Charles expects Windwards to win Super50

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC – Xavier Gabriel was named the only uncapped regional One-day player in the Windward Islands’ 14-member squad for next month’s Regional Super50 in Guyana.

Chairman of the Windwards Selection Panel Julian Charles said they have decided to choose an experienced squad for this competition in the hope of going all the way and winning.

“We believe we have a strong enough squad to win the competition,” he told the CMC Sports Wire.

“We have reached the semi-finals several times, and failed to make it to the Final, but we believe this time is going to be different, and we were determined to choose our strongest team.”

Charles described the squad as a mixture of tested players and players who have performed creditably in the Windwards One-day competition.

“We have players like Denis George and Xavier Gabriel who have performed well in our competition, but they have never had a real chance,” said Charles.

“At the end of the day, I think we have a squad of tried and tested players, who we are hopeful will do well, and some who believe can serve us very well over the next three or fours years at least.”

The 25-year-old Gabriel, a right-arm fast-medium bowler and handy lower-order batsman, has played one first-class match for the Windwards six years ago, and has been a regular member of the St. Lucia side, when he stays fit.

“He is quite capable of bowling around 85 miles an hour consistently, once he remains fit,” said Charles, who felt the bowling was well served, though Darren Sammy and off-spinner Shane Shillingford will be on duty with West Indies in Bangladesh.

Charles, a former Windwards captain, also felt that the batting should have a little more backbone.

“We have a lot of decent players, but we do not have any superstar batsmen, although [West Indies batsman and new captain] Devon Smith is expected to carry the batting, along with Andre Fletcher,” said Charles.

“We have players that have some kind of reputation. Keddy Lesporis did fairly well in the last first-class season; Johnson Charles once he settles down and bats can do well; we also expect Dalton Polius to deliver along with Liam Sebastien, and Xavier will lengthen the batting.”

He added: “Hyron Shallow is also a decent player, but he has never taken his chances, and Craig Emmanuel is making a comeback, so we will expect him to provide the stability in the middle-order.”

As always, Charles said the Windwards’ major challenge will be getting together ahead of the tournament.

“We expect the team to fly into Guyana about one week ahead of scheduled and to play a few warm-up games there,” he said.

“But we have instructed them to put in the work in their individual islands, and are very adamant that they lean on the national coaches. In fact, we have put a system in place where we fortnightly reports are forwarded to us, so they are closely monitored.”

The Regional Super50 takes place from October 18 to 29.

Squad: Devon Smith (captain), Johnson Charles, Craig Emmanuel, Andre Fletcher, Xavier Gabriel, Denis George, Kevin James, Keddy Lesporis, Garey Mathurin, Nelon Pascal, Kenroy Peters, Dalton Polius, Liam Sebastien, Hyron Shallow

Thu, 09/22/2011 - 15:55