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TT ‘senior’ batsmen face the axe

By STEPHON NICHOLAS Tuesday, April 23 2013

click on pic to zoom in

THE Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) selectors are expected to come down hard on some of the “senior” players on the national team following their embarrassing exit from the Regional Super50 competition.

The “Red Force” were crushed by 140 runs in the semi-final by the Combined Campuses and Colleges on Thursday with the batting line-up having another monumental collapse. The opening batsmen, Adrian Barath and Lendl Simmons, have been very inconsistent this season while Queen’s Park’s Justin Guillen has also not delivered. Barath, who scored a century on Test debut versus Australia in 2009, has been particularly poor especially in the latter part of the domestic season. In his last seven innings for TT, the right-hander has registered scores of 9, 3, 8, 0, 16, 15 and 4 as TT lost matches to Jamaica, Barbados and CCC.

Speaking with Newsday yesterday, Dudnath Ramkessoon, Chairman of Selectors, said the experienced players have not delivered and it is time for the selectors to think about giving others a chance.

“That is something that has engaged the attention of the selectors. You can’t have experienced players who you hope to carry the batting and they are not doing it. You can’t keep carrying these guys and hoping they do well. You have to give someone else an opportunity and maybe they will be more hungry to succeed,” he said.

Asked whether the selectors erred by not being more decisive earlier in the season by sticking with underperforming players, Ramkessoon did not agree.

“You have senior players who you believe will come good, but you learn after the fact. You keep hoping that the drought would come to an end and it never does. The players at the top of the order are putting pressure on the middle order (by failing) and no team can be successful asking the middle order to carry the weight all the time,” he explained. And with the selectors meeting today to pick the squad for their Regional Four-Day semi-final against Jamaica on May 2, a shake-up in personnel is expected with the season in the balance.

He noted that a defeat to Jamaica and a second consecutive exit from the four-day competition at the semifinal stage would be a serious cause of concern.

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