UNCAPPED West Indies players Anderson Phillip and Joshua Da Silva are glad to be on the radar of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selectors after being selected as reserves for the regional team’s Test series against England.
On Wednesday, CWI announced a 14-man squad for the three-match series, which will start on July 8. Eleven reserves, including Phillip and Da Silva, will travel to England with the team to help with preparations. The West Indies players are expected to play matches among themselves leading up to the series.
On being selected for the tour, fast bowler Phillip told Newsday, “I would have liked to be on the 14 that were selected, but nevertheless still thankful, still glad seeing that they have their eyes on me. Still happy and excited to be a part (of the tour).”
Wicket-keeper batsman Da Silva is also excited about the trip. “I am extremely honoured to be considered to go on the tour. I had a pretty good first-class season, and 50 overs, so it is just good to know that hard work was being noticed and I am just grateful for the opportunity to go and gain that experience. “It is just (great) to be noticed by the selectors and be chosen to go on the squad is a very big accomplishment.” Da Silva, 21, was the fifth highest run scorer in the 2020 West Indies Four-Day Championship with 507 runs in eight matches at an average of 50.70. Phillip, 23, played only three matches because of injury. The pacer was 11th among bowlers with 21 wickets with top figures of 6/19.
Phillip and Da Silva know the reserves have a key role on the tour.
“We all play a very crucial role in the team’s build up and in the training...whatever I could do to help the team is what I am going to do,” Da Silva said.
Phillip said some of the reserves may get an opportunity to play. “You could never take it for granted. Carrying a squad of 25 you never know what could take place...it is always good to keep training hard and putting in the work.”
Several safety measures have been put in place owing to covid19 and the TT players are not worried.
Phillip said he is “comfortable” as when West Indies arrive in England they will be in their “own circle” and Da Silva said he is “extremely confident in what they (CWI) have told us.”
Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul have chosen not to tour England. CWI said it will not hold that against the trio.
Phillip, who is anticipating the trip after playing there almost ten years ago on a 2011 TT Secondary Schools Under-14 tour, said it is a “big loss” playing without the trio, but there are reliable options to fill the void.
Da Silva is not concerned by the absence of Bravo, Hetmyer and Paul.
“We have a lot of talented players all around the region. There are multiple players who probably have not made the squad that could come in and make a big impact...I am pretty sure we could put up a very good fight and even keep the (Wisden) trophy from England.”