A fitness test is all that stands between Brian Lara and the opening Carib Beer Series contest against Guyana at the Queen's Park Oval on Friday.
Lara was named in the 14-man Trinidad and Tobago squad that will take on the Guyanese, pending a fitness test tomorrow concerning his shoulder injury. Once a decision has been made on his fitness, the squad will be trimmed to 13 players for the Guyana match.
T&T will be led by allrounder Rayad Emrit in the absence of Daren Ganga, who is currently on tour with West Indies in South Africa.
Noticeably absent from the T&T squad is veteran fast bowler Mervyn Dillon, but T&T Cricket Board chairman Dudnath Ramkessoon stressed yesterday that this does not mean the big pacer is out of the series. "We have Ravi Rampaul there, we have [Richard] Kelly there," Ramkessoon told the Express. "There's [only] so many players you can pick. It's just for this game, because after the first game [against Guyana] we'll pick for the second one [against Barbados]."
Adrian Barath, the talented young opener, returns from an elbow injury to boost the T&T team. Coach Kelvin Williams will be buoyed by Barath's robust 106 from a total of 266 for 6 for South against North in their limited-overs fixture, on Sunday. Atiba Alert, a fast bowler, is the only new face in the T&T squad.
Richard Kelly returns to the fold after being excluded from the KFC Cup squad in October. Kelly was in sparkling form for North in the Pizza Hut Gerry Gomez North/South Classic, last weekend, his ten-wicket match haul earning him the accolades of Man of the Match, Best Bowler and North MVP.