Cornwall, Thomas headline national training squad

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The Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) has named a 19-member training squad ahead of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB) One Day Tournament slated to bowl off here next week.
The squad includes two former West Indies players in wicketkeeper/batsman Devon Thomas and fast bowler Gavin Tonge.
All-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall, who has represented the West Indies A on numerous occasions and is hoping to break into the senior team, has also been included alongside national and West Indies Under-19 player, Javier Spencer.
The squad also includes Jermaine Otto, Orlando Peters and Hayden Walsh Jr who have all represented the Leeward Islands team.
The other selectees are Jamaul Fernandez, Tyrone Williams Jr, Kadeem Phillip, Karima Gore, Melvin Charles, Deran Benta, Vincent Shadrach Jr, Shavon Moore, Damian Lowenfield, Michael Dover and Stanny Simon.
Meanwhile, former national and West Indies player, Kenneth Benjamin, has questioned the rationale behind the selection of such a large squad with the tournament being just one week away.

Devon Thomas, who plays for Jamaica Scorpions, has been named in the national training squad for the upcoming Leeward Islands tournament. (WICB media)

“Why would you want to select 20 names for a tournament that will start next week Friday and why couldn’t we just select the team? Cricket is being played and if we were watching the games we would have known who is in form or who we need. So why select 20 names to then cut it down?” he said.
“Obviously, there will be local cricket this weekend so when are they going to have practice matches and so on and how do you get from 20 to 14?” he added.
The former fast bowler added that selectors appointed by the cricket association must become more visible during local matches.
“Liberta has played seven games and the only time we saw a selector was last Saturday morning. We saw Alva Joseph who came over here (Liberta). Rain came, he spent a couple of hours, which is fair enough because at least he came but we didn’t see a selector [during] the six previous games, so I don’t know how the team was selected; maybe by stats,” he said.
The tournament is slated to run from May 12-19 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground. The Antigua & Barbuda team will be coached by former national and West Indies wicketkeeper, Ridley Jacobs and managed by Purnell “Roxy” Joseph.

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