By Neto Baptiste
Former Antiguan and West Indies fast bowler, Kenneth Benjamin, has questioned the non-selection of Leeward Islands and Nevisian batsman Kieran Powell to an initial 29-man preparatory West Indies squad for a three Test series starting July 8 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
In an interview on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Benjamin believes that Powell, who scored 524 runs in last year’s Regional Super50 competition, should have been given an opportunity to impress at the top level.
“One of the things that jumped out at me — and this is since they selected the 30 names — was that there was no Powell and there was no reason given. I felt like they [West Indies selectors] had started something and they should have been a little more consistent because when Hetmyer and Lewis wasn’t selected they came out and they said to us that it was for fitness reasons,” he said.
“When you combine the Super50 and the Regional 4 Day championships together, Powell probably has the most runs in the region and if he wasn’t selected it can’t be on merit, so I believe they should have come and tell us why it is that Powell wasn’t included,” he added.
Benjamin, who claimed 92 wickets in 26 Tests, however welcomed the inclusion of young Barbadian fast bowler Chemar Holder, stating that the right-arm fast bowler had been knocking on the door for quite some time now.
“When Rahkeem Cornwall was selected, if it was Shemar Holder who had made his debut in Antigua instead of Rahkeem Cornwall I would have been pleased about that, but I felt he was ahead of Miguel Cummings, but Cummins got the nod in the A Team games. I thought he was outstanding and definitely looks one for the future so I am not at all surprised he had been selected to go to England,” he said.
Holder has claimed 71 wickets in 18 First Class matches. He played three games for West Indies at the 2016 Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh where he claimed five wickets for 82 runs from 27 overs, including 1/20 in the final, a five-wicket win over India.