The so-called Big Five have been included on the NGC Red Force team for the upcoming Nagico Regional Super50 cricket series that starts on January 15.
The Red Force, led by Rayad Emrit, includes the West Indies quintet Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Keiron Pollard and Ravi Rampaul. The five players were overlooked by the West Indies selectors for the limited overs series against South Africa and hence are available to play for this country.
This was stated by convenor of the national selection panel, Alec Burns, at yesterday’s press conference to announce the National Gas Company’s (NGC) continued sponsorship of the team. Dwayne Bravo and Pollard would not be available for the opening game on January 16 against the West Indies Under-19 at Shaw Park in Tobago.
However, they will be playing for the West Indies T20 team against South Africa until January 14, and would arrive home in time for the clash.
The other men on the team include explosive opener Evin Lewis, who would have his long time PowerGen friend Nicholas Sookdeosingh as his partner at the top of the order. Sookdeosingh said he was very happy to make the grade after posting excellent scores in domestic cricket over the past few years. He also scored a century and a half century in the four practice matches that were played prior to the team being selected.
Also at the top of the order in the youthful Jeremy Solozano. They will be backed up in the middle order by the Bravo brothers, the hurricane bat Pollard and the experienced Jason Mohammed, who would double as vice-captain.
Wicketkeeper is Nicholas Pooran, while allrounder slots will be taken by leg-spinner Imran Khan, Kevon Cooper and Akeal Hosein. The pace attack will form around skipper Emrit and Ravi Rampaul, while the mystery man Narine is the main spinner. The selectors also named Derone Davis as the reserve player and Burns added that all the players under contract by the Red Force would remain eligible for a call-up.
Meanwhile, NGC will continue as team sponsor after they pledged $4.45M per year until 2016. This follows sponsorship in the region of $10M which was collected by the TTCB for the period 2011 to 2013.
Speaking at the event, NGC chairman Roop Chan Chadeesingh said: “Well, I think that 2015 is going to be a lovely year for cricket and it’s wonderful to be present at the very start of it, we witness the revelation of the T&T team for the Nagico Super50 event.
“It is exciting for me, not only as a lover of sport but also as chairman of a company that has made such significant contributions to the development of sport in Trinidad and Tobago over the years, to see the fruits that these contributions have produced.
“NGC is a world class company and so is the Red Force, which I think is one of the finest T20 teams in the world and we are very happy to be associated with them.”
NGC RED FORCE TEAM
Rayad Emrit (capt), Evin Lewis, Nicholas Sookdeosingh, Jeremy Solozano, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Keiron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Kevon Cooper, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Akeal Hosein and Imran Khan.