WI vs SA | Alick Athanaze earns maiden West Indies call-up for South Africa Tests

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West Indies have included left-hander Alick Athanaze for the first time in the senior team as he has been picked among the 15-member squad for their upcoming tour of South Africa, starting on February 28. Along with Athanaze, Akeem Jordan has received his maiden call-up for the country as well.

Windward Islands’ captain Alick Athanaze and Barbados fast bowler Akeem Jordan have been added to the West Indies squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against South Africa, scheduled to get underway on February 28 in Centurion. Athanaze, who had a batting average of 104.5 during the 2017 Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, has tallied 1154 runs at 31.18 in first-class cricket. Jordan, on the other hand, has been superb with the ball in hand, taking 24 wickets at an impressive average of 17.62 in first-class cricket.

“Athanaze is one of the young players who we have invested in, and he played well in the 'A Team' and CWI President's XI. He showed great promise in the CG United Super50 last year and then got his first hundred in the West Indies Championship last week. We believe he should be given an opportunity at this level. He has also shown leadership, as captain of the Windwards at the start of this season," lead selector Desmond Haynes said in a statement.

"Jordan has been very impressive from last year, he has continued to bowl well, and has been excellent in the first two matches so far this year. He is very skillful, can bowl the new ball, and looks to put the ball in the right areas. He is also a sharp fielder and good catcher close to the wicket. This will be a challenging tour. There is no easy away tour in Test cricket. South Africa have a good team, but I am sure we will be up for the task and will do well in these two Test matches.”

Among the notable absentees, left-arm orthodox spinner Jomel Warrican and specialist batter Nkrumah Bonner are the ones who have been dropped. Jayden Seales, who is set to undergo surgery after picking up a knee injury, won’t be part of the tour either.

Meanwhile, Kraigg Brathwaite will continue to captain West Indies, with Jermaine Blackwood to work as his deputy. Unsurprisingly, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Akeem Jordan, Alzarri Joseph, and Kyle Mayers all have managed to retain their places.

West Indies squad for SA Tests: Kraigg Brathwaite (C), Jermaine Blackwood (VC), Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Akeem Jordan, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Devon Thomas

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