Damion Grey, the captain of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) cricket team, says he is not surprised that teammate Reynard Leveridge has been called to the West Indies A team tour of Sri Lanka, starting next month.
The six-foot five-inch tall quick bowler Leveridge, who turns 26 on Thursday, has never played first class cricket.
However, the Jamaican drew the attention of West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons and others in the regional side’s management set-up while bowling in the practice nets ahead of the recent Test match versus India at Sabina Park in Kingston.
Former West Indies fast bowling ace Ian Bishop, who now commentates on air, was also impressed.
“I think it’s justified because he has been putting in the work over the course of recent seasons,” Grey told the
Jamaica Observer yesterday.
“West Indies Coach Phil Simmons saw him, and Ian Bishop as well. They liked the real, raw talent when he bowled in the nets.”
Seen by some as an unknown, Leveridge was the big surprise pick in the 14-member four-day A squad named by the West Indies selectors yesterday.
Usually making the most of his height to get steep bounce combined with sharp pace, Leveridge has been a success for the JDF in local club cricket, taking bags of wickets.
He was on the verge of making the Jamaica Scorpions team for last season’s Professional Cricket League before a side muscle strain ruled him out at the last hour.
“During those trial matches he was on top of his game. Amongst the pace bowlers he was leading the wicket takers but he got injured,” said the JDF skipper.
Leveridge, who has represented Jamaica in hockey, is an ordinary seaman in the JDF coast guard.
The other Jamaican in the four-day squad is leg-spinner Damion Jacobs. The slow bowler is one of four Jamaicans in the one-day squad. The others are batsmen Rovman Powell and Andre McCarthy and wicketkeeper/batsman Chadwick Walton.
West Indies A are scheduled to play their Sri Lankan counterparts in three four-day matches from October 4-21, and three one-day games from October 24-30.
Four-day — Shamarh Brooks (captain), Vishaul Singh (vice-captain), Rajendra Chandrika, Kieran Powell, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Jahmar Hamilton, Damion Jacobs, Rahkeem Cornwall, Gudakesh Motie-Kanhai, Kemar Roach, Keon Joseph, Delorn Johnson, Reynard Leveridge.
One-day — Jason Mohammed (captain), Andre Fletcher (vice-captain), Rovman Powell, Kyle Hope, Chadwick Walton, Andre McCarthy, Assad Fudadin, Veerasammy Permaul, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Damion Jacobs, Delorn Johnson, Ronsford Beaton, Kesrick Williams, Kyle Mayers.