Athanaze, Jordan earn maiden Test call-ups for South Africa series

By Sports Desk February 14, 2023
From left: Akeem Jordan and Alick Athanaze From left: Akeem Jordan and Alick Athanaze CWI

Alick Athanaze and Akeem Jordan are the only two newcomers in a 15-member squad named on Tuesday by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Men’s Selection Panel for the upcoming two-Test Series against South Africa.

Athanaze, the left-handed batter, is the captain of Windward Islands Volcanoes while Jordan, the right-arm seam bowler, plays for Barbados Pride.

Both have demonstrated good form in the first two rounds of the current four-day West Indies Championship.

Athanaze had scores of 41 and 51 against Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in Round 1 and followed up with a career-best 141 against Guyana Harpy Eagles in Round 2. He is a product of the West Indies Under 19s Rising Stars where he was one of the stand-out players at the 2018 ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup.

Jordan had match figures of 5-86 against Guyana and followed up with 7-113 against Jamaica Scorpions to be one of the leading wicket-takers in the West Indies Championship after two rounds of matches.

Athanaze and Jordan replace left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican and batter Nkrumah Bonner who are part of the squad for the just-concluded series in Zimbabwe.

Jayden Seales is unavailable for selection following a knee injury and subsequent surgery, while Anderson Philiip has returned to training but is not yet match-fit.

Lead Selector, The Most Hon. Dr Desmond Haynes said: “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 showed leadership, as captain of the Windwards at the start of this season.”

Haynes added: “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 skilful, 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.”

The upcoming Series is the final Test fixture for both teams in the ICC World Test Championship. West Indies are currently in sixth place and have the opportunity, with a Series win to move above South Africa, currently in fourth place, in the final table.

West Indies are due to arrive in South Africa on 17 February. They will face South Africa in two Test matches at SuperSport Park in Centurion (28 February to 4 March) and the Wanderers in Johannesburg (8 to 12 March). Following the Tests, West Indies will then play a white ball series. The squads for these will named at a later date.

FULL SQUAD

Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain)

Jermaine Blackwood (Vice Captain)

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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