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Jackson out

Jackson out

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The Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control has announced its 13-man squad for the first round match versus Barbados at the Three W’s Oval in the 2005 Carib Beer Series, from January 7 – 10. The team announced has the notable omission of Vincentian Orlanzo Jackson, which has shocked many cricket aficionados. {{more}}

Jackson, who has built up a reputation on the regional scene, was earmarked at one point as a possible West Indies player, but was at the receiving end of some baffling treatment from Windwards captain Rawle Lewis. This saw Jackson being sidelined, and last year lost his place in the team. The bitter end for him came finally when the 17-member squad was short-listed last December. Jackson’s lower order batting, as well as his effervescence in the field, made him an integral part of the team. His omission, therefore, has raised eyebrows among cricket pundits in the sub-region. The 30- year-old Jackson made his first-class debut in 2001 and bagged 84 scalps in his three full seasons and the three matches played in 2004.

The other omission is that of Dominican medium pacer Fernix Thomas whose fitness had come under scrutiny in recent times. He is also alleged to have had some “run ins” with the Windwards’ cricket authorities. While this may be understood, selectors still found favour with long-standing wicket-keeper Junior Murray, in preference to the younger Vincentian Lyndon James. Murray, a former West Indies player, is the oldest player on the team and has not shown the grit and commitment as in the earlier part of his career.

The selectors, who have befuddled Windward islanders many times before, were at it once again. They gave St. Lucian batsman John Eugene his farewell this time around. Both Murray and Eugene are in their mid-30s. Eugene made his debut in the Windwards tournament in 1992 and blasted 163 against St. Vincent and the Grenadines that same year. He was the beneficiary of repeated selections on representative West Indies teams versus visiting touring teams.

Three other Vincentians – Deighton Butler, Kenroy Peters and Hyron Shallow – have secured places in the squad which maintains Lewis as captain.

The other members of the team are: Devon Smith, vice-captain, Marvin Noel, Liam Sebastien, Shane Shillingford, Jean Paul, Craig Emmanuel, Sergio Fedee and Darren Sammy. Smith,Butler and Sammy were all part of the West Indies senior training squad to the VB Tri-nation Series in Australia, starting next week.

Smith, Emmanuel, Murray, Noel, Shallow, Sebastian and Fedee are the ones looking to put the runs on the scoreboard. The fast bowling department will be in the hands of Butler, Peters, Sammy and Paul, while Lewis and Shillingford are expected to carry the brunt of the spin attack. Support in the bowling department should also come from Sebastian and Shallow, who can be considered bowlers in their own right.

Dominican Lockhart Sebastien, who has been at the centre of variances with the WICBC in the past, has been retained as manager, with former St. Vincent and the Grenadines and West Indies pacer Ian Allen as coach.

The team set up training camp in St. Lucia December 29, prior to their departure for Barbados on Wednesday this week.

The Windwards next meet Jamaica in St. Lucia January 14 – 17, then play Guyana at the same venue 21 – 24.

Trinidad and Tobago will be hosted in St. Vincent and the Grenadines from January 27 – 30.

Round five sees the Windwards away to the Leewards in St. Thomas, February 4 – 7,and return to St. Vincent and the Grenadines February 11 -14 to face Barbados, as the second round of competition begins.

From February 18 – 21 the Windwards play Trinidad and Tobago at Guaracara Park in south Trinidad. Grenada’s Tanteen Ground hosts round eight versus the Leewards, with round nine against Guyana listed for the Albion Sports Club on the South American continent.

The Windwards complete their preliminary round with a meeting away to Jamaica at the Alpart Ground.

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