By Isaac Lockett
With the regional CG Insurance Super50 Cup starting on the 7th February, fans of the West Indies traditional six franchises are beginning to analyse the different squads and work out who will be having the most significant on-field impact.
Whilst, there are plenty of exciting names scheduled to take the field throughout the tournament including Kieron Pollard, Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran and Andre Fletcher, there will be plenty of exciting young talent taking part. Whilst the franchises will need each member of their squad to be at the top of their game during the tournament, every player has a vital role to play. Isaac Lockett picked out one under-24 player from each franchise who could play a critical role for their team.
Squad: Rovman Powell (Captain), Derval Green; Aldaine Thomas; Oshane Thomas; Brandon King; Paul Palmer; Fabian Allen; Jamie Merchant; Jeavor Royal; Odean Smith; Sheldon Cottrel; Dennis Bulli; Javelle Glenn; Romaine Morris and Andre McCarthy.
The Scorpions line-up is filled with plenty of talent with a mixture of internationals alongside domestic stalwarts. When looking at the players under the age of 24, Oshane Thomas, Jeavor Royal and Javelle Glenn will have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact for the Scorpions side. However, it would appear that West Indies International Oshane Thomas will be required to fulfil the most significant role as he alongside Derval Green and Sheldon Cottrell will lead the fast bowling attack. Despite being released by the Rajasthan Royals ahead of the IPL auction, there is no doubting that Thomas is an exciting talent.
With his raw pace and 27 ODI wickets, Thomas has earned himself a reputation as an exciting bowler with a massive amount of potential, and despite a tough CPL during 2020 it wouldn’t be surprising to see Thomas find his form. The one area that fans would like to see Thomas improve on is his economy rate; after 39 List A matches, the right-arm fast bowler has picked up 57 wickets at an average of 31.66 with an economy rate of 6.45. If this economy rate can be lowered throughout the competition, whilst Thomas maintains his strike rate of 29.40, he could further prove that he is a vital part of the West Indies future.
Squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Joshua Bishop, Shamarh Brooks, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Dominic Drakes, Jonathan Drakes, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Chemar Holder, Akeem Jordan, Nicholas Kirton, Zachary McCaskie, Ashley Nurse and Tevyn Walcott The Barbados Pride team, who test captain Jason Holder will lead, have an exciting number of young talents in-line to make their match during the 45th edition of the Regional Super 50. During what could be seen as a potential resurgence of fast bowling in the West Indies, it is hard to look past the impressive Chemar Holder. C.Holder has recently made both his test match debut during the recent series against New Zealand and ODI debut against Bangladesh. Still, only 22 C.Holder appears to develop an ability to pick up List A wickets as he has collected 38 in 26 matches. When recently speaking about his first test outing, chief selector Roger Harper was quoted as saying: “I think Chemar Holder bowled pretty well in his first outing at the Test level” despite being left out of the touring party to Bangladesh (https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/01/08/puzzling-omission-of-chemar-holder-from-wi-test-squad/). C.Holder could have a leading role to play as the Pride look to secure their first one-day tournament since 2016-17.
Other exciting young talents within the squad include 20-year-old leg spinner Joshua Bishop, Dominic Drakes and Canadian international Nicholas Kirton.
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force
Squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Darren Bravo, Akeal Hosein, Imran Khan, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Kjorn Ottley, Khary Pierre, Nicholas Pooran, Anderson Phillip, Dinesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Jayden Seales and Lendl Simmons
19-year-old Jayden Seales represents the only player under the age of 24 in the Red Force squad. Seales made his T20 debut during the 2020 edition of the CPL for the Trinbago Knight Riders where he finished with figures of 1-24 against the Guyana Amazon Warriors. However, prior to his T20 debut, it was at the 2020 edition of the U19 world cup where Seales first attracted attention. Over the course of the competition, the right-arm fast bowler picked up 10 wickets at an average of 18.3 in six matches and thrilled fans with his ability to bowl at 90 miles-per-hour plus. This years Regional Super 50 presents Seales to make his List A debut and would add to what has already been an impressive career for the Trinidaian.
Kieron Pollard’s fearless and innovative attitude towards the game will surly help Seales in match situations while the experience of fellow fast bowler Ravi Rampaul will also be invaluable over the course of tournament for Seales.
Squad: Leon Johnson (Captain), Shimron Hetmyer (Vice-Captain), Christopher Barnwell, Anthony Bramble, Asad Fudadin, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Tevin Imlach, Keon Joseph, Ramaal Lewis, Gudakesh Motie, Akshaya Persaud, Kemol Savory, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair, Nial Smith
Within the Jaguars side two players under the age of 24 who could play a staring role during the competition are Akshaya Persaud and Kevin Sinclair. Persaud made his List A debut for the Combined Campuses and Colleges squad during the 2019–20 Regional Super50 tournament, playing five matches, scoring 137 runs at an average of 34.2. Along with his exploits with the bat, Persaud also can bowl right-arm medium fast taking four wickets during his time with CCC, recording best figures of 2/66 against the Scorpions. There is a good chance that Persaud could play as a batting all-rounder over the course of the tournament and he has the potential to make a meaningful impact over the course of this years edition.
Leeward Islands Hurricanes
Squad: Devon Thomas (captain), Montcin Hodge (Vice Captain), Colin Archibald, Sheeno Berridge, Quinton Boatswain, Keacy Carty, Nino Henry, Amir Jangoo, Nitish Kumar, Jeremiah Louis, Ashmead Nedd, Kieran Powell, Ross Powell, Hayden Walsh Jr, Terrance Warde
Ashmead Nedd’s left-arm spin bowling was on show for the world to see during the 2020 edition of the U19 World Cup where he finished as the West Indies U19’s top wicket taker with 11 dismissals in six matches. Following his sucessful campaign, Nedd was drafted to play for the Guyana Amazon in the CPL. During the 2020 edition of the CPL, Nedd bowled 15 overs taking three wickets at the fantastic economy of 4.86.
Similar to Seales, Nedd is yet to make his List A debut so this years Regional Super 50 will be the chance for him to further boost his reputation ahead of a busy year for the West Indies men’s national team. There is no doubt that Nedd has the potential to become a world class spinner, but it is now about how he is managed by pathway systems and captains but also that he is allowed to learn through gaining match experience and learning his craft.
Windward Islands Volcanoes
Squad: Sunil Ambris (Captain), Andre Fletcher (Vice-Captain), Alick Athanaze, Roland Cato, Keron Cottoy, Kenneth Dember, Larry Edward, Ryan John, Ray Jordan, Desron Maloney, Obed McCoy, Preston McSween, Kimani Melius, Emmanuel Stewart, Kevin Stoute
In a squad with eight players aged 25 or under, there were a variety of options to choose from within the Volcanoes squad. With the Volcanoes leaving out established players like Kirk Edwards, Shane Shillingford and Devon Smith, there is an emphasis placed on trusting the youth and in the form of Obed McCoy, the team have an exciting fast bowler.
McCoy will form an exciting bowling attack with fellow exciting prospects including Preston McSween, Ryan John and Ray Jordan who are all under 27. Currently McCoy is impressing during the T10 League as he plays for Team Abu Dhabi. During his latest performance McCoy finished with figures of 2-20 against Maratha Arabians. With his exciting pace and aptitude in the field, the Volcacnoes will have an exciting prospect. However, picking McCoy out of a line up with former West Indian international Emmanuel Stewart, and the ever impressive Alick Athanaze who was the top run scorer with 418 runs at the 2018 U19 World Cup.
It is clear that there are many young exciting talents to watch during the 2021 edition of the CG Insurance Super50 Cup, with the tournament being live streamed on YouTube.
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Managed to catch some of this and Larry Edward became a bit of a random favourite of mine!