By Ezra Stuart
BARBADIANS Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich and Shamarh Brooks have been axed from the list of contracted West Indies cricketers.
Investigations by NATION SPORT reveal new central contracts will be announced this week following a meeting of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) directors on Zoom last Thursday.
Sacked Test captain Jason Holder has retained his contract while his successor, Kraigg Brathwaite, who was previously stripped of his red ball central contract, has been reinstated.
One-Day International wicket-keeper/batsman Shai Hope has kept his white ball contract, along with his captain Kieron Pollard, who also leads the West Indies Twenty20 side.
Both Chase, recently promoted as Test team vicecaptain for last year’s tour of New Zealand and Brooks, who made an encouraging start to his Test career in 2019, were among many West Indian cricketers, including Holder and Pollard, who declined to tour Bangladesh earlier this year due to COVID-19 concerns.
All-rounder Chase and Brooks, a stylish right-handed batsman, have now lost favour with the West Indies selectors and did not play in the home series against Sri Lanka.
The former missed selection for the One-Day series after failing a fitness test but was named as a reserve in the Test squad after passing another fitness test a few days later.
Chase, 29, has five centuries in 37 Tests since making his debut in 2016 while scoring 1 869 runs at an average 29.20. He has also taken 71 wickets at 42.29 apiece with three five-wicket hauls, including a career-best eight for 60 to help the West Indies defeat England at Kensington Oval in 2019.
Brooks, 32, scored a maiden century against Afghanistan in 2019 in only his third Test and followed up with a couple of half-centuries on the historic biosecure tour of England.
But he endured a lean series in New Zealand last year, resulting in his average dipping to 28.13 after eight Tests.
Diminutive wicket-keeper/ batsman Dowrich has been a staple in the Test side for the past five years before he returned home prematurely from last year’s New Zealand tour for personal reasons.
Thereafter, he has not made himself available for West Indies selection while his replacement, Trinidadian Joshua DaSilva has made an encouraging start to his Test career.
Dowrich, who suffered an injury in the first Test against New Zealand in Hamilton, has scored 1 570 runs in 35 Tests at an average of 29.07 with three centuries. He has 90 dismissals behind the stumps.
Meanwhile, attacking lefthanded Barbados middleorder batsman Kyle Mayers has been rewarded for his outstanding start to his Test career with a contract, along with batsman Nkrumah Bonner and wicket-keeper/ batsman DaSilva.
Mayers marked his Test debut in February with a marvellous match-winning, record-breaking double century at Chattogram. He scored 210 not out to propel an under-strength West Indies side to an unlikely victory over Bangladesh after being set a challenging 395 runs to win.
During the drawn two-Test home series against Sri Lanka in Antigua, Mayers had scores of 45, 52, 49 and 55 and now has an impressive Test batting average of 66.00 after just four matches.
It is understood experienced seamer Kemar Roach has suffered a downgrade of his Test contract.
Roach, who has taken 214 wickets at 27.72 in 63 Tests, was the Windies’ leading bowler against Sri Lanka with nine wickets after losing his place for the second Test against Bangladesh.
Brathwaite was lauded for captaincy after impressively leading the Windies to a 2-0 away series win in Bangladesh when some of the first-choice Test players opted not to tour.
The selectors subsequently kept faith with Brathwaite and appointed him for the series against Sri Lanka. He has scored 4 113 runs at an average of 33.43 in 68 Tests with nine hundreds.
Heavy-set Antiguan off-spinning all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall has also received an upgrade to his contract but compatriot Alzarri Joseph, got a small downgrade to his contract.
The experienced Darren Bravo, who was unable to force his way into the Test team against Sri Lanka, is also the beneficiary of a white ball contract.
It is uncertain whether left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, who took seven wickets in his last Test against Bangladesh in a winning cause or promising Bajan fast bowler Chemar Holder, have received contracts.