Trinidad and Tobago versus USA in the USA this evening (from 8 o’clock) in CONCACAF World Cup 2018 qualifying action draws home interest aplenty and so too the selection of two of TT’s growingly exciting limited overs cricketers in one-day and T-20 West Indies squads to face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates between September 23 and October 8.
TT’s two-goal scoring hero against Guatemala in 2-2 draw in Port of Spain Friday night , Joevin Jones looking for a repeat scoring against USA in match that closes the four-team Group C campaign for both – TT unbeaten and atop the Group and already booked for next round that determines three of the six involved for automatic passage to FIFA 2018 finals in Russia.
USA second to TT on table and under pressure to stave off defeat.
But to cricket where yesterday the West Indies selection panel named dashing 20-year-old batsman Nicholas Pooran and his TT compatriot, the equally brilliant 24-year-old Evin Lewis, both lefthanders, for action against Pakistan.
Pakistan Pooran impressed in this year’s Caribbean Premier League, scoring 217 runs in eight innings at a strike rate of 197.27 for Barbados Tridents, while completing eight dismissals behind the stumps.
His debut inclusion boosts West Indies’ wicket-keeping options in the T20 squad, which include Andre Fletcher, Johnson Charles and Chadwick Walton, who last played for West Indies in January 2014.
Pooran has as TT mates in the squad Lewis and regular picks Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree and Kieron Pollard.
Lewis who made his T-20 International debut earlier this year and recently scored a 48-ball century against India in Florida opening the batting in place of Gayle, is also chosen for the West Indies One-day squad.
His TT mates in this are Denesh Ramdin, Shannon Gabriel , Darren Bravo, Narine and Pollard.
Antiguan teenaged fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, a member of West Indies World champions u-19 team, gets a one-day international call to duty.
Trinidadian Lendl Simmons was a shoo-in for selection on either squad but has been stood down on medical reasons, it was disclosed.
Promising Jamaican all-rounder Rovman Powell comes into the T20 squad while Test preference player Kraigg Braithwaite of Barbados got the selectors nod for the ODIs.
Chris Gayle is not a part of the T20 squad, having made himself unavailable for selection, while Lendl Simmons has missed out due to medical reasons. Gayle was part of the West Indies T20 squad for the two-match T20I series against India in Florida last month but missed both games after failing to pass a fitness test ahead of the first T20I.
The T20I squad does not include former captain Darren Sammy, who was axed from the role last month.
Sammy was also excluded from the T20I squad that played against India in Florida. Gayle, Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Simmons, Andre Russell and Badree were ineligible for ODI selection as they did not play in the domestic 50-over tournament last season, made mandatory by the WICB.
West Indies will start their tour with three T20Is against Pakistan, between September 23 and 27, followed by the three-match ODI series which starts from September 30. The three-Test series, which includes a day-night match in Dubai, starts from October 13 and West Indies’ squad for that format will be announced later.
West Indies ODI squad: Jason Holder (capt), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels
West Indies T20I squad Carlos Brathwaite (capt), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton