Black Immigrant Daily News
West Indies have called up uncapped players Alrick Athanaze and Akeem Jordan in a 15-member squad for their upcoming Test tour of South Africa.
Left-hander Athanaze was the leading run-scorer at the Under-19 World Cup in 2018, just ahead of Shubman Gill, and played for West Indies A against Bangladesh last year.
Athanaze, 24, has captained Windward Island Volcanoes in the ongoing four-day West Indies Championship. He scored a maiden first-class hundred a week ago.
Jordan, a right-arm seam bowler, plays for Barbados Pride.
Athanaze replaces Jamaican Nkrumah Bonner in one of two changes to the squad that won 1-0 in Bangladesh. Jomel Warrican, the left-arm spinner, is replaced by 28-year-old Jordan, who has only played five games in his first-class career. He is the leading wicket-taker after two rounds of the West Indies Championship, with 12 scalps at 16.58.
Jayden Seales is unavailable for selection following a knee injury and subsequent surgery, while Anderson Philiip has returned to training but is not yet match-fit.
“Athanaze is one of the young players who we have invested in, and he played well in the A Team and CWI President’s XI,” said Desmond Haynes, West Indies’ lead selector. “He showed great promise in the CG United Super50 last year and then got his first hundred in the West Indies Championship last week. We believe he should be given an opportunity at this level. He has also showed leadership, as captain of the Windwards at the start of this season.”
Haynes described Jordan as “very skillful.”
Haynes further added that “He can bowl the new ball, and looks to put the ball in the right areas. He is also a sharp fielder and good catcher close to the wicket.”
West Indies are scheduled to arrive in South Africa on Friday. They will play a warm-up match in Benoni (February 21-24) before Tests in Centurion (February 28-March 4) and Johannesburg (March 8-12), with three ODIs and three T20Is following from March 16-28.
“This will be a challenging tour,” Haynes said. “There is no easy away tour in Test cricket. South Africa have a good team, but I am sure we will be up for the task and will do well in these two Test matches.”
The series is the final Test fixture for both teams in the ICC World Test Championship. West Indies are currently in sixth place and have the opportunity, with a series win to move above South Africa, currently in fourth place, in the final table.
West Indies squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Alick Athanaze, Jermaine Blackwood, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Akeem Jordan, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Devon Thomas.
FULL MATCH SCHEDULE
21 to 24 February: vs South Africa Invitational XI at Willowmoore Park, Benoni28 February to 4 March: 1st Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion8-12 March: 2nd Test at the Wanderers, Johannesburg16 March: 1st ODI at Buffalo Park, East London (day/night)18 March: 2nd ODI at Buffalo Park, East London (day/night)21 March: 3rd ODI at JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom25 March: 1st T20Is at SuperSport Park, Centurion26 March: 2nd T20I at SuperSport Park, Centurion28 March: 3rd T20I at the Wanderers, Johannesburg