Lewis called up as Cooper leaves
PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD - He scored 346 runs in four National League Premier Division matches this season and is now on the brink of making his first class debut.
Aggressive left-hand opening batsman Evin Lewis is the only new face in the Trinidad and Tobago 13-man squad who will travel to Warner Park, St Kitts today ahead of the final Regional Four-Day Tournament preliminary round match against the Leeward Islands which starts on Friday.
The former West Indies Under-19 opener, who plies his trade with PowerGen Penal Sports Club in the domestic T&T Cricket Board competitions, will replace all-rounder Kevon Cooper, who will be travelling to India for the 2012 Indian Premier League (IPL) and will be unavailable for the match against the Leewards.
Cooper was bought by Rajasthan Royals in this year's IPL auction at his base price of US$50,000 and leaves on Monday for India.
Cooper was one of the stars for Trinidad and Tobago against Guyana in the match which ended in a draw yesterday at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain
The 23-year-old scored 58 as T&T clinched first innings points against the Guyanese and with him being unavailable, the selectors, headed by Dudnath Ramkessoon, have drafted in Lewis, who has been fairly consistent with the bat this season.
The 20-year-old Lewis, who played alongside Adrian Barath in the 2008 Regional Under-19 tournament, has maintained a healthy average of 57.67 in the TTCB two-day competition this season.
He scored one century--114 off 155 balls against Seenath's Auto Bamboo Sports--and more recently he hit a patient 78 off 148 balls against Merry Boys last weekend to underscore his good form with the bat.
Also included in the 13-man national squad are fast bowling all-rounder Teshawn Castro and left-arm wrist spinner Emile Rajah, but Lewis could get the nod, being the only recognised batsman of the three and given T&T's inconsistency with the bat this season.
Trinidad and Tobago are still without opener Lendl Simmons, regular skipper Denesh Ramdin and pacer Ravi Rampaul, who are all on the injured list.
Rampaul has resumed training with his club, but is still not 100 per cent fit for the rigors of the four-day game.
Other players missing from the T&T line-up are all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, spinner Sunil Narine and middle order batsman Darren Bravo, who are all on duty with the West Indies limited overs team against Australia.
The third match of that ODI series bowls off today (9.30 a.m.) at Arnos Vale, St Vincent.
T&T 13-Man Squad
Rayad Emrit (captain), Jason Mohammed (vice-captain), Justin Guillen, Adrian Barath, Marlon Barclay, Aneil Kanhai, Imran Khan, Gibran Mohammed, Shannon Gabriel, Kavesh Kantasingh, Teshawn Castro, Emile Rajah, Evin Lewis
Officials: Omar Khan (manager), Kelvin Williams (coach), Ronald Rogers (Trainer), Oba Gulston (physiotherapist), Denesh Mahabir (video-analyst).