panel are Romano Pierre, Obed McCoy, and Ray Jordan. While seasoned players Atticus Browne, Kenneth Dember, Desron Maloney, and Casmond Walters make up the full 13-man squad.
Chairman Wilkinson echoed much enthusiasm about the prospect of defending the title with the team selected. “I am really confident that the guys will perform well, and once they execute their potential, then there is no reason why they cannot retain the championship,” said Wilkinson. On the introduction of the fitness policy, he shared the observation that “it was truly a test for the selection panel, coaches, and executive members, to ensure that we get this right even in our first year, and I am pleased with the outcome, in that we have players who now have more appreciation for their own fitness and eventually, I am sure we will have more consistent performances from our players” explained Wilkinson, who is also a Windward Islands selector.
In addition to Ambris’s absence, Windies speedster Kesrick Williams is unavailable due to his selection for the Windies T20 team that will take on the World XI at Lords, England on May 31, 2018. Former Windies T20 batsman, Miles Bascombe is also unavailable due to personal commitment.
The tournament will be hosted by Saint Lucia from May 25 – 31, 2018. This year format will be 50 overs. The fixtures will be a round robin stage, then 3rd place and finals.
Full team: Delorn Johnson (cpt), Keron Cottoy (vc), Alston Bobb, Atticus Browne, Donwell Hector, Kenneth Dember, Ray Jordan, Anson Latchman (wkt), Desron Maloney, Darius Martin, Obed McCoy, Romano Pierre, and Casmond Walters.
Management Team: Elvis Browne (manager), Nixon Mclean (head coach), Dyke Cato (assistant coach/video analyst)
Reserves: Rasheed Frederick, Richie Richards, Seon Sween, and Rickford Walker.
Changes from last year:
IN: Keron Cottoy, Alston Bobb, Atticus Browne, Anson Latchman, Desron Maloney, and Darius Martin
Out: Sunil Ambris, Miles Bascombe, Seon Sween, Rickford Walker, Shaquille Browne (injured), Wayne Harper, Asif Hooper, and Gidron Pope