The Cricket West Indies (CWI) men’s selection committee has named two rookies Alick Athanaze and Akeem Jordan in the 15-man squad for the two-Test series against South Africa. Left-handed batsman Athanaze captains the Windward Islands Vulcanos, while right-handed seam bowler Jordan plays for the Barbados Pride.
Barbadian fast bowler Akeem Jordan made his debut as part of the victorious combined campus and college team at the 2019 CWI Regional Super 50 in Guyana.
In that season, the 24-year-old Jordan became the competition’s third-highest wicket-taker with 16 wickets in eight matches.
Also, Jordan has performed well in the first two rounds of the 2023 West Indies Four-Day Championship. He took 5-86 against Guyana and 7-113 against Jamaica to become the leading wicket-taker after two rounds of the West Indies Championship.
In a recent interview on the Cricket West Indies (CWI) YouTube channel, the 28-year-old Jordan reacted to his selection in the squad for the South Africa series.
“It means everything to me. I bleed and sweat West Indies Cricket. It is my heart and soul.”
“Me being here and given the chance to represent the West Indies means everything.”
When asked what character trait has gotten him to this point in his career, “self-belief” was Jordan’s response. Commenting further,
“If there’s one thing I’d say for sure, self-belief. If no one would believe in me, I’d definitely believe in myself. I’m the type of guy who would take up a ball at midnight and just try to run up the road and bowl, work on little things. I believe when I put my mind to something, I can get it done. That mindset has brought me a long way so far.”
When asked about his hopes for himself, Jordan said coming to the team and becoming part of the family.
“For me personally, I just want to come into the team and be a part of the family. I don’t want to come and say that I’m going to blast out anybody. I just want to ease my way in and try to do a job that the team needs me to do and not put any big expectations on my shoulders,” he said before going into how that would translate on the field.”
“Hopefully, I can put up my hand in situations, dig us out of holes, take a crucial catch or take a valuable wicket. Something like that, just to be a part of the family so that everyone can feel like yeah, this guy is putting everything into West Indies Cricket.”
The first Test series of the tour is scheduled to begin on February 28 as part of the World Test Championship Trophy.
West Indies Test squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood (vc), 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 Thoms
South Africa Test Squad: Temba Bavuma (captain), Gerald Coetzee, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Senuran Muthusamy, Anrich Nortje, Keegan Petersen, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton.