…all-rounder relishing chance to cement Windies spot
By Akeem Greene
Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Rayad Emrit is cautiously optimistic of the life ahead as he makes a return to the West Indies squad after last featuring in 2007 in an away tour to India where he played two One Day Internationals.
On Tuesday, he was named in the regional side’s Twenty20 squad for three matches against hosts New Zealand beginning later this month and though he has experienced the feeling of playing at the highest level, this tour is expected to return the debutant jitters.
“It has been since 2007 since I wore a marron cap and it may seem like a debut all over again, albeit I have not played a T20I as yet. I think over the last four to five years I have been doing well in T20s and I will be rearing to go once given the opportunity,” he told Guyana Times Sport with elation on Tuesday.
His selection would not come as a surprise since over the last five years, especially in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) where he captained Guyana Amazon Warriors to two finals.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) chairman of selectors Courtney Browne speaking on the selection of the player stated, “Emrit was picked to fill in an all-rounder’s slot in the T20I side. “He has always been on the fringes of selection and now gets his opportunity. He is a whole-hearted player, and has been a consistent performer in our domestic competitions and so the opportunity has now presented itself for him to join our T20I squad.”
Since the inception of the league in 2013, he has competed in 53 matches, snipping 65 wickets with his nippy medium-pace at an economy rate of 7.2 and scoring 103 runs at a strike rate of 128.8.
“We have a new style with the Caribbean Premier League and it brings out the most of the players in the Caribbean. I try to stay fit and apart from being injured in 2014 where I dislocated my shoulder I have managed to do a lot of work and thank God I have not missed a CPL match since,” the Alescon Comets Cricket Club player revealed.
Consistent performances have become his mantra and calls to play other domestic leagues have come on a regular basis but the call from the men in marron was elusive until now. Despite the frustration, the 36 year-old still had no thoughts of calling it quits.
“I never thought it was time to retire. I have been enjoying my cricket and I try to play as long as possible. When I got the call up I was elated, I rang my wife first and told her then I shared the news with the rest of my family, it was a great moment.”
The lanky seamer, who is currently playing for Chittagong Vikings in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is relishing the chance to don the maroons with some of his old teammates.
“Despite having not being there for so long it is going to be easy for me; It is not like joining a team that I don’t know. Most of the guys I have played with or against so it will be very easy adjusting and I will be very comfortable in that environment.”
Vince Lombardi, former American football player and coach, once said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.”
According to Emrit he is fully ready to rebound with a bang but most importantly aid in the success of the World T20 champions.
“If given a chance I will try to cement my spot. Firstly, I want to do well for West Indies to come out victorious. We have been a very successful T20 team and we know how powerful we can we play in this format.”
West Indies’ limited-overs leg of the New Zealand tour begins on December 20, with the first ODI in Nelson. The T20s will begin from December 29.