West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Roseau April 21, 2012

Shillingford's grandstand finish


Entering the third Test in Dominica, Shane Shillingford is in a novel position. Apart from trying to help win a Test match for the West Indies over Australia, Shillingford is playing for the right to have his name inscribed on a grandstand.

Roseau's picturesque cricket ground and the newest Test match venue in the Caribbean, Windsor Park has major stands adorned with the names of two of Shillingford's relatives, Grayson and Irvine Shillingford, alongside Norbert Phillip and Adam Sanford. They were the only Test cricketers to have emerged from Dominica before Shillingford's debut, leaving the island's one international umpire Billy Doctrove to have his name emblazoned on the players' and officials' pavilion.

One stand remains unnamed on the far side of the ground, open to Shillingford to earn his place over five days from Monday. "I'm looking forward to get a chance to play at home, being the first one to play a Test from Dominica [at home]," Shillingford said. "I'm pretty much looking forward to that. I know the Dominican people will be coming out in big numbers to support.

"I'm definitely confident coming on from the game in Trinidad, even more so knowing my family, my fans are coming out to support, so I really want to do well and we come out with a victory to level the series.

"Most of the players have played here a number of times already and seeing for the Australians this is their first time, the environment, first time being here, playing here, so I think it's a bit of an edge for us. But we do have to do the basics to come out with a win."

Shillingford made a fine impression on a helpful surface in Trinidad, spinning the ball while maintaining a very sturdy line and length. In the second innings he also showed plenty of variation, befuddling Ricky Ponting with a top spinner and keeping his end quiet while Kemar Roach charged in at the other. Speaking about his repertoire, Shillingford said he had deliberately held the top spinner back from initial viewing, but used it more as his confidence grew.

"Yeah definitely. It was a case where you didn't want the batsman to know all about you right there and then," he said. "And coming in the second innings we needed to get wickets and stuff. Most of the time I try to bowl and build pressure and then try it, but in the second innings I did bring it in earlier. We were trying to get early wickets to give ourselves a chance to win the game."

There is added incentive for Shillingford and all the West Indies players ahead of an England tour that follows closely on the heels of the Australia series. The squad is likely to be named towards the end of the Test, the players then having two days off before flying across the Atlantic.

"Well it definitely is something I'm looking forward to," Shillingford said. "I've always wanted to play … I've played club cricket in England so the experience is there. I'm really looking forward to going there and playing Test cricket."

On past evidence, Windsor Park's pitch will offer some spin, but there is also grass on the surface two days out from the match, offering hope of a little more pace than the surfaces used in Barbados and Trinidad. Shillingford reckoned his home track would provide some incentive for all bowlers, and batsmen.

"I've not had a good look at the pitch but I know playing here in a first-class game there's been a good deal of spin," he said. "I'm not sure what preparation has been done to the wicket. All I know is that it's an allround pitch where the batsman has to put in and the bowler has to put in."

Should he put in adequately across this match, the Shane Shillingford Stand may soon be unveiled.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Greg on April 23, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    Shane is not related to Grayson and Irvine

  • Michael on April 23, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    @ Cliff James: yes, you are quite correct, DeFreitas was born in Scotts Head, Dominica. They're hardly likely to name a stand after him at Roseau, but this does mean the article is in error in saying: Grayson and Irvine Shillingford, Norbert Phillip and Adam Sanford '... were the only Test cricketers to have emerged from Dominica before [Shane] Shillingford's debut'. Ironically, because they've omitted DeFreitas from that list, they've actually omitted the most capped test cricketer to emerge from Dominica. (Though Norbert Philip was a fine player for Essex and the West Indies and would probably have played many more times for the West Indies if he were around now than he did because he was around in the late 1970s and early 1980s when West Indies had so many great fast bowlers.)

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Tear away fast bowlers have a semi legit excuse for opting out of test matches. But it is disgraceful to see players like Bravo and Samuels to opt for IPL over national service. Unfair Board or not, these players have no sympathy in my book. Also, it confirms that every fast bowler who have recently quit playing tests to play IPL are looking for excuses to service their country. Lets face it: Cricketers are not nearly patriotic as they used to be 20 years ago

  • abhijeet on April 23, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    @blackie. I think there are two sides of the coin. You are forgetting that Dwayne Bravo got injured playing crciket for WI and paid for the rehab from his own pocket for more than a year because of dysfunctional WICB. I can safely say I would have done the same thing as he did and you should seriously ask yourself if you would have done any different.

  • Roo on April 23, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    @Dwight Bowen... Noticed no one has actually answered your question... Yes Oz players can refuse to play in Tests & shorter formats if they are not contracted to CA for those squads... This year only a max of 18 players are likely to have a CA contract, so some may make contracts to IPL & CA would have to put up with that... Cummins has been given a special CA contract to keep him out of IPL for the next year or 2 so he can develop... Keep in mind, Oz rarely plays cricket when IPL is on (except WI tours) & our next tour in April-May starts in 2015 mid-May...

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    @Meety,thanks for that feedback,i do get your point,guess as professional sportsmen,they all have the right to ply their trade and secure their financial futures.Some very careful negotiations will have to be undertaken in some countries more than others in terms of boards and indivisual players as besides the IPL,you have Big bash,BPL,T-20 competition in England,one proposed to come on stream in Sri Lanka and i am sure elsewhere so that you can get the best out of the better players for national duties.

  • Andrew on April 23, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    @Dwight Bowen - some interesting points you raised, I do agree with the long last sentence. In Oz, the lack of accountability AND communication between the selectors & the players (& the public), arguably led to poor performance (The Ashes), & then the Argus review & the change in the Oz set up. As for players choosing when to represent Oz (in particular the Baggy Green), fairly confident in saying that none would choose T20 $s over the Baggy Green, we even had a situation where our Board more or less instructed Hussey & Bollinger to play in the Champ League instead of warm ups for Oz's last tour of India! Must be said though, there is a massive difference in the $ amount of Board contracts between Oz & WI, so the incentive to go elsewhere is far lower.

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    @blackie you have very valid points on alot of these IPL players,whether the West Indies appeared then or potentially to be a sinking ship,yes they have to earn their living,but constantly year after year deciding who and what version of the game you can be available for and still get no objection certificates from the West Indies board?.Not convinced about the commitment to West Indies cricket,i would love to ask RandyOz,can any of your Aussie players blatantly refuse to play in a test series or any kind of national duty,whether against a so called strong or weak team,and still be so respected or command national selection in the future?The West Indies board is VERY,VERY silent on the reasons Benn has been ignored since the last world cup,and dont dare tell us fans YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE US AN EXPLANATION,administators need to understand they are accountable to us that PAY hard earn money to support a team when most others do not,WICB leaves alot to be desired.

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    Isn't Phil DeFreitas from Dominica he too played test for England.

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    It's encouraging to see test matches being played on the other Islands of the Caribbean, let's hope they get a good crowd for the match. The batting department is still a worry for me in the West Indies, there's plenty of ability there, but the discipline, shot-selection and lack of consistancy to bat well in both innings is something that needs working on. The squad for the England tour should be interesting, the first test is on May 17th and the IPL finishes 10 days later, so alot depends on who is eliminated by the group stages. Either way, even if we have our strongest team available, they'll be hard-pushed to compete with England, during the predictably cold, spring, overcast conditions in the UK. The ball will be seaming all over the place at that time of year, so our already fragile batting line-up will be severely tested against England's established bowling attack. Back to tomorrow's match, hopefully Kirk and Rampaul will come back in for Braithwaite and Fidel.

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