Fidel Edwards, a 21-year-old fast bowler from Barbados, was a surprise inclusion in the 14-member West Indies squad named for the second Test against Sri Lanka at Kingston, Jamaica.
Edwards has played just one first-class match and taken a solitary wicket, but he has the unflinching support of Brian Lara. "I think young Fidel of course is going to be a surprise for the people of the Caribbean, but I think our cricket aficionados would understand that he's been around," said Lara after the drawn Test in St Lucia.
Edwards replaced the reserve wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh in the squad from the first Test. He is the fifth fast bowler in the squad, joining Merv Dillon, Corey Collymore, Vasbert Drakes and Jerome Taylor.
"Right now, we are looking to find the right set of guys to take West Indies up in the future," said Lara. "Fidel just falls into that fold. He's someone who we are going to be looking at [not only] over the next Test match but also over the next few weeks."
Edwards found it hard to fight his way into a Barbados side packed with fast bowling riches during the 2003 Carib Beer Series. Pedro Collins - Edwards's half-brother - Tino Best, Drakes, Collymore and Ian Bradshaw all play for Barbados. Lara, however, was apparently impressed with Edwards when he bowled in the nets before the third Test against Australia last month.
Chris Gayle, Wavell Hinds, Daren Ganga, Devon Smith, Brian Lara (capt), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Marlon Samuels, Ridley Jacobs (wk), Omari Banks, Corey Collymore, Merv Dillon, Vasbert Drakes, Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor.