The WICB has released a list of male and female players that have been awarded central contracts for the upcoming season, with youngsters Pooran, Cottrell and Hetmyer included in the list. The board’s director has stated that fitness has been given special emphasis while selecting the names.
After a dismal showing in the ongoing World Cup with West Indies no longer involved in the tournament, the Caribbbean team will be looking for fresh starts and better performances in the upcoming season. On that note, it has released the names of players who have been awarded central contracts and much like last year, they have been divided into all-format, red ball and white ball categories. The present contracts were up till 30th June, 2019, while the period for which performance was assessed was from the first of April of last year to the 31st March of the present year.
As many as seven have been awarded the all-format contracts, compared to last year’s four. While the names of Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Jason Holder and Shai Hope were retained, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul were also awarded with the said contracts.
The upcoming core of young players consisting of the likes of Fabian Allen, Shai Hope, Hetmyer, Pooran and Oshane Thomas all managed to get white ball contracts and are pegged to become the team’s future superstars. Pooran was a runaway success at the World Cup and ended as the team’s leading run getter while Oshane Thomas’ fiery brand of bowling made headlines. Allen has shown tremendous promise in the 10 ODIs he has managed to play so far while Hope has become a mainstay in the team by now. Rovman Powell and Carlos Brathwaite on the other hand managed to retain their contracts while Ashley Nurse missed out on a spot.
As far as test cricket is concerned, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Kraigg Brathwaite and Roston Chase retained their contracts successfully, while southpaw John Campbell and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican replaced Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins and Kieron Powell from last season.
Keemo Paul was the only player from last year’s development retainers to have managed to get a contract this time while Raymon Reifer and Sunil Ambris missed out on the opportunity.
15 women cricketers compared to last year’s 12 were awarded contracts, with Shabika Gajnabi, Shawnisha Hector, Chinelle Henry, Stacy-Ann King, Kycia Knight, Natasha McLean, Karishma Ramharack awarded contracts while Merissa Aguilleira, Raniece Boyce,and Akeira Peters missed out.
"To assist in our drive towards a new fitness and conditioning culture, the CWI board of directors has approved our recommendation that the award of all new West Indies men's contracts this year will be conditional on each player achieving a minimum standard of fitness. This new policy will also be introduced to all men's regional franchise contracts and West Indies Women's contracts next year for the 2020-21 season," CWI’s director of cricketer Jimmy Adams remarked after the announcement, reported Cribuzz.