Joseph to lead Windies in Hong Kong Sixes
West Indies have chosen a horses-for-courses team for the lucrative Hong Kong Sixes tournament later this month. The squad includes Sylvester Joseph, who will lead the team, Deighton Butler, Narsingh Deonarine, Richard Kelly, Runako Morton, Darren Sammy and Lendl Simmons. All toured Sri Lanka last July and August, with either Test or A team or both.
The six-a-side competition, at the Kowloon Club in the Chinese island territory on the weekend of October 22 and 23, carries an overall prize money of US$280,000, ranging from US$100,000 for the champions, to US$50,000 for the runners-up to US$10,000 for seventh place among the eight teams.
West Indies have been drawn in the preliminary pool with India, Pakistan and South Africa. Australia, England, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka are in the other pool. As it usually clashes with official series on the ICC's calendar, the tournament features a mixture of former Test players, those on the verge of their national teams and up-and-coming youngsters.
The selectors have recognised that the regulations place an emphasis on all-round ability as each player, except the wicketkeeper, is limited to one over. Simmons, the versatile 20-year-old Trinidadian, is likely to be the designated West Indies keeper.
It is the first time since 1997 that West Indies are competing in the annual event, inaugurated in 1993 and jointly sponsored by the Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific and Standard Chartered Bank of Hong Kong. In 1996, a team captained by Stuart Williams and comprising Hamish Anthony, Kenny Benjamin, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Nehemiah Perry and the late Laurie Williams (who took a hat-trick in the semi-final against South Africa) beat India in the final to win the championship and take home US$30,400.
The following year, Carl Hooper was appointed captain but refused to play following a personal dispute with the organisers. His role was taken over by Philo Wallace but West Indies, represented by Wallace, Ottis Gibson, Nixon McLean, Floyd Reifer, Phil Simmons, and Laurie Williams, could only reach the plate final where they lost to Sri Lanka.
Pakistan have won the tournament four times, England, the defending champions, three times, and South Africa and the West Indies once each.