Carib Beer Series January 5, 2006

Ganga: Dillon will bounce back

By choice, Trinidad and Tobago will go into their second match of the Carib Beer regional four-day tournament without their most senior player and bowler. Daren Ganga, the captain, said it was not an easy decision to make and he promised that the omission did not mark the end for the discarded West Indies pacer with the national team.

"It was very difficult given the fact that Merv Dillon has the most experience on the team and has done well for West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago in the past. It was a tough call," Ganga said. However, despite an eight-year regional career of 29 matches in which he has so far taken 98 wickets, Ganga and his fellow selectors decided to look beyond Dillon for the match against the Jamaicans starting tomorrow at the University of the West Indies ground in St Augustine in preference to all-rounder Richard Kelly and fellow seamer Rayad Emrit.

Ganga said, "It's a matter of choice based on form." He also added in the case against Dillon that, "Dillon is nursing a finger injury that hampered in the first game [against the Leeward Islands] and the practice games as well and in the end, the decision was made to go with Emrit and Kelly."

The skipper said however, that Dillon, 31, a veteran of 38 Tests and 108 one-day Internationals for West Indies had not been left in the dark over his omission. "He is quite aware of the thinking," Ganga said. "We had a good forum where we discussed the decision. It's something that had to be done. It's just unfortunate that Dillon had to be the one missing out. I personally know that he is going to bounce back and make an impact on the latter half of this Carib Beer Series.

While Dillon's absence is confirmed, the presence against Jamaica of Dave Mohammed is still in doubt. Mohammed, the left-arm wrist spinner, who missed T&T's disastrous KFC Cup regional one-day campaign last October because of a finger injury, will have a fitness test this morning for another finger problem, this time to his right hand, suffered in the final warm-up last weekend. It is a test Ganga will be anxious for Mohammed to pass given his preference for playing two spinners against the defending champions at UWI.

Should Mohammed fail to be fit however, Ganga still has the option of using steady offspinner Amit Jaggernauth and rookie leg-spinner Sanjiv Gooljar.