A chance for new players to make their mark – Lewis
Despite a number of notable players opting out of the first West Indies tour of the new year, former national cricketers Wayne Lewis and Nikita Miller believe that it provides opportunities for others to impress and be part of the team long term.
The West Indies are expected to leave for their tour of Bangladesh next week which will consist of three one-day internationals (ODI) and two Tests which will take place starting on January 20. A number of key players including captain Jason Holder, Kieron Pollard and Roston Chase have opted out of the series because of health and safety concerns. Other players that will not be part of the tour include Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran and Shane Dowrich.
Lewis, who is also honorary secretary of the West Indies Players Association, says that he hopes that the new faces take advantage of this rare opportunity to display their talents on the world stage.
"I'm so excited for them that they go out there and see the enormous responsibility that they have and also for their future, how it is important for them to adopt good attitudes, good worth ethic [and] understand that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity," Lewis told STAR Sports.
Jamaican middle-order batsman Andre McCarty is one of the faces to be included in the squad and he will feature in the ODI's. Top-order batsman Kavem Hodge, left-hand opener Shayne Moseley and all-rounder Kyle Mayers will feature in the Test squad for the first time.
Miller says that the tour will also offer chances for those who did not feature in the previous tours of England and New Zealand.
"I can remember [Nkrumah] Bonner who was on the tour in England and was also in New Zealand and didn't really get the opportunity to have a go. There is also the guy Moseley, he's been performing as well and being in and around the team," Miller said. "So these guys I'm looking hopefully [to perform] in the test arena, put down a marker so that when the other guys come back, they ensure that they are a mainstay in the team."
The West Indies suffered series defeats in their previous tours last year, losing 2-1 in their three-match test series to England and losing both their Test and T20 series to New Zealand.