Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - Page 20 News List

West Indies scramble together scratch squad

REUTERS , MIAMI

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) scrambled to get a team together for the first Test against Bangladesh that started yesterday after the selected players decided to boycott the match because of contract disputes.

A 15-man squad, captained by 36-year-old Floyd Reifer, whose last of four Test appearances was more than 10 years ago, features 16-year-old Barbadian batsman Kraigg Brathwaite, who, if he plays, would become the youngest West Indies Test player.

None of the original 13 players selected for the match have been named.

Darren Sammy, selected as vice-captain, is the only player in the squad to have been a regular member of the West Indies set up in the past year.

WICB president Julian Hunte on Wednesday declined to comment on the recruitment of players, but said there had been “a lot of intimidation of players.”

The WICB chief declined to comment on who had carried out the intimidation or give any details about which players had been approached.

Tino Best, the 27-year-old Barbados pace bowler, who last featured in a Test match in 2005, was in the squad along with fellow Bajan, opening batsman Dale Richards.

However, the bulk of the players are debutants with only regional cricket experience, including Brathwaite, who was flown in from a regional under-19 tournament in Jamaica.

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