By RON FANFAIR
Canada will be tested by the future of West Indies and Bermuda cricket in a series of limited overs matches, starting next week.
The majority of the first group of players based at the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) High Performance Centre in Barbados and a young Bermuda side will participate in the triangular series that includes six 50-over games and four Twenty/20 contests. The matches will be played at Wildwood Park in Malton.
Grenadian left-handed opener Devon Smith, who is not at the centre, is in the touring side that meets Bermuda in the opening match on September 8. He was a member of the West Indies “A” team that toured Canada eight years ago.
Smith, who captained the West Indies “A” side on a recent tour of England, was sidelined for the Canadian leg of that tour that came at the end of an England visit because of injury.
The 28-year-old has played 31 Tests and 32 One-Day Internationals since making his West Indies debut seven years ago.
Barbadian middle-order batsman Shamarh Brooks, who led the West Indies in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia last year, captains the Caribbean side that includes Guyanese fast bowler Brandon Bess, who made his Test debut last July against South Africa as a last-minute replacement for Nelon Pascal who suffered a neck injury prior to the start of play.
Bess, who was training at the nearby High Performance Centre, arrived for his first Test in the second over.
The rest of the side comprises Nkrumah Bonner, Ravendra Chandrika, Kyle Corbin, Keron Cottoy, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Delorn Johnson, Veerasammy Permaul, Devon Thomas and attacking Nevisian left-handed opener Kieran Powell who made his international debut for the West Indies in the home series against Bangladesh last year. He was also a member of the Caribbean team that took part in the 2009 Champions Trophy competition in South Africa.
West Indies youth captain Andre Creary, whose Edmonton-based brother Tyson Gordon made his Canadian debut in July in the WICB Twenty/20 tournament, and Barbadian medium-pacer Kevin McClean will not make the trip because of injury.
WICB selector Robert Haynes will accompany the touring squad that also includes head coach Toby Radford, assistant coach Andre Coley, performance coach Simon Grayson, physiotherapist Jacqui King-Mowatt and statistician Richard Berridge.
Bermuda is fielding a young and inexperienced team after veteran players Irving Romaine, Stephan Dill and burly left-arm spinner Dwayne Leverock, who came out of retirement this year, failed to secure time off from their employers. In addition, all-rounder Oliver Pitcher is in college in the United States, opener Chris Douglas is unavailable and former captain Janeiro Tucker, all-rounder Stephen Outerbridge and medium pacers Justin Pitcher and Stefan Kelly are injured.
The Bermuda squad is David Hemp (capt.), Jason Anderson, Deloyne Borden, Fiqre Crockwell, Dion Stovell, Chris Foggo, Terryn Fray, Kyle Hodsall, Kavon Fubler, Tamauri Tucker, Malachi Jones, Jim West, Rodney Trott, Kevin Tucker and Joshua Gilbert.
Australian-born David Moore is the coach. He served as the interim West Indies coach three years ago after fellow Aussie Bennett King stepped down following the 2007 Caribbean World Cup.
Canada begins play on September 9 against the West Indies side in a 50-overs match. The national side tackles Bermuda two days later in a Twenty/20 game and the Caribbean cricketers on September 12 in a Twenty/20 affair.
On September 15, Canada opposes the West Indies representatives in a 50-overs game before taking on Bermuda in 50-overs contests on September 16 and 17.