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Lewis earns WI call up
T&T’s Evin Lewis has been called up to the West Indies team for the World T20 tournament which gets underway today in India.
Lewis gets his maiden call up after a string of good performances in the Nagico Super50 and PCL tournament for the Red Force. He had scores of 74, 101, 87 and 104 against Jamaica while he also blasted 56 against the Leewards at the NCC last week. He replaces fellow Trinidadian Lendl Simmons who has been ruled out of the tournament due to a back injury.
Simmons, the 31-year-old right-handed top-order batsman will remain home to continue his rehabilitation, while left handed Lewis will fly out today. Lewis will he hoping to get to India in time for the second warm-up match against Australia. West Indies will enter the World Cup second in the ICC rankings, with the hosts installed as the top-ranked.
In the latest rankings released yesterday, India topped the tables with 127 points, nine clear of West Indies in second. South Africa lie third also on 118 points while New Zealand are fourth with 116 points. England, the 2009 champions, are fifth on 112 points with Australia sixth on 111 points.
Pakistan, who won the 2009 tournament staged in England, are seventh on 110 points while reigning champions Sri Lanka languish one point behind in eighth.
India’s place at the top was assured when they beat Bangladesh in the final of the Asia Cup in Mirpur on Sunday. The ongoing three-match series between South Africa and Australia is currently tied at 1-1 but the decisive third game tomorrow in Johannesburg will have no impact on India’s ranking.
West Indies briefly led the T20 rankings in mid-January without lifting a hand after Sri Lanka lost their series 2-0 to New Zealand. The Caribbean side can make huge strides in the rankings, depending on their performance in the upcoming World Cup.
Installed in Group 1, they open their preliminary campaign against England on March 16 in Mumbai, clash with Sri Lanka four days later in Bangalore before taking on South Africa in March 25 in Nagpur.
The 2012 champions close out against a yet-to-be determined qualifier from Group B comprising Scotland, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Hong Kong.
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