Scor­pi­ons to go strictly lo­cal for up­com­ing re­gional tour­na­ments

The Star (Jamaica) - - Front Page - LEN­NOX ALDRED STAR Writer

There will be no over­seas play­ers in­volved with the Ja­maica Scor­pi­ons fran­chise for up­com­ing re­gional tour­na­ments, ac­cord­ing to chief selec­tor Ju­nior Ben­nett.

Hav­ing pre-se­lected 13 play­ers, the Ja­maica Scor­pi­ons are ex­pected to com­plete their 15-man squad se­lec­tion with lo­cal play­ers in to­day’s West Indies pro­fes­sional play­ers draft for the Colo­nial Med­i­cal In­sur­ance Su­per50 Cup and the West Indies Four-Day Cham­pi­onship.

The Zoom meet­ing which will be rep­re­sented by Ben­nett and coach

An­dre Co­ley will see the Scor­pi­ons hav­ing the third pick in rounds one and two in the draft se­lec­tion, which will see the Lee­ward Is­lands Hur­ri­canes bowl­ing off the process.

Eigh­teen Ja­maicans are among the 109 play­ers in the draft pool, with Odean Smith (T&T Red Force), Ra­maal Lewis (Guyana Jaguars), Damion Jacobs (Lee­ward Hur­ri­canes) and Kirk McKen­zie (West Indies Un­der19) all avail­able to be se­lected by the Scor­pi­ons, hav­ing been part of other fran­chises and set-ups last sea­son.

13 PRO­TECTED PLAY­ERS

The 13 pro­tected play­ers for the Scor­pi­ons are cap­tain John Campbell, Jer­maine Black­wood, Nkrumah Bon­ner, Paul Palmer Jr, Der­val Green, Mar­quino Mind­ley, Akim Fraser, Dennis Bulli, An­dre McCarthy, Ni­chol­son Gor­don, Pa­trick Harty Jr, Al­dane Thomas and Jeavor Royal.

Ac­cord­ing to

Ben­nett, the fran­chise will be look­ing to fill the other two con­tracted spots with a lo­cal all­rounder and fast bowler, which means there is no place for Guyanese opener As­sad Fu­dadin and Gre­na­dian wick­et­keeper De­nis Smith, who played four and six matches, re­spec­tively, for the fran­chise this past sea­son.

“With the cut in fees from Cricket West Indies and the con­tract last­ing only un­til De­cem­ber, our fran­chise board de­cided for this year to use lo­cal play­ers,” said Ben­nett.

As the world and the re­gion con­tinue to grap­ple with the un­cer­tainty of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, Ben­nett and the rest of the cricket fra­ter­nity are keep­ing their fin­gers crossed with re­gard to the play­ing of the Su­per50 com­pe­ti­tion in Novem­ber and the West Indies Cham­pi­onship early next year.

De­spite the un­cer­tainty, Ben­nett be­lieves the fran­chise is in good stead to im­prove on their per­for­mance once cricket gets the go-ahead again re­gion­ally.

“We are quite sat­is­fied with the bunch we have; se­lec­tion has not been one of the eas­i­est of things to do, but I think we have a fairly bal­anced group and we are just hop­ing for cricket to get

started again.”

FILE

Ju­nior Ben­nett

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