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 Athanase captains the Windward Islands Vulcanos, while right-handed seam bowler Jordan plays for the Barbados Pride.
Athanaze started his career as a debutant for West Indies Under-19 List A in the 2016-17 Regional Super 50.
After he joined the West Indies squad for the 2018 U19 Cricket World Cup, he became an important player. In this series, Athanze scored 418 runs and became the second West Indies player to score two centuries in a series.
After such an outstanding performance, in June 2018, he was selected in the Cricket West Indies B squad for the inaugural edition of the Global T20 Canada tournament.
In December 2018, Athanze made his first-class debut for the Windward Islands in the 2018–19 regional four-day tournament. Almost a year later, in October 2019, he was a member of the Windward Islands squad for the 2019–20 Regional Super 50 tournament.
Both Jordan and Athanaze have performed well in the first two rounds of the 2023 West Indies Four-Day Championship. Athanaze scored 41 and 51 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in Round 1, and a career-best 141 against Guyana Harpy Eagles in Round 2.
Jordan took 5-86 against Guyana and 7-113 against Jamaica to become the leading wicket-taker after two rounds of the West Indies Championship.
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 skillful, 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.
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
FULL MATCH SCHEDULE
21 to 24 February: vs South Africa Invitational XI at Willowmoore Park, Benoni
28 February to 4 March: 1st Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion
8-12 March: 2nd Test at the Wanderers, Johannesburg
16 March: 1st ODI at Buffalo Park, East London (day/night)
18 March: 2nd ODI at Buffalo Park, East London (day/night)
21 March: 3rd ODI at JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
25 March: 1st T20Is at SuperSport Park, Centurion
26 March: 2nd T20I at SuperSport Park, Centurion
28 March: 3rd T20I at the Wanderers, Johannesburg