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West Indies: 17th man on the cards

An Additional player may be added to the West Indies touring party to England after all

Haydn Gill
An Additional player may be added to the West Indies touring party to England after all.
The selectors' request for a 17th player had originally been turned down, but chief selector Mike Findlay revealed yesterday that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) had not yet closed the door on the matter.
Findlay was responding to a query from the WEEKEND NATION amidst whispers that two players were to be drafted into the squad of 16 that was announced last week.
'That has not been finalised. We are still having discussions with the West Indies board about an increase in the number of players,' he said.
'Mr. Pat Rousseau (WICB president) has said to me: `Mike, we are prepared to reconsider our position on that.'
'We are now putting together some proposals which I hope to discuss with the acting chief executive officer Richard Jodhan in the next couple days,' Findlay added.
'He will put them to his executive, but what I'm told is that they are prepared to consider again the question of a 17th player.'
The name of a wicket-keeper and a fast bowler were strongly mentioned in some quarters at Kensington Oval yesterday as the two possible late inclusions to the touring party which leaves for London on May 30.
It was somewhat of a surprise that just a solitary specialist wicket-keeper ' Ridley Jacobs ' was chosen for a tour that stretches three months and includes as many as five Tests, a maximum of seven One-Day Internationals, eight first-class matches and three other limited-overs matches.
Findlay, who was re-appointed for a second two-year term as chairman of selectors following the board's annual general meeting in Guyana last weekend, also revealed that star batsman Brian Lara had started his preparation for the tour by returning to practice sessions.
A last-minute selection after his 'short break from the game', Lara has not played any serious cricket since Trinidad and Tobago's final Busta Cup match on February 7.
'He is back playing. I've had reports out of Trinidad that he has been back in the Queen's Park nets,' Findlay said.
'There is enough time for him to get match-fit and physically fit. I'm happy with that and so are my colleagues on the selection panel.'
Recuperating fast bowler Corey Collymore, whose selection to England was subject to a fitness test, is to have another evaluation before his place is confirmed.
The 22-year-old, who suffered a recurrence of a long-time back injury last September, appeared not to be in any discomfort while bowling for the West Indies 'A' team last week.