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By Neto Baptiste

Leg spinner Hayden Walsh Jr is pleased with his personal preparation over the past weeks as he gets set to join a provisional 18-man squad that was released this week by Cricket West Indies, ahead of upcoming international matches.

In an interview with Observer media, Walsh said he has been spending most of his time on the field in hopes of sharpening his game.

“After the Super 50 and during the Sri Lanka series I’ve been spending some time in Antigua with the coaches and I’ve been making some pretty good strides. I’ve had a couple of weeks where I’ve been able to continue with my practice and preparation from the nets in the Sri Lanka series, so I am really confident in going into these games,” he said.

Walsh, the lone Antiguan in the provisional squad, said his goal is to bring some consistency with both bat and ball.

“Consistency is just the main thing that I would be working on right now. I definitely know that I have all the tools, so it’s just being consistent in using my tools and bowling leg spin and whatever it is I have to bowl,” he said. 

The Antigua and Leeward Islands player suffered a major blow to the start of his 2021 International season when he was forced to pull out of the tour to Bangladesh after testing positive for Covid-19.

Walsh said his inclusion in the squad provides an opportunity to turn his year around.

“I’ve been having a tough year so far, so the fact that I am still in the plans and I still have a lot to work for so it’s still a good feeling. I started out the year testing positive for Covid, which ruled me out of the Bangladesh series which I was really looking forward to. I came back to the Super 50 and I didn’t really do as well, mainly because I’ve been in isolation and I didn’t have any preparation. If that did not happen, then I probably most likely would have been around the T20 and One Day squads against Sri Lanka, so I feel like I’ve missed out a lot,” he said.

In 11 T20 internationals, Walsh has claimed seven wickets for 221 runs.

The seasoned trio of Chris Gayle, Fidel Edwards, and Dwayne Bravo have all been included the 18-man squad.

The squad, captained by Kieron Pollard, also sees the return of Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, and Oshane Thomas.