Off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall makes 13-man squad for first time
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Rahkeem Cornwall could make his long-awaited Test debut on home soil, when West Indies kick off their campaign in the new ICC World Test Championship against India later this month.
The interim Selection Panel of Cricket West Indies – headed by Robert Haynes – has included the Antiguan off-spinner in the 13-member squad for the MyTeam11 Series, which is co-sponsored by Skoda and KEI.
West Indies and India will play two Tests – from August 22 to 26 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Cornwall’s native Antigua, and from August 30 to September 3 at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
Cornwall has been rewarded for his impressive record for Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the West Indies Championship and the West Indies “A” Team, since making his first-class debut just under five years ago. The 26-year-old has taken 260 wickets at 23.90 apiece in 55 first-class matches and is highly regarded among his peers as one of the most effective spin bowlers in the Caribbean.
Cornwall has also proven that he is a capable middle to lower-order batsman, averaging just under 25 in 97 innings, and good enough to have one hundred and 13 half-centuries in the first-class arena.
“Rahkeem has been performing consistently over a long period of time and has proven to be a match-winner, so we believe his elevation to the Test squad is merited at this time,” said Haynes.
“We believe he can provide an attacking option to our bowling attack with his sharp turn and extra bounce. He can also lend a bit of depth to the batting, so we are looking forward to him coming into the squad and making a valuable contribution.”
The interim Selection Panel has kept faith with practically the rest of the squad that earned a sensational 2-1 series victory over England earlier this year in the Caribbean, except injured fast bowler Alzarri Joseph and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican.
This means that regular West Indies “A” Team captain Shamarh Brooks is the only other uncapped player in the squad apart from Cornwall. All-rounder Keemo Paul, a replacement for Test captain Jason Holder when he was forced to miss the final Test of the England series, retains his place in the squad.
“Alzarri is undergoing remedial work and we are monitoring his recovery, but we do not think he is ready yet to last five days of a gruelling Test match,” Haynes said on Joseph.
“He represents a key part of West Indies future and we do not want to rush him back. We have two important series coming up later in the year in India and we want to be very careful how his recovery is managed.”
The Series gives both sides the chance to win up to 120 points – sixty points for a win – in the new ICC World Test Championship league table. A draw will be worth twenty points with zero points for a loss. West Indies will play a further five Series with the opportunity to qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final in 2021 if they finish in the top two in the league.
|Jason HOLDER (Captain)||Barbados Pride||27||37|
|Kraigg BRATHWAITE||Barbados Pride||26||56|
|Darren BRAVO||Trinidad & Tobago Red Force||30||52|
|Shamarh BROOKS||Barbados Pride||30||0|
|John CAMPBELL||Jamaica Scorpions||25||3|
|Roston CHASE||Barbados Pride||27||29|
|Rahkeem CORNWALL||Leeward Islands Hurricanes||26||0|
|Shane DOWRICH||Barbados Pride||27||30|
|Shannon GABRIEL||Trinidad & Tobago Red Force||31||43|
|Shimron HETMYER||Guyana Jaguars||22||13|
|Shai HOPE||Barbados Pride||25||29|
|Keemo PAUL||Guyana Jaguars||21||3|
|Kemar ROACH||Barbados Pride||31||53|
INDIA TO WEST INDIES 2019 – FULL MATCH SCHEDULE
Sat, Aug 3: 1st MyTeam11 Twenty20 International – India won by 4 wickets – Broward County Stadium, United States
Sun, Aug 4: 2nd MyTeam11 Twenty20 International – India won by 22 runs (D/L/S Method) – Broward County Stadium
Tue, Aug 6: 3rd MyTeam11 International – India won by 7 wickets – Guyana National Stadium, Guyana
Thu, Aug 8: 1st MyTeam11 One-day International – No result – Guyana National Stadium
Sun, Aug 11: 2nd MyTeam11 One-day International – Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad (9:30 am)
Wed, Aug 14: 3rd MyTeam11 One-day International – Queen’s Park Oval (9:30 am)
Sat, Aug 17 to Mon, Aug 19: Tour Match – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua (9:30 am daily)
Thu, Aug 22 to Mon, Aug 26: 1st MyTeam11 Test – Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua (9:30 am daily)
Fri, Aug 30 to Tue, Sep 3: 2nd MyTeam11 Test – Sabina Park, Jamaica (9:30 am daily)
ABOUT THE ICC WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP
The ICC World Test Championship (WTC) has been introduced by the ICC, the sport’s World governing body, to give greater context to the longest format of the game and will be played over the next two years. It will feature nine of the 12 Test-playing nations, each of whom will play a Test series against six of the other eight teams.
Each series will consist of between two and five matches, so although all teams will play six series (three at home and three away), they will not play the same number of Tests. Each team will be able to score a maximum of 120 points from each series and the two teams with the most points at the end of the league stage will contest the Final in June 2021 in England to crown the first ever World Test champion.
Some of the nine WTC teams will play additional Test matches during this period which are not part of the Championship. They are, however, part of the ICC Future Tours Programme for 2018 to 2023 and are designed mainly to give matches to the three Test-playing sides – Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe – not taking part in this competition.