In the wee hours of Sunday morning, scores of volunteers swarmed the quiet beach of Sandy Point at the very tip of Tobago’s South Western Coast.
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WI recall Taylor, Roach and Benn for first NZ Test
Fast bowlers Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach, who have battled injuries recently, have been recalled to the West Indies squad for the first Test against New Zealand, which starts in Kingston on June 8. The squad also includes offspinner Shane Shillingford, who was cleared for a return to international cricket earlier this year, following remedial work on his bowling action.
The selectors also named left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn in the 13-member squad, while Dwayne Bravo was ruled out due to an injury sustained during IPL 2014. Plagued by injuries since his debut in 2003, Taylor recently returned to competitive cricket for Jamaica in a one-dayer against the touring Ireland side in February. He then finished as the second-highest wicket-taker for Jamaica in the Regional Four Day Competition, bagging 25 wickets in eight games at an average of 25.28. Taylor’s last Test appearance was in November 2009, against Australia in Brisbane.
Roach, on the other hand, has not played a Test since the home series against Zimbabwe in March 2013.
A shoulder injury forced him out of the India tour in November last year after which he underwent a surgery. Since April, Roach has been working with BCA coach Vasbert Drakes, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson and his Maple teammate Corey Collymore—all three are former West Indies fast bowlers—in order to get his shoulder back in shape for bowling. A few months ago, he escaped serious injury following a car accident in his native Barbados. The series will be the first assignment for Denesh Ramdin, who took over as Test captain from Darren Sammy last month. Sammy then announced his retirement from Test cricket hours after Ramdin’s appointment. The wicketkeeper-batsman has led the national side in three T20s and an ODI.
The Jamaica Test is also likely to be Chris Gayle’s 100th match in the format. Gayle struggled with a back injury during the IPL and recently sought treatment in Germany, aiming to be fit for the landmark Test in front of his home crowd.
Denesh Ramdin (capt), Sulieman Benn, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford, Jerome Taylor.