Levy, Williams newcomers in Scorpions 13-man squad

Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

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Jermaine Levy and Kenroy Williams are two new faces drafted in the Paul Palmer-captained Jamaica Scorpions squad for their opening game of the 2018-19 West Indies four-day cricket championship away to Barbados Pride, starting December 13.

Levy, 25, is a right-arm fast bowler from St Elizabeth who represented Jamaica at the Under-19 level.

He played for Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) Marooners during the recent regional Super50 tournament, and starred with four wickets in the final as his team lifted the title. Levy's lone first-class cap came for the CCC in 2014.

Levy said selection for the Scorpions represents natural progression in his quest to becoming a West Indies player.

“It's an honour to be selected for participation. Every young cricketer aspires to represent his country and, here in the Caribbean, to represent the West Indies in every format of the game. This selection takes me one step closer to realising my childhood dreams,” he said.

Barbadian-born Kenroy Williams, 34, is a right-hand middle-order batsman who bowls off spin. He made his debut in 2004 and played his last regional four-day match for Barbados Pride in December 2017.

The other batsmen in the squad are John Campbell, Jermaine Blackwood, Andre McCarthy, Palmer, and Steven Taylor.

Reynard Leveridge and Derval Green are the other pace bowlers, while left-arm orthodox spinner Nikita Miller and left-arm wrist spinner Dennis Bulli fill the specialist slow bowling spots. The rest of the squad is made up of wicketkeepers Chadwick Walton and Aldaine Thomas.

Outstanding young pacer Oshane Thomas and all-rounder Fabian Allen are noticeably absent due to their impending participation in the limited overs phase of West Indies senior team's tour of Bangladesh.

Promising middle-order batsman Brandon King is out with injury.

Guyana Jaguars have won the previous four four-day titles, while Jamaica last hoisted the crown in the 2011-12 season.

Chairman of selectors Junior Bennett, who was head coach when Jamaica won five consecutive championships between 2007-08 and 2011-12, is calling on the batsmen, in particular, to get their act together.

“It is a fairly balanced squad that will give the captain all the options he wants; however, the players have to go out there and get the job done.

“I believe once we bat well in the tournament we will be very competitive. Our batsmen have to spend longer time in the middle and ensure that we get good team totals, especially in the first innings,” he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

While Miller, 36, quit the captaincy after the recently failed campaign in the Super50 competition, the ace spinner remains one of the region's finest, claiming 497 wickets in 95 first-class matches at an average of 16.36.

“Nikita is the most successful bowler in regional cricket, and he has done extremely well for Jamaica. His qualities and experience are definitely assets to the team,” Bennett explained.

Bennett told the Observer he is encouraged by the form of the 28-year-old Leveridge, who has had injury challenges since his first-class debut in 2016.

“Leveridge is bowling quick at the moment. There is no concern with his fitness at the moment, and we are hoping it stays that way,” said the selection chairman.

The other members of the selection panel are Head Coach Robert Samuels and Ephraim McLeod.

Squad: John Campbell, Chadwick Walton, Reynard Leveridge, Kenroy Williams, Jermaine Blackwood, Paul Palmer, Andre McCarthy, Steven Taylor, Jermaine Levy, Aldaine Thomas, Dennis Bulli, Nikita Miller, Derval Green.

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