Cricket: West Indies pack in the pace men for two-test series

By David Leggat

The West Indies will bring a few millionaires along with their usual emphasis on pace bowling for their two-test series next month.

The 15-strong squad named for the tests - the party for two Twenty20 internationals and five ODIs will be announced after a three-game series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi next week - includes six players from the Stanford Superstars XI, who cleaned out England to pocket US$1 million apiece in Antigua last Sunday.

Those who should be shouting the drinks upon arrival will be captain Chris Gayle, fellow senior batsmen Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivanarine Chanderpaul, spinner Sulieman Benn and speedsters Daren Powell and Jerome Taylor.

The fast-bowling quintet - which also includes Fidel Edwards and uncapped newcomers Kemar Roach and Lionel Baker - might not have the menacing ring of Marshall, Holding, Garner, Ambrose and Walsh of recent memory but the selectors clearly believe that's the way to get among New Zealand's batting.

The sole spinner is leftarmer Benn but the most interesting face could be West Australian-born Brendan Nash.

The allrounder played for Queensland as recently as the 2006-07 season. However he headed to Jamaica, the birthplace of his father Paul, who swam for Jamaica at Olympic and Commonwealth Games from 1966-70. Nash has played three ODIs, in Canada in August.

Of the four yet to play a test, 21-year-old lefthand batsman Leon Johnson, who captained the West Indies at the under-19 World Cup in 2006, might be the most promising. The others are Roach, Baker and Nash.

But the West Indies will lean heavily on the thunderous bat of Gayle, triple centurion against South Africa three years ago; Chanderpaul, the International Cricket Council's player of the year and the unfussy accumulator of 8001 test runs at a fine 49.08; and his Guyanese compatriot Sarwan, who averages a respectable 40.4 from 72 tests.

There is a feeling the West Indies are starting to regain some presence after too many years in the doldrums since the halcyon days of the 1980s.

West Indies squad: Chris Gayle (c), Carlton Baugh, Daren Powell, Jerome Taylor, Xavier Marshall, Brendan Nash (Jamaica), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Sewnarine Chattergoon , Leon Johnson (Guyana), Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach, Sulieman Benn (Barbados), Denesh Ramdin (Trinidad & Tobago), Lionel Baker (Leeward Islands).

First-class schedule:

Dec 5-7: v Auckland, Eden Park

Dec 11-15: v New Zealand, Dunedin

Dec 19-23: v New Zealand, Napier

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n4 at 21 Apr 2014 23:01:49 Processing Time: 673ms