VETERAN all-rounder Imran Khan has been appointed captain of a 14-member TT Red Force team, who will compete in the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup, from November 6 to December 1, in both Trinidad and St Kitts.
The squad was announced by the TT Cricket Board yesterday.
The 35-year-old Khan will have, as his deputy, former TT captain and fellow all-rounder Yannick Ottley. Experienced left-handed batsman Darren Bravo is the most notable name in the list.
The 30-year-old was dropped from the West Indies teams for the forthcoming tour agianst Afghanistan,in India and has declared his interest to play in the Super50 Cup to regain his form and confidence.
The Red Force were beaten semi-finalists last year, with only Khan, Bravo, veteran Jason Mohammed, ex-WI batsman Kyle Hope and Tion Webster remaining from the 2018 squad.
Kieron Pollard, Evin Lewis, Khary Pierre, Denesh Ramdin, Nicholas Pooran and Lendl Simmons will all be involved in the Afghanistan tour (in the white-ball formats). Skipper of the 2018 team Dwayne Bravo is injured, while Rayad Emrit was left out from the training squad, and fast bowler Ravi Rampaul unavailable.
Left-handed opening batsman Keagan Simmons (nephew of Lendl) and Jamaica-born pace bowler Odean Smith, who played for the West Indies B team last year, will feature with the 2019 Red Force outfit.
Completing the squad are another left-handed opener Jeremy Solozano, pacer Anderson Phillip, and the recalled quartet of Steven Katwaroo (wicketkeeper), Isaiah Rajah (batsman), Akeal Hosein (all-rounder) and Jon-Russ Jagessar (off-spinner).
With TT hosting Group B – which includes 2018 runners-up Guyana Jaguars, WI Emerging Players, Windward Islands Volcanoes and the United States – at two venues, the Queen’s Park Oval and the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, the Red Force selection panel have named a spin-heavy bowling line-up.
Khan (leg-spin), Ottley, Hosein (both left-arm orthodox), Jagessar (off-spin) are the specialists spinners selected, with Smith, Phillip and Webster providing the pace options.
The squad will be coached by Mervyn Dillon, with David Furlonge as the manager.
In an interview yesterday on the Cricket West Indies website (windiescricket.com), Dillon commented, “When you look at the last few years, (TT haven’t) done really well in the tournament. As coach, I pointed out a few things that might have (needed improving).
“Our fitness levels and our fielding are two things that (stood) out to me,” he continued. “The most important thing for me (is) to try to create the right environment where there is trust and understanding. As a coach, I think that is very important.”
Looking at his squad, the former TT and WI fast bowler said, “Darren Bravo, he’s always been a good team man. It’s just to get the guys to work together (and) people understanding their roles. I think that team can work wonders. I’m very confident in the talent that we have.”
Group A features hosts Leeward Islands Hurricanes, reigning champs Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) Marooners, Jamaica Scorpions, Barbados Pride and Canada.
TT Red Force team – Imran Khan (captain), Yannick Ottley (vice-captain), Kyle Hope, Jeremy Solozano, Jason Mohammed, Tion Webster, Odean Smith, Anderson Phillip, Steven Katwaroo, Jon-Russ Jagessar, Keagan Simmons, Akeal Hosein, Darren Bravo, Isaiah Rajah; Mervyn Dillon (coach), David Furlonge (manager).