ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Four-time reigning champions, Guyana Jaguars, made little addition to their squad during a low-keyed Professional Cricket League draft here Wednesday, but remained confident of a successful outing in the upcoming domestic campaign.
Jaguars retained the core of their 15-man unit, picking up teenaged seamer Javier Spencer in order to further bolster their fast-bowling ranks.
The 18-year-old Antigua played five matches during last year’s Super50 for West Indies Under-19s.
He joins a strong squad which includes the likes of experienced captain Leon Johnson, Windies A batting star Vishaul Singh and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul.
Guyana Cricket Board secretary, Anand Sanasie, said he expected Jaguars to once again be at the forefront of the first class tournament.
“The continued investment we have made in youth to develop along the current system on a pathway to West Indies, continues to be the approach we will take,” he said.
“That has worked for us so far. We however expect the teams to be even more competitive this season and we think the mix of youth and experience will serve us well.”
Meanwhile, Barbados Pride have secured the services of former West Indies Under-19s fast bowler Marquino Mindley for the upcoming season.
The 23-year-old has already played 23 first class matches, two of which came at the back end of last season for his native Jamaica Scorpions.
“[We have] an experienced fast bowler who we think will support the cast of the younger bowlers in the team. We think the draft went well for us,” said chairman of selectors, Hendy Wallace.
Last season, Pride were runners up in the four-day tournament as well as the Super50.
Like Pride, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force have added a fast bowler to their ranks, with West Indies Twenty20 speedster Odean Smith picked up in the draft.
The 21-year-old made his debut on the recent tour of Pakistan where he played two matches.
Red Force finished bottom of the four-day standings last season after winning just two of their 10 outings.
However, head coach Kelvin Williams believes the side will be “competitive.”
“[We have a] mix of experience and youth in the team,” Williams pointed out. “We think we have a rounded team and with the addition of a fast bowler, we think we will be competitive.”
West Indies A leg-spinner, Damion Jacobs, will meanwhile turn out for Leeward Islands Hurricanes while Barbados Pride all-rounder Kenroy Williams has signed up for Jamaica Scorpions.
The four-day tournament will bowl off later this year. – CMC