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  • Jaguars tighten grip after Singh’s hundred, record stand

    ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Vishaul Singh hit his second hundred of the season and shared a record stand with fellow left-handed century-maker Leon Johnson to help Guyana Jaguars build a massive first innings total against Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in their key Digicel 4-Day Championship match on Friday.

    But Red Force openers, Windies batsman Kyle Hope and former Windies Under-19 player Amir Jangoo, gave their side a strong start to their reply on the second day of their top-of-the-table, day/night, fourth-round battle at the Brian Lara Cricket Ground.

    At Warner Park, a defiant, half-century stand between Windies “A” Team all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall and rookie Terence Warde led a late recovery Leeward Islands Hurricanes, after Jamaica Scorpions captain and champion left-arm spinner Nikita Miller undermined their middle order.

    And, a couple of late wickets for Test left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican tilted the balance Barbados Pride’s way against Windward Islands’ Volcanoes at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex.



    • For “live” scores and webcasts of the matches, visit the Match Centre

    on the Cricket West Indies website and click the “DOMESTIC” tab:

    http://cricketwestindies.org/index.php/match-centre/ 

    • Also, get the scores of the matches

    on the Windies Live app for your mobile device.

    It’s free! It’s available for iPhone and Android devices.



    Jaguars (484-8 dec) vs Red Force 51-0 in Tarouba, Trinidad

    Jangoo was not out on 32 and Hope was not out on 18, as they batted through 19 overs in an hour-and-a-half before stumps were drawn to give Red Force a strong start to their reply.

    Singh made an even 100 – his eighth first-class hundred – to become the second century-maker of the innings behind Johnson, whose 165 helped to propel Jaguars to a declaration just over an hour before the scheduled close.

    Singh has reeled off scores of 119, 8 not out, 97 and 34 prior to this innings after he missed the first match of the season, due to his involvement with the Windies “A” Team in their three “Test” home series against Sri Lanka “A”.

    He put on 183 with Johnson, establishing a new Jaguars third-wicket record against Red Force in the modern era of the West Indies first-class championship (1966 onwards) to eclipse the previous mark of 179 shared between legendary, former Windies captain Clive Lloyd and another former Windies batsman Len Baichan 44 years ago at Skeldon in Guyana.

    Sophomore off-spinner Bryan Charles captured 5-134 from 43 overs to be the pick of the Red Force bowlers on an unresponsive pitch.


    Scorpions (342) vs Hurricanes (209) in Basseterre, St. Kitts

    Cornwall followed up a typically steady bowling effort with a resolute batting to reach 28 not out and Warde was not out on 21, as they helped their side recover from a mid-innings crisis triggered by Miller.

    The pair has so far shared 59 – unbroken – for the seventh wicket to stabilize the Hurricanes’ innings, after Miller, playing his first match of the season, grabbed 3-56 from 27 overs to leave the home team wobbling on 150 for six.

    Hurricanes had failed to build on a half-century opening stand between Windies “A” Team opener Montcin Hodge and rugged, former Kent left-hander Chesney Hughes, losing wickets at regular intervals to undermine their bid for a strong reply.

    Hodge has led the way for the Hurricanes with an even 50, Devon Thomas and Jamaica-born Nkrumah Bonner both made 33, and Hughes supported with 20.

    This followed token resistance from the Scorpions before they were bowled out in their first innings with Paul Palmer, their captain for the first three matches in Miller’s absence, leading the way with 86.

    Cornwall was the most successful Hurricanes bowler, taking 4-86 from 29.3 overs, and there were two wickets apiece for Jeremiah Louis and Sheeno Berridge.


    Pride (360) vs Volcanoes 151-5 in Kingstown, St. Vincent

    Warrican struck twice in as many balls, knocking over two players with whom he is very familiar to put the Volcanoes on the back foot.

    The home team were in good shape on 89 for two, but Warrican removed Barbados-based batsman Kavem Hodge for 38 and former Pride captain Kirk Edwards without scoring in successive deliveries.

    But Roland Cato, not out 47, and Barbadian Kyle Mayers, not out on 21, batted through almost an hour to carry the Volcanoes through to stumps.

    Earlier, Pride were dismissed about 40 minutes after lunch, after resuming from their overnight 273 for five.

    All-rounder Kevin Stoute hit the top score of 84 and his clubmate Justin Greaves carved out 54 in a valuable 91-run, sixth-wicket stand.

    Volcanoes captain Tyrone Theophile captured a career-best 5-56 from 23 overs with his part-time off-spin to be the unlikely bowling hero for his side and Test off-spinner Shane Shillingford supported with 3-102 from 45 overs.

  • Regional coaches complete Level 1 and Level 3 coaching programmes

    St John’s, ANTIGUA – Cricket West Indies (CWI) just concluded two important sessions as part of its continued efforts to improve its role in coaching education. 

    The Level 3 course was the second one in the region, the first was held in Barbados in 2016. A total of 25 Regional coaches participated in the course including former Windies players Curtly Ambrose, Stuart Williams, Ryan Hinds and Pedro Collins.

    The course focused on equipping the coaches with the technical and soft skills to develop performance players and elite players. Coaches were reminded that they have a responsibility towards the athletes. They were given guidelines to develop management styles, leadership qualities and communication channels with their players. The sessions were a mixture of practical and theoretical learning, with focus on sports science, strength and conditioning and psychology. 

    The course was led by the ECB with eight coaches; while four coaches from the West Indies (Gus Logie, Henderson Springer, Anthony Gray and Jeffery Dujon) co-presented on fast and spin bowling, fielding and wicket-keeping. 

    The coaches in the course came from Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Coaches from Canada, Bermuda (ICC Americas) also participated, as part of CWI’s commitment to ICC America’s cricket development. WIPA also had a representative in the course.

    Tim Dellor, Operations Manager of the ECB’s Level 3 coaching programme and facilitator of this course in Antigua said, “First of all, I always think it’s important that they enjoy it…. We also tried to give them opportunities to actually coach whilst we’re with them…. So they can go out and practice that.”

    At the end of the course, the coaches were given assignments to complete. They will complete these in their respective home countries and then reassemble for a final assessment to complete the course in February 2018.

    Upon completion, Level 3 certified coaches from the region will be able to work as recognized level 3 coaches in the UK.

    The course ran for ten days and ended on Wednesday, November 15 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground. 

    LEVEL ONE

    Another 10 coaches from around the region and St. Maarten completed a Level 1 programme. The course was facilitated by Junie Mitchum, Kumar Rampat and Steve Liburd. 

    The ten coaches would have previously been trained in first aid, certified in the CWI/UNICEF Child Protection Courses and have a clean police record.

  • Round-up: Digicel 4-Day Round 4, Day 1

    ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Guyana Jaguars captain Leon Johnson gathered his fifth first-class hundred to give his side a firm foundation in their top-of-the-table, Digicel 4-Day Championship match against Trinidad & Tobago Red Force on Thursday.

    The Test left-hander also shared a record second-wicket stand with fellow left-hander, opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul, son of former Windies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul, that gave the Jaguars the early ascendancy in their day/night, key fourth-round match at the Brian Lara Cricket Ground.

    In the other two matches: batsmen flourished, as a handful reached half-centuries, but unlike Johnson, none carried on to a hundred, as Jamaica Scorpions and Barbados Pride made strong starts against Leeward Islands Hurricanes and Windward Islands Volcanoes at Warner Park and Arnos Vale Sports Complex respectively.



    • For “live” scores and webcasts of the matches, visit the Match Centre

    on the Cricket West Indies website and click the “DOMESTIC” tab:

    http://cricketwestindies.org/index.php/match-centre/

    • Also, get the scores of the matches

    on the Windies Live app for your mobile device.

    It’s free! It’s available for iPhone and Android devices. 



    Jaguars 245-2 vs Red Force in Tarouba, Trinidad

    Johnson batted resolutely for close to five hours for an undefeated 106 that was the rock upon which the Jaguars built, after they decided to bat.

    He struck hit 11 fours from 218 balls and put on 174 with the younger Chanderpaul, establishing a new Jaguars second-wicket record against Red Force in the modern era of the West Indies first-class championship (1966 onwards).

    They coincidentally, eclipsed the previous mark of 165 shared between two former West Indies star left-handers, the late Roy Fredericks and Alvin Kallicharran, 45 years ago at Queen’s Park Oval.

    Chanderpaul fell for 84 in the final hour of play, but Test left-hander Vishaul Singh came to the crease and stayed with Johnson until the close during which time the Jaguars captain reached his landmark from 201 balls. 

    Red Force, whose bowling unit was boosted with the return of Test left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell, got little assistance from the pitch and the pink-ball failed to play tricks on the Jaguars batsmen.


    Scorpions 315-7 vs Hurricanes in Basseterre, St. Kitts

    Paul Palmer will be eyeing his maiden first-class hundred after helping the Scorpions finish with the day’s highest total, after they decided to bat. 

    Palmer was unbeaten on 78, but left-handers Assad Fudadin and John Campbell made 58 and 57 respectively, as the Scorpions used the well-known Warner Park batting paradise to restore confidence. 

    The trio were involved in a combination of partnerships that saw the visitors plunder a weakened Hurricanes attack to their hearts’ delight before losing a cluster of wickets in the final session, as the home team fought back.

    Hurricanes captain Rahkeem Cornwall opened the bowling with his off-spin and was the pick of his side’s attack, taking 3-84 from 28 overs.

    After a brief delay to the start, Campbell and fellow opener Garth Garvey used the first hour to give their side a solid base with a stand of 47 before the Hurricanes made the breakthrough. 

    Fudadin came to the crease and ushered Campbell to his 50, as they consolidated for the Scorpions with a stand of 55.

    After Campbell’s dismissal sent the Scorpions to lunch on 102 for two and they stumbled to 129 for three with the dismissal of Brandon King, Fudadin continued merrily to his 50 and shared 70 with Palmer he was dismissed in the final over before tea, which saw the Scorpions reach 199 for four.

    After the break, the runs continued to flow for the Scorpions, but they continued to bleed wickets, as former United States captain Steven Taylor was one of three wickets that fell inside the final hour.


    Pride 273-5 vs Volcanoes in Kingstown, St. Vincent

    Uncapped left-handed opener Anthony Alleyne led a strong batting parade from the Pride with 82 and was one of four batsmen that plundered half-centuries, after they were put in to bat.

    All-rounder Kevin Stoute was not out on 59, Kenroy Williams made 55 and left-handed opener Shayne Moseley scored 54 as reward for resolute batting in a solid effort from the Pride. 

    Volcanoes captain Tyrone Theophile was the unlikely bowling hero for his side, grabbing 3-54 from 20 overs with his uncomplicated, part-time off-spin, but Test off-spinner Shane Shillingford conceded just 83 from 34 overs to keep things tight for most of the day at the other end.

  • Cariah reprimanded for breaching Code of Conduct

    ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Cricket West Indies confirmed today that Trinidad & Tobago left-handed batsman Yannic Cariah was reprimanded for a breach of the Code of Conduct during the third round of matches which ended on Sunday in the Digicel 4-Day Championship.

    Cariah was reported by on-field umpires Danesh Ramdhanie and Gregory Brathwaite, along with reserve umpire Kellman Kowlessar, for a Level 1 breach of the Code of Conduct during the match between Red Force and Windward Islands Volcanoes at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

    Match referee Michael Ragoonath reprimanded Cariah, after he breached paragraph 1.3 of the Code of Conduct by using language that was obscene, offensive or insulting, when he yelled an expletive after being dismissed caught in the 44th over of the Red Force first innings.

    The player admitted to the offence and accepted

    Yannic Cariah takes a run during a First Class match for the T&T Red Force.

    the imposition of the proposed sanction, so there was no need for a formal hearing.

    Cricket West Indies Regional 4-Day Code of Conduct.
  • Red Force seek to overtake Jaguars

    ST. JOHN’S, Antigua –  Fans attending the Brian Lara Cricket Ground over the next four days could get a real treat, when Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and Guyana Jaguars meet in the key clash in the fourth round of the Digicel 4-Day Championship, starting tomorrow.



    • For “live” scores and webcasts of the matches, visit the Match Centre

    on the Cricket West Indies website and click the “DOMESTIC” tab:

    http://cricketwestindies.org/index.php/match-centre/ 

    • Also, get the scores of the matches

    on the Windies Live app for your mobile device.

    It’s free! It’s available for iPhone and Android devices.



    A mere 5.2 points separate the top two sides in the Championship and they will each be looking to bag a bounty of points, as they seek to put some distance between themselves in a bid to finish in first place at the first break of the season next week.

    In other matches: Leeward Islands Hurricanes will be looking to keep pace with the front-runners in a bid to upset the status quo later in the season, when they host Jamaica Scorpions at Warner Park, and Windward Islands Volcanoes and Barbados Pride duke it out at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex.


    Trinidad & Tobago Red Force vs Guyana Jaguars at the Brian Lara Cricket Ground in Tarouba, Trinidad (day/night)

    Red Force are coming off their first victory of the season and Jaguars are looking to rebound following a tough contest.

    Both sides appear evenly-matched with a number of internationally-capped players boosting the line-ups on either side to make the match far more competitive.

    Jaguars have been the far stronger side in the Professional Cricket League era, logging five wins out of the six matches the two sides have played during that period.

    But the presence of Denesh Ramdin, Jason Mohammed, Kyle Hope and last season’s leading batsman Yannic Cariah in the batting, along with left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell to spearhead the attack gives the Red Force an edge which they previously could not boast.

    The Jaguars are practically at full strength and have survived the absence of key players in the first two rounds, and will be no pushovers.

    With the conditions at the BLCG still an unknown factor, it’s hard to choose a winner, so predicting a draw could be the safe choice.

    Squads:

    RED FORCE (from) – Denesh Ramdin (captain), Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Kyle Hope, Amir Jangoo, Imran Khan, Jason Mohammed, Khary Pierre, Roshon Primus, Jeremy Solozano, Daniel St. Clair, Tion Webster

    IN–Cottrell, OUT–Isaiah Rajah

    JAGUARS (from) – Leon Johnson (captain), Anthony Bramble, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Rajendra Chandrika, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Keon Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Vishaul Singh

    Unchanged

    UMPIRES – Zahid Bassarath, Johnathan Blades (Barbados)

    MATCH REFEREE – Hayden Bruce

    RESERVE UMPIRE – Lyndon Rajkumar


    Leeward Islands Hurricanes vs Jamaica Scorpions at Warner Park in Basseterre, St. Kitts

    The return of veteran left-arm spinner Nikita Miller to Scorpions sets up what should be an intriguing battle with Hurricanes.

    The home team have punched above their form of the previous three seasons and are looking to continue in the same vein that now has them in third place.

    For Scorpions, they did not respond well to the loss of Miller to injury and other key players to Windies duty of one form or another – and have found themselves desperately seeking a victory and answers in the bottom half of the table.

    This match will be decided on how well the Hurricanes batting copes with Miller and if the Scorpions’ batting has overcome the stumbles of the previous game.

    Interestingly, the two sides have won every other match in the duel, so if the trend continues, it’s the Scorpions’ turn.

    Squads:

    HURRICANES (from) ­– Rahkeem Cornwall (captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Keacy Carty, Jahmar Hamilton, Montcin Hodge, Chesney Hughes, Jeremiah Louis, Mervin Matthew, Gavin Tonge, Akeem Saunders, Stanny Simon, Devon Thomas, Terrence Warde

    Unchanged

    SCORPIONS (from) – Nikita Miller (captain), Fabian Allen, Dennis Bulli, Jason Dawes, Assad Fudadin, Garth Garvey, Derval Green, Trevon Griffith, Paul Harrison, Brandon King, Romaine Morris, Paul Palmer, Damani Sewell, Keno Wallace

    IN–Miller, OUT–Paul Harrison

    UMPIRES – Carl Tuckett, Leslie Reifer Jr

    MATCH REFEREE – Stewart Rawlins

    RESERVE UMPIRE – Bernard Joseph


    Windward Islands Volcanoes vs Barbados Pride at Arnos Vale Sports Complex in Kingstown, St. Vincent

    Both Volcanoes and Pride will be looking for their first win of the season when they renew their feisty rivalry.

    The two sides are separated by the Scorpions in the bottom half of the table and have played well in patches this season.

    They will be looking to put together a strong, consistent performance with the aim of elevating themselves at the break.

    This will be a serious grudge between the two sides, as Barbados-born Volcanoes pair of Kirk Edwards and Kyle Mayers will have a point to prove and several other of their teammates have played club matches in the ultra-competitive Barbados domestic league in recent years.

    Recent results favour the Pride, as they have won four of the six matches in the PCL era. They have chosen to give their attack a bit of an edge, swapping out rookie fast bowler Shakeem Clarke, son of late Barbados and West Indies fast bowler Sylvester Clarke, for former Barbados Under-19 speedster, Keon Harding.

    Squads:

    VOLCANOES (from) – Tyrone Theophile (captain), Audy Alexander, Gian Benjamin, Roland Cato, Kirk Edwards, Tarryck Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Ray Jordan, Sherman Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Liam Sebastien, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith

    Unchanged

    PRIDE (from) – Shamarh Brooks (captain), Anthony Alleyne, Jonathan Carter, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Aaron Jones, Shayne Moseley, Ashley Nurse, Mario Rampersaud, Kevin Stoute, Hayden Walsh Jr, Jomel Warrican, Kenroy Williams

    IN–Harding, OUT–Shakeem Clarke

    UMPIRES – Deighton Butler, Verdayne Smith (Jamaica)

    MATCH REFEREE – Carlyle Felix

    RESERVE UMPIRE – Roger Davis

  • Opener Simmons hails intensity among training group

    PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Young West Indies opener, Keagan Simmons, says the players vying for selection for next year’s Youth World Cup, have been gradually lifting their training intensity.

    The group have been training for most of the year, undergoing camps and overseas tours, in preparation to defend the title the region captured last year in Bangladesh.

    With the Christmas holidays approaching, the players are expected to be involved in yet another training camp, which Simmons has identified as “crucial.”

    “So far it has been good. All the guys have been working in their prospective territories to get better and the December camp is going be very crucial as a team going into the World Cup,” the 18-year-old said.

    File: DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 19: Keegan Simmons during the 5th ODI between South Africa U/19 and West Indies U/19 at Chatsworth Stadium on July 19, 2017 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)

    “Before that though, everyone knows how much work they have to put in.”

    The Under-19s are coming off a recent similar camp in Grenada which wrapped up last weekend, where they were once again put through the rigours as they fine-tuned their preparations for the January 13 to February 3 tournament in New Zealand.

    Simmons highlighted the intensity of the camp but said players understood the value of the quality preparation.

    “Everyone knows how important this camp was as the World Cup gets close. There is a lot of pressure on all the players to perform,” he pointed out.

    Trinidadian Simmons has been a key member of the set-up over the last year, featuring prominently on the tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe last July.

    The left-hander struck an unbeaten hundred against South Africa U19s in Durban, to help the Caribbean side clinch that series 3-2.

    However, Simmons said there were areas of improvement to his game which were highlighted during the recent camp.

    “I think for the time I was in the middle I was batting well. I found the gaps frequently so the runs was coming,” he explained.

    “What was disappointing was the way I got dismissed – playing very early on a slow track. Once I grow in that regard I would score a lot more runs.”

    West Indies Under-19s have been installed in Group of A of the Youth World Cup alongside Kenya, South Africa and the hosts.

  • Miller returns to strengthen struggling Scorpions

    File: Nikita Miller celebrates on the third day of the sixth round match between Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica in the Regional 4-Day Tournament on Sunday at Queen’s Park Oval.

    KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Jamaica Scorpions will be strengthened for their trip to Warner Park in St Kitts to face Leeward Islands Volcanoes, as regular captain and frontline spinner, Nikita Miller has returned to the squad.

    The 35-year-old, Scorpions’ most experienced player, missed the first three rounds while recuperating from a recent surgery.

    Despite his side’s struggles, left-armer Miller was the leading wicket-taker in the last four-day season with 58 scalps, and boasts 461 wickets from 90 first class matches all told.

    “To have Nikita Miller is always a positive and we are looking forward to him being in the team again,” stand-in captain Paul Palmer told the Observer newspaper here.

    Without Miller, Scorpions have failed to win a match to date, and are one from bottom of the six-team standings on 18.2 points.

    They lost to three-time reigning champions, Guyana Jaguars, by 263 runs in the opening round before drawing away to Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the second round fixture and then with Barbados Pride here last weekend.

    Though most of the first two days of the last match against Pride at Sabina Park was lost to rain, Scorpions still found themselves battling to avoid defeat on the final day, and Palmer underscored the need for consistency and proper execution.

    “I think we bowled well in patches, but we didn’t bowl well enough for long periods that’s required for four days of cricket,” he noted.

    “We just have to work on that aspect and be more consistent, bowl to our fields, and stick to our plans and execute them as a unit.”

    The fourth round of the Regional Four-Day Championship bowls off Thursday.

    SQUAD – Nikita Miller (captain), John Campbell, Garth Garvey, Trevon Griffith, Assad Fudadin, Brandon King, Paul Palmer, Stephen Taylor, Derval Green, Dennis Bulli, Damion Jacobs, Reynard Leveridge, Oshane Thomas.

  • Badree adds Master’s Degree to his portfolio

    File: Samuel Badree Leg-spinner Samuel Badree adjusts his hat during West Indies training session at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

    PORT-OF-SPAIN: West Indies leg-spinner Samuel Badree graduated last week with an Executive Master’s in Sport Management from the University of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Badree now joins another active player, Chadwick Walton, who last October, earned a Sports Science and Marketing Master’s degree, jointly run by Canada’s University of New Brunswick and the

    University of West Indies campus at Cave Hill in Barbados.

    Badree, who is currently employed by the Ministry of Education as a Curriculum Officer, Physical Education and Sport, was very pleased to have completed the programme.

    “‘I have always seen both sport and education as vehicles that can be used for upward social mobility and I have been able to use both to accomplish some of my life’s dreams. I have always advocated the complementary relationship between sport and education and today I am proud that I have been able to strike a balance between the two.”

    Badree, who is currently competing in the Bangladesh Premier League, was unable to attend the Graduation Ceremony held at the UTT O’Meara Campus.

    Badree runs a cricket academy that caters for children between the ages of five to 15 in South Trinidad, having completed the Cricket Australia Level 3 Coaching Certificate.

    He emphasized that he wanted to show young cricketers that it is also important to focus on their education and that with proper time management, family support and discipline, you can be successful at both. “I treasure this degree just as much as I treasure my two World Cup Championships,” Badree said.

    He also took the time to encourage parents to get their children actively involved in sports or some other pursuit where they can learn social and life skills that seem to be lacking in the youth of today.

    Additionally, he noted “with all the violence in schools, bullying, crime and drug use, Badree believes that sport has an integral role to play in reversing what obtains today.”

    At the Ministry of Education, the Physical Education Unit, of which Badree is a part, is working towards ensuring that all students are exposed to a quality Physical Education Programmes in schools.

  • Watling a doubt for Windies Test as NZ name predictable squad

    AUCKLAND, New Zealand, CMC – Wicketkeeper BJ Watling has been included in a 12-man squad to face West Indies in next month’s first Test but doubts remain over his fitness, as he continues to battle a hip injury.

    New Zealand Cricket said Tuesday while the 32-year-old was a part of the squad, he would be “monitored and evaluated over the coming week” as selectors continued to assess his recovery.

    The injury has forced Watling to miss the last two rounds of the domestic first class tournament for 

    New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling takes a catch from Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis during day two of the first International Test cricket match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at University Oval in Dunedin on December 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE / AFP / Marty Melville (Photo credit should read MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

    Northern Districts. He will, however, play as a batsman against Auckland this week and then also face Otago in the fifth round at month end, where selectors are hoping he will be able to take up wicket-keeping duties.

    “He’s going well but he’s still a bit problematic with his hip. He’s been through the normal testing and is still feeling it just a bit,” said selector Gavin Larsen.

    “It’s precautionary at this stage; he’ll bat in this game [this week] and we’re very hopeful he can wear the gloves in the round five Plunket Shield game. He’ll need to keep, most importantly for his own peace of mind and confidence.”

    If Watlin fails to be ready for the opening Test, it is expected that the uncapped Tom Blundell, who has been named in the Black Caps A side to face West Indies in a three-day tour match later this month, will get the call-up.

    The 27-year-old has played a single Twenty20 International and 39 first class matches.

    “Clearly we’ll be having a really good look at him,” Larsen said.

    The remainder of the Test squad is predictable with regular captain Kane Williamson leading a side that includes the likes of Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner, all of whom featured in the three-Test series against South Africa last March.

    They face a West Indies side whom they have not lost to at home in 22 years, and Larsen said it was important to start the series strongly.

    “Aside from a question mark over BJ, we have a fully fit squad who have all shown they have what it takes to perform at Test level,” Larsen noted.

    “We want to hit the ground running for that first match at the Basin Reserve. It’s a special place to play cricket and we’re determined to start the summer on a positive note.”

    One more player will be added to the squad following the A-side’s outing against West Indies.

    SQUAD – Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, +BJ Watling,  Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner.

  • Pace trial expected for Windies in lone tour match

    Adam Milne of Kent in action during the Specsavers County Championship Division Two match between Nottinghamshire and Kent at Trent Bridge on June 26, 2017 in Nottingham, England. Source: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images Europe

    AUCKLAND, New Zealand, CMC – West Indies are expected to face a fiery test in their only tour game here later this month after selectors on Tuesday named the exciting pace trio of Lockie Ferguson, Adam Milne and Scott Kuggeleijn in a strong New Zealand A side for the three-day match in Lincoln.

    The 26-year-old Ferguson has impressed in seven One-Day Internationals and a Twenty20, the experienced 25-year-old Milne has played 40 ODIs while Kuggeleijn, also 25, has played a single ODI.

    “This NZ A team certainly shows that we have depth and quality players who are pushing for higher honours,” selector Gavin Larsen said.

    “Watching the three quickest bowlers in NZ operating together will certainly be exciting, and all three have plenty to play for.

    “We are looking to develop Martin’s (Guptill) leadership capabilities and the NZ A match is another good opportunity.”

    The 31-year-old Guptill is a seasoned campaigner, having played 149 ODIs and the last of his 47 Tests a year ago.

    Todd Astle and Colin Munro, both with Test experience, have been included in the side while wicketkeeper Tom Blundell has also been named in the XI in what could be a trial ahead of the Test series.

    West Indies, currently in a preparation camp in Australia, will face New Zealand A at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval starting November 25 ahead of the first Test in Wellington on December 1.

    SQUAD – Martin Guptill (captain), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Neil Broom, Tom Bruce, Lockie Ferguson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jeet Raval, George Worker.