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Daley Backs Young Caribbean Twenty20 Squad To Come Good
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Chairman of the national cricket selectors, Courtney Daley, expects the young players selected in Jamaica's 14-man squad to do justice to their talent at next month's Caribbean Twenty20 tournament.
The event, which will be hosted jointly by Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia, will see Jamaica parading several recent former national youth representatives.
These include 19-year-old opener John Campbell, 23-year-old wicketkeeper Aldane Thomas, 23-year-old batsman Nkrumah Bonner, and 23-year-old off-spinner Jamie Merchant.
The squad, which was announced after the just-concluded national T20 trials, also includes 25-year-old batsman André McCarthy who is returning from injury, and promising 26-year-old batsman Yannick Elliott.
"The T20 squad has a number of young players, but they are players who have a lot of potential," said Daley who, along with Robert Samuels, Delroy Morgan, coach Junior Bennett and captain Tamar Lambert, sits on the national selection panel.
"They have been in good form in our national T20 tournaments and were also outstanding during national T20 trials, and the hope is that if given the opportunity to play they will do justice to their talent."
The attacking Campbell, who earlier this year made a century against England at the ICC Youth World Cup in Australia, ended as one of the top run-scorers in the trials, including an unbeaten knock of 62 in the first match, which led his team to victory.
Thomas, meanwhile, was the most outstanding wicketkeeper at the trials in terms of runs made and dismissals, and according to Daley, the two should have bright futures in Jamaica's cricket.
"Campbell has been a consistent performer for Jamaica and the West Indies since the Under-15 level," said Daley.
"He has since carried over this form to the Under-19 level, and after being named in the T20 reserves for last year, it was good to see him come to the trials this year and put up his hand for selection.
"As for Thomas, he was one of the standout players for Manchester, who recently won the national Twenty20 tournament, and during the trials demonstrated very good glovework, which should serve him well going forward."
He added: "We also saw during the trials players like McCarthy coming back into some sort of form after injury, Elliott finding back his old form, and Bonner demonstrating that he is one for the future as well.
"All in all, I am pleased with the make-up of the team of young and experienced players, and if we get it right from the first match there is no reason why we cannot win the tournament."
Jamaica will open their account against hosts Trinidad on January 6.
The two-week tournament will see Jamaica also missing the services of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, who will be in Australia participating in the Australia Big Bash League, which will be contested at the same time.
JA SQUAD: Tamar Lambert (captain), David Bernard Jr (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, André Russell, Danza Hyatt, André McCarthy, Jamie Merchant, Nikita Miller, Odean Brown, Krishmar Santokie, Yannick Elliott, Sheldon Cotterell, Aldane Thomas, John Campbell.