Cricket Sports

Harper eager to see white-ball specialists in red-ball matches

West Indies chief selector Roger Harper said he was looking forward to viewing a number of white-ball specialist in red-ball practice matches on the Tour of New Zealand.

The Windies are carded to play three-day and four-day matches against New Zealand “A” next week in the southern island city of Queenstown ahead of three Twenty20 Internationals against the Black Caps.

Following the T20Is, another couple of four-day matches against New Zealand “A” are scheduled on the Tour before the two Tests between Jason Holder’s side and the Black. Caps.

“When I communicated with them that they were selected for the T20Is on the Tour of New Zealand, I told them there was an opportunity for them, if they still had an eye to playing Tests, to showcase their skills in the (red-ball) tour matches and they were delighted to have the opportunity to play,” Harper said.

Harper listed Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Brandon King, Fabian Allen and Rovman Powell among the white-ball specialists that have grabbed the chance to play the red-ball matches on the Tour.

Pooran, a 24-year-old left-handed batsman and part-time wicketkeeper, has not played an official red-ball match in more than six years, which has largely coincided with his break from the sport to recover from a career-threatening, vehicular crash.

The other four players – incidentally, all Jamaicans – have appeared for the Scorpions in the West Indies Championship within the last two years.

“All of the players that we asked if they were interested, they indicated that they were willing to play,” Harper said.

The chief selector, however, did not indicate if Windies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard has expressed an interest.

Pollard, a 33-year-old all-rounder, has made a name for himself in T20s around the globe, but he also has a decent first-class batting average of 37.71, having scored 1,584 runs in 27 matches.

Pollard, similar to his compatriot Pooran, has not played a first-class match in more than five years and has never played a Test for the Windies, despite his enormous experience in the sport.

CMC

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