Selectors have named a strong 13-man West Indies A to face Sri Lanka A in the first two four-day “Tests” of the three-match series set to bowl off in Jamaica next month.
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Cato back for Jamaica test
Speedy T&T winger Cordell Cato makes a welcome return to the T&T team for Thursday’s International Friendly encounter with regional rival Jamaica at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, which will be used as preparation for the coming World Cup Qualifier against Honduras at the same venue.
National coach Dennis Lawrence disclosed this yesterday at training session at the training pitch of the Hasely Crawford Stadium. The San Jose Earthquake key man, who was dropped from the team for the last two world cup qualifiers, was chosen among just a few overseas based players. According to Lawrence “Cordell phoned me, we had a conversation and he understands what I am expecting of him. What happened is behind us now. The door was never closed to him so he will be here as he is part of the group” Lawrence said.
He will be joined by defenders Aubrey David and Mekeil Williams, both of whom were drafted into the squad for much needed match practice, as they were not playing at their respective clubs.
““The idea is to prepare for the Jamaica game which is leading up to the Honduras game which is the most important thing. I think the Jamaica game will be a fantastic test for the boys because Jamaica did really well in the Gold Cup. They will come here on a high and we are looking forward to the game,” Lawrence said. The trio will be the only overseas players in an otherwise all-local squad and Lawrence believes it will give him the opportunity to integrate the local players into the squad.
The Soca Warriors face an uphill task to qualify for Russia next year, with just three points from six matches. They face the Hondurans in their next match on September 1, needing to gain maximum points to stay alive in the qualifiers. But Lawrence, who in spite of the results to date, has led his troops to a number of gutsy performances, told the media that the Jamaicans will be an ideal test for his men.
““Everyone knows that between T&T and Jamaica it’s a big rivalry and it’s a Caribbean derby. Jamaican has been doing very well, they have had a good Gold Cup campaign and I think they will be a very good test for our boys, so I am looking forward to it” Lawrence explained.
The game will be played at the Ato Boldon as the TTFA increases the country’s chance of winning by creating the right atmosphere. “The idea is to basically create an atmosphere. If you look at the two previous games against Panama and Mexico at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, we didn’t have much of the atmosphere we were looking for. Hopefully we can do this in a smaller setting to help us get the result that we want. Every bit of support from the people will be important to us in these matches” the coach explained.