T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) chairman of selectors Rajendra Mangalie has defended the selection of the Red Force’s Super50 squad as several star performers from the practice matches failed to make the 15-man squad for the tournament.
“At the end of the day, it’s only 15 players we can pick but those like Tion Webster, Isaiah Rajah, Jyd Goolie are also good players vying for selection but at the end of the day, this is an important year for T&T cricket and at this point, as I say again, it’s only 15 that could be picked and that’s the best we could have come up with at the time,” Mangalie, a former national allrounder told Guardian Media Sports on Monday.
The likes of Yannic Cariah scored an unbeaten 104 before New Year’s and was captain of two practice match teams, while both Tion Webster and Jyd Goolie who also scored centuries before Christmas last year all did not make the cut in the final squad set to travel on January 26 to Antigua for the tournament which is carded to start on February 7th.
Mangalie, who served as a member of the 2020 selection committee before he was elevated to the chairmanship position in Novemeber 2019, said he personally telephoned all 22 players on the provisional squad and had a conversation with them about their selection or non-selection. Mangalie said he explained to them, “At the end of the day, only 15 could be selected but you have to continue practicing because the four-day tournament is coming in April so you have another opportunity address the selectors.”
Meanwhile, veteran T&T all-rounder Rayad Emrit will weigh his options for the rest of the season after also not making the squad. “It is disappointing, but I have to do what I have to do now and focus on what is in front of me,” Emrit said on Monday. The pacer will now jet off to Dubai for the Abu Dhabi T10 competition which begins on January 28th. He will represent Northern Warriors in the tournament. When it comes to the upcoming first class season, Emrit , 39, a former West Indies ODI player, said he will discuss his future in T&T cricket with head coach David Furlonge. “I’ll have to sit with the coach and find out what exactly they need from me going forward and if they need me in the first class set-up, I am available. If not, I will see if I can play in the T20 franchise leagues abroad.”
Emrit said he is still committed to both playing and helping the Red Force off the field of play. He added, “I am very committed to play cricket for T&T, always has been and always will be. That hasn’t changed. My commitment to T&T cricket no one can question it but there is a lot of work to be done with the youngsters so my role will definitely be helping the fast-bowlers trying to get them to the peak of West Indies cricket.”
The Red Force will practice today through Thursday at the National Cricket Centre. However, several players will be missing as they head off to the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament while some are in Bangladesh for the West Indies tour.