BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC) – Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams believes next month’s tour of Bangladesh could signal the start of “long and fruitful careers” for some members of the squad, once they grabbed the opportunities presented in the absence of seasoned players.
Several new players were yesterday included for their first international tour after 10 first-choice members of the Test and One-Day International sides declined selection for the January 20 to February 15 series due to “COVID-19 related concerns or personal fears”.
Two others, white-ball left-arm spinning all-rounder Fabien Allen and Test wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, opted out of the tour for “personal reasons”.
“The circumstance with players choosing not to go is something I view as an opportunity,” Adams told an online media conference following the announcement of the Test and ODI squads for Bangladesh.
“The subcontinent has individual challenges that over the years a lot of West Indies players have almost made a name for themselves in touring pretty early in (their careers in) subcontinent conditions. “And I look at a group of players that will not have the experience of some of those who have pulled out, but I don’t think that they’re short on talent; and I have every confidence that with the management team that we have put around them in Phil Simmons and his support staff, we have every chance of seeing not only good performances but probably the start of some very long and fruitful careers. “This is the approach that I personally take when I look at a tour like this.”
The Test squad will miss captain and leading all-rounder Jason Holder, along with Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase and Shimron Hetmyer from the squad which toured New Zealand.
The one-day squad, meanwhile, has been weakened by the absence of skipper Kieron Pollard, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran and Hetmyer.
Selectors have, meanwhile, called up the uncapped trio of Kavem Hodge, Kyle Mayers and Shayne Moseley in the 15-man Test squad while Mayers, Akeal Hosein, Kjorn Ottley, Andre McCarthy, Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton and Chemar Holder are all poised to for their ODI debuts.
Though the squads are largely inexperienced, Adams said expectations were high based on the talent levels.
“We’ll get to see a slightly younger group touring now under different conditions than we have here in the Caribbean,” said the former West Indies captain.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a sense of excitement looking on what I consider to be a very talented, younger group of players under a really strong management team, and we’re expecting good performances.”
The tour will be the third for West Indies amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, following series away to England last July and New Zealand earlier this month.
And with players having to face the mental challenges of isolation and quarantine, and playing before empty stands in a bio-secure ‘bubble’, Adams said CWI had committed its full support to players in ensuring their good mental health was maintained.
“Life in the bubble is something that CWI has recognised can affect players and to that end, for both the England tour (earlier in the year) and for this tour coming up to Bangladesh, part of the touring party will be a sports psychologist who will actually tour instead of staying in the Caribbean and providing long-arm support.
“We’re still in the relatively early stages on what effect this type of lifestyle and touring will have on players and it is something that we’re gathering data (on) tour by tour as we go along, through feedback from players. “But at the very least we feel having that kind of (support) in the person of a sports psychologist on hand for the players is something that at least should help should there be any issues on tour.” West Indies face Bangladesh in three ODIs from January 20 to 25 in Dhaka and Chattogram, and in two Tests from February 3 to 5 in the same two cities.