By Neto Baptiste
Former Antigua and West Indies fast bowler Sir Andy Roberts has questioned the inclusion of a number of players in recently announced Test and T20 squads by Cricket West Indies (CWI) ahead of planned tours to New Zealand starting next month.
Sir Andy, who became the first Antiguan to represent the regional team when he made his Test debut in 1974, said some players have not done “enough” to earn a place in the squad and should not have been included.
“What have they done since they didn’t go to England to merit their recall? They have all been doing the same thing because none of them were playing and especially Keemo Paul, what has he done to merit a recall to the West Indies team?
“I think going to England, Hetmyer and Bravo [Darren] would have been near certainties because I am not saying they were certainties, but Keemo Paul is the one I am questioning because you have some nice young fast bowlers coming up around the place, so why they didn’t take them?” he said.
The Antiguan, who claimed 202 wickets in 47 Tests, believes room should have been made for a young fast bowler in the Test set-up while questioning the rationale for including Keemo Paul with the captain, Jason Holder already set to play a similar role.
“You have Jason Holder who is going to play in the same line as Keemo Paul; they are both going to play the same role so why didn’t you take an out and out fast bowler to New Zealand? Why take Shane Dowrich knowing fully well that even from now, he has started ducking because he knows that it is going to come, the short ball is waiting in line for him,” he said.
Antiguans Rahkeem Cornwall and Alzarri Joseph were both named in the Test team, while Hayden Walsh Jr will feature in the T20 squad.
The teams will play three T20 Internationals with the first on November 27. The second and third matches will be contested on November 29-30.
The two Test matches will be on December 3-7 and December 11-15.