West Indies news October 22, 2011

Samuels, Fidel Edwards given WICB contracts

ESPNcricinfo staff

Marlon Samuels and Fidel Edwards have been handed Grade B contracts by the WICB for 2011-12, while Ravi Rampaul has been upgraded to Grade B after having been on a Grade C contract last year. Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo have not been offered central contracts after they turned them down last year. Lendl Simmons and Denesh Ramdin, who are both in the West Indies squad for the Test series in Bangladesh, have been excluded from the list of contracted players, while Ramnaresh Sarwan has been ignored again despite a brief return to the Test team over the home season.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who had a tiff with the board after being ignored for ODIs following the World Cup, continues to be the only player with a Grade A contract. Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, has been given a Grade B contract again.

Among the players who had contracts last year but have been ignored by the board this time are left-arm spinners Sulieman Benn and Nikita Miller, and batsmen Brendan Nash and Devon Smith.

Samuels returned to the West Indies team this year after serving a two-year ban for alleged links with an Indian bookmaker, and has been in prime form on West Indies' tour of Bangladesh. Fidel Edwards also got back to Test cricket this year, after overcoming a long-term back injury, and impressed against India in the home series. Rampaul's promotion arrives on the back of 22 Test wickets at an average of 23.13 this year, along with 22 one-day wickets at an average of 18.90.

Miller and Benn haven't played for West Indies since the end of the World Cup. Benn was left out after unfavourable reports from the team management about his behaviour during the tournament.

Nash was named vice-captain at the same time that Darren Sammy took over the national team's captaincy in October last year. However, he made just 54 runs in his last six innings and was dropped midway through the series against India this June. He recently withdrew from the Jamaica squad for the Regional Super50, citing personal reasons.

Legspinner Devendra Bishoo, and top-order batsman Devon Thomas, have been promoted to Grade C contracts from the development contracts they received last year. Bishoo was named the ICC Emerging Player of the Year for 2010-11 after taking 21 wickets in his first five Tests, while Kirk Edwards scored a hundred in his debut Test, against India in Dominica.

Shane Shillingford, the offspinner, who was cleared to resume bowling after undergoing remedial work on an illegal action, and is in the squad for the Tests in Bangladesh, has kept his Grade C contract.

The WICB has also increased the number of contracted women players from six to eight, with the Guyanese duo of Tremayne Smartt and Shemaine Campbelle being added to the contract list.

Men's contracts
Grade A: Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Grade B: Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels

Grade C: Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Kirk Edwards, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell and Shane Shillingford

Development Contracts: Kraigg Brathwaite, Shannon Gabriel, Nelon Pascal, Kieran Powell and Devon Thomas

Women's Contracts
Grade A: Anisa Mohammed and Stafanie Taylor

Grade B: Merissa Aguilleira, Shemaine Campbelle, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Stacy Ann King and Tremayne Smartt