TRINIDAD and Tobago’s Nicholas Pooran who recently impressed at the ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales with the West Indies has been rewarded with a contract by the regional board.
The wicket-keeper/batsman along with Fabian Allen and Oshane Thomas have also been handed Cricket West Indies central contracts for the first time.
Another T&T cricketer, left-handed batsman Darren Bravo, returns with an all-format deal while the number of women on contracts has increased from 12 to 15, ESPN Cricinfo is reporting.
Also getting contracted with the regional side for the first time were promising T&T female cricketer Karishman Ramharack, and the experienced Stacy Ann-King.
But Anisa Mohammed was dropped from the list, as well as Merissa Aguilleira, who retired earlier this year.
According to ESPN Cricinfo, among the men’s contracts there are now seven players on all-format deals, an increase from four, with Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul joining Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, and Kemar Roach.
The CWI deals for the men come in three categories of all-format, red-ball and white-ball contracts.
Pooran, Allen, and Thomas were all part of the World Cup squad with Pooran, especially, impressing in the closing stages of the tournament with 118 against Sri Lanka, and 58 against Afghanistan.
Opening batsman John Campbell, who made his Test debut against England earlier this year, has also been handed his first contract in the red-ball category.
Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican has been given a red-ball deal while Sheldon Cottrell gets a white-ball offer.
Six players who had deals for 2018-19 have fallen off the lists: Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell and Raymon Reifer.
In the women’s contracts, Reniece Boyce, Anisa Mohammed, Akeira Peters have not been offered new deals along with the retired Merissa Aguilleira.
“We believe the 2019-20 contract list provides us with a multi-talented group of players who can represent West Indies men and women across all formats over the contract period,” interim chairman of the CWI Selection Panel, Robert Haynes, told ESPN Cricinfo.
“We believe the mix of players selected are important for the development of our teams going forward and we have looked to award contracts to players who have shown commitment and performance during the past year.”
CWI allows for up to 22 men’s contracts to be offered each year so there is scope to add three more names. Currently, only verbal offers for the deals have been made to the players while negotiations continue on the new four-year Memorandum of Understanding with the West Indies Players Association.
Jimmy Adams, the CWI director of cricket, said the contracts are subject to the players reaching minimum fitness standards.
“To assist in our drive towards a new fitness and conditioning culture, the CWI board of directors has approved our recommendation that the award of all new West Indies men’s contracts this year will be conditional on each player achieving a minimum standard of fitness,” he said.
“This new policy will also be introduced to all men’s regional franchise contracts and West Indies Women’s contracts next year for the 2020-21 season.”
CWI men’s contracts for 2019-20
All-format Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach
Red-ball Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jomel Warrican
White-ball Fabian Allen, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Oshane Thomas
CWI women’s contracts 2019-2020
Retained Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman, Stafanie Taylor
New contracts Shabika Gajnabi, Shawnisha Hector, Chinelle Henry, Stacy-Ann King, Kycia Knight, Natasha McLean, Karishma Ramharack.