The selection committee of the Saint Lucia National Cricket Association (SLNCA) has named a 13-man team to continue preparations for next week’s Windward Islands Goodwill Tournament.
The men’s competition gets underway on Wednesday 19 August in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The team has a familiar look, although at least one executive member of the SLNCA says he is confident the team’s batting will improve from last season, when Saint Lucia finished last in the four-team tournament, despite playing at home.
Each team will play three two-day matches between next Wednesday and the end of the month. Three newcomers have been named to the squad, with one returnee and one player joining the two-day setup for the first time after having previously represented the island in the limited overs format.
The team is led once again by 29-year-old Mon Repos batsman Craig Emmanuel, who has played first class cricket for Combined Campuses and Colleges, and for Windward Islands. 26-year-old Sagicor High Performance Centre, Saint Lucia Zouks and Windward Islands batsman Keddy Lesporis returns as vice captain.
West Indies opening batsman Johnson Charles is the big name in the side. The 26-year-old from Millet is set to anchor the batting once again, with Emmanuel, Lesporis and experienced 24-year-old allrounder Dalton Polius.
A pair of 20-year-olds, spinner Larry Edward and batting allrounder Tarryck Gabriel, will bring their experience from playing in the English leagues. Returnees Awen Edward and Loic Prospere should bolster batting and bowling, respectively.
The three newcomers include Soufriere batsman Tenacy Hippolyte, Choiseul batsman Alvinus Simon and national under-19 captain, Laborie spinner Dornan Edward.
Fast bowler Kervin Augustin from Vieux Fort North returns after missing out on selection in 2014. Gros Islet batsman Kurt Edward further fortifies the available batting options, and is a competent bowler as well.
In reserve are Tonius Simon, Sabinus Emmanuel, Christian Ange and Dalius Monrose.