BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE Nevis Cricket Association (NCA) is taking aim at the West Indies Selectors for their excuse that Kieran Powell was omitted from the squad to Bangladesh due to “fitness concerns”.
In its statement, the NCA said it remains deeply concerned “at the non-selection to the West Indies teams of Kieran Powell”.
Powell was not part of the travelling party to Dakha for the one-month tour beginning later this month, even though several high profile players pulled out, including Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer.
The NCA reminded that it was well established that Kieran Powell along with Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis and others failed a fitness test back in January 2020.
While arrangements were speedily made for some players to retake the test, the NCA noted that “Kieran Powell was not afforded that opportunity”.
The NCA further explained that West Indies teams have subsequently toured Sri Lanka, England and New Zealand, and a team was announced within the past week for a tour of Bangladesh.
“Disturbingly, while some twelve (12) first-team players have reportedly declined the invitation to tour Bangladesh, Kieran Powell was inexplicably not selected. Chairman of selectors, Roger Harper, justified the selection of Kjorn Ottley as a ‘natural fit to replace Shai Hope’ explaining that Ottley had a good One Day tournament and is a left-hander. For the record, Kieran Powell was the leading performer in the said One Day tournament and is also a left-hander. Further, Powell has significant prior experience playing against the upcoming opponents, Bangladesh,” the statement added.
President of the NCA, Carlisle Powell explained that “when questioned on the omission of Powell, Chairman of Selectors, Roger Harper, responded that Powell is ‘yet to make the fitness standard,’”, lamenting that “this statement is incorrect”.
“When the Leeward Islands Hurricanes conducted their fitness tests on June 30th, 2020, Kieran Powell successfully passed all aspects of the tests including the yo-yo test. The results of the tests were communicated to Mr. Peter Abraham Jr., CEO of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board, shortly thereafter. These results and, in particular, as they relate to Kieran Powell ought to have been made known to Cricket West Indies and their employees as they have an interest in the fitness of all of their players. Subsequently, we presume Cricket West Indies were in receipt of Kieran Powell’s successful fitness test results as Powell was included in a group of probable players that were in consideration for the West Indies tour of Bangladesh as recently as two weeks ago,” the statement added.
With failure to pass a fitness test being the primary reason for Powell’s omission, the NCA is not buying it, as it was pointed out that results of a June 30 fitness test under the supervision of Leeward Islands Cricket Coach Stuart Williams and Trainer Hance Richards, “there is no question on the fitness of Powell. Further, his domination of the last Regional Super 50 shows he is not short of form”.
“It is our respectful view that Kieran Powell has met every aspect of the Cricket West Indies selection policy. It is also clear that his continued non-selection restrains him from performing his trade,” the statement added.
In standing with the Nevisian cricketer, the Nevis Cricket Association said it would continue to support Kieran Powell in this bid to bring clarity to the situation.