Chairman of the West Indies selectors Roger Harper has reviewed some of the performances in the truncated Regional first-Class season which was called off after eight rounds due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
Harper, speaking on Tuesday night’s Mason and Guest Radio programme on the Voice of Barbados, said presently not just the cricket world has been affected and when you put it into context cricket takes a back seat to the Corona Virus.
“I have not been out of the house since I came back from Trinidad on March 15” informed Harper who stated that one of the challenges was that you expected your senior international batsmen to be more consistent and get bigger scores but their performances was a little disappointing.
Harper said it was a very interesting season and said it was pleasing to see that the fast bowlers dominated.
“The old master Kemar Roach (30 wickets in 5 matches) led from the front especially in the match against Guyana, Chemar Holder (36), Preston Mc Sween (31) and Keon Harding (29) all had very good performances and were in the top seven bowlers” Harper said.
Spinners Veerasammy Permaul (50), Rakeem Cornwall (30 wickets from 5 matches) and Akeal Hosein (36) bowled well this season but Harper pointed out while they were among the leading wicket takers it was the fast bowling that caught his attention.
“Permaul had 50 wickets in eight games which means he had six wickets per match but someone who went under the radar is Anderson Phillips who had 21 from three games, which is seven wickets per match, I think he was injured at the start of the tournament”When pressed for his view on
Guyana’s Permaul, who continues to befuddle Regional batsmen season after season, Harper, a former West Indies Vice-Captain said Permaul has put his hand up and will be seriously considered.
Spinners have done well at the Regional level and they will be given a chance. Harper noted that Cornwall has done well and when he was given the chance he has shown that can perform at the International level.
“We might need to twick their approach to bowling on flatter better pitches” Harper said of the spinners.
“Our players have to learn how to convert good starts into hundreds; it’s something we have to work on. We have to work on the mental area to see why they are not converting more of their good starts” Harper noted.
“Blackwood has been in the team in past and has a Test average of 30 but has scored 768 this season with 248 in one innings and it was good see in the interview he knew what he had to do. Kyle Mayers scored 654 runs and he made two centuries and drew the attention of everyone. But we are missing
someone. Nkrumah Bonner had an average of 58 and scored two centuries and put his hands up” noted Harper.
But Harper posited that he was most impressed by 21-year-old Trinidadian Joshua Da Silva.
“He made 507 runs with a hundred and three fifties at an average of 50.7 and looked very organised against pace and spin and demonstrated good temperament under pressure…he also made a century in the super50 playing for the Emerging Players. I am very impressed with the young man.” said Harper
Five-times defending champions Guyana, lost three and won three of their eight games this season and they were dethroned by Barbados. When asked what went wrong with the Jaguars the Chairman of selectors said the Guyanese Franchise was not as consistent as in previous seasons and did put the big numbers on board.
“Young Neil Smith started well but Permaul took the brunt of the wickets and Guyana missed their main pacers Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd. Clinton Pestano was also missing due to injury. And they did not bat well this season” Harper said.
He informed that CWI should soon have a review of the championship with the Director of Cricket and other key stakeholders.
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