Bridgetown, Barbados – The four newcomers in the West Indies team are all eager and excited to “represent” the people of the region against Pakistan.
The four – Danza Hyatt, Krishmar Santokie, Ashley Nurse and Christopher Barnwell – were last week named in the 13-man squad to face Pakistan in the Digicel T20 International in St Lucia on April 21.
Santokie, the 26-year-old left-arm seamer from Jamaica, has been the most outstanding bowler in the two seasons of the Caribbean T20. When he got the call there was great joy among all the members of his family.
“My father [Headley] is my greatest supporter and his dream has always been to see my wear the West Indies colours. When I got the news I was really thrilled but my father seemed to be more excited. He was just laughing and I could see the joy on his face. He was happy for me,” Santokie said.
“My aim is make the most of the opportunity. I have done well for Jamaica in the Caribbean T20 and I’m looking to take that form into the series against Pakistan. It’s just a matter of making the adjustment to the higher level and I’m confident I have what it takes. I would say I have one foot in the door and now it’s just for me to put the other one in and stay in.”
Nurse, a well-built off-spinner, has been Barbados’ best bowler in the Caribbean T20. He was excellent with the ball for West Indies A against Pakistan A last year. He said playing for the West Indies is a lifelong dream.
“It’s a really good feeling… an honour to be picked in the West Indies team. I feel really good and if I get an opportunity to play I will be looking to have a positive impact on the game. It’s a big opportunity for me and I want to make the most of it,” Nurse said.
“I performed well for Barbados in the Caribbean T20 and for West Indies A team against Pakistan A, and I would say my performances helped me reach this stage. Now I want to make the next step and perform for the West Indies. My grandfather was one of my biggest supporters and he was buried last week so I would like to make him proud.”
Barnwell, is a versatile allrounder who has opened the batting for Guyana and also bowled the new ball. He was a key member of the team which won the inaugural Caribbean T20 and represented the region at the Airtel Champions League.
His method is simple and uncomplicated.
“I feel great! I’ve always wanted to represent the West Indies and play for the people of the West Indies. This is my big chance. I like the fact that being an allrounder I can have an influence on the game in several ways,” Barnwell said.
“For me, this opportunity in the West Indies team is a chance to learn more as I’m always looking for knowledge and aiming to improve my game.”
Hyatt, 28, is a strongly built right-handed opener. He has been a member of the Jamaica team for seven seasons and was the leading batsman for West Indies A against Pakistan A in the T20 Series last year.
“I did well for Jamaica and that gave me the confidence to do well when I played for West Indies A. When I played for the A Team it definitely felt like a step up from playing for Jamaica, so I know I will have to make the adjustment when I play at the senior level,” Hyatt said.
“I will carry the same mindset… I will look to be positive and play my natural game and do the things that have helped me to reach this level,” Hyatt said.
Windies squad for Digicel T20 International: Darren Sammy (Captain), Christopher Barnwell, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Andre Fletcher, Danza Hyatt, Ashley Nurse, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons
Digicel Series Schedule
April 18: Pakistan v Vice Chancellor’s XI (50 over) – Beausejour Cricket Ground
April 21: Digicel Twenty20 – Beausejour Cricket Ground
Digicel ODI Series
April 23: First Digicel ODI – Beausejour Cricket Ground
April 25: Second Digicel ODI – Beausejour Cricket Ground
April 28: Third Digicel ODI – Kensington Oval
May 2: Fourth Digicel ODI – Kensington Oval
May 5: Fifth Digicel ODI – Guyana National Stadium
May 8-9: Two-day practice match – Bourda Cricket Ground
May 12-16: First Digicel Test – Guyana National Stadium
May 20-24: Second Digicel Test – Warner Park