KINGSTON, Jamaica – Youth World Cup star Odean Smith has been named in a 13-member West Indies A squad to face Sri Lanka A, in the three-match one-day series which bowls off here Wednesday.
The 20-year-old fast bowler was a member of the West Indies Under-19 side that won the Youth World Cup in Bangladesh last year January, and also featured extensively for his native Jamaica Tallawahs in this year’s Caribbean Premier League.
Smith has been joined by the trio of all-rounder Kyle Mayers, fast bowler Ronsford Beaton and batsman Andre McCarthy, as the new faces in the squad led by wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton.
“The squad builds on our last President’s XI squad which played against England earlier this year with Jahmar Hamilton retained as captain,” chief selector, Courtney Browne said.
“Players coming into the square are those to replace the players that have moved up to the senior team or those that are not available at this time.”
West Indies A are coming off a disappointing 2-1 defeat in the three-match four-day “Test” series, which wrapped up last weekend.
They won the first “Test” by an innings at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium on the country’s north coast but lost the second match by 280 runs and the third by 10 wickets.
When the two sides last met in a one-day series on the Caribbean side’s tour of Sri Lanka last October, Windies A swept the three-match series.
Browne reminded that with the next year featuring a packed one-day programme, this series would be important for players in getting the attention of selectors.
“Our ‘A’ team program is a stepping stone to our senior team and the panels want to encourage players to focus on consistent performances,” said the former Test wicketkeeper.
“With a full year of One-day International matches coming up next year, including the ICC World Cup qualifiers next March in Zimbabwe, this is another opportunity, along with the Regional Super50 Cup next January, for players to present themselves for any places available in the senior team.”
The second match on Friday is also set for Sabina Park before the series wraps up in Trelawny next Sunday. – CMC