Alick Athanaze and Akeem Jordan were recently named in a West Indies 15-man squad for the two-Test tour of South Africa.
Both players were leading performers in the first two rounds of the Regional First Class Championship and replace left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican and batter Nkrumah Bonner, who have been dropped from the squad, which toured Zimbabwe.
Athanaze, a left-handed batter with 22 first class matches, gathered 244 runs at an average of 61 for Windward Islands Volcanoes, following up on the 222 runs he scored last season.
More significantly, he impressed with a 100 runs in the second round recently, pummeling a fine 141 against Guyana Harpy Eagles.
“Athanaze is one of the young players who we have invested in, and he played well in the ‘A Team’ and CWI President’s XI,” said Chief Selector Desmond Haynes.
He showed great promise in the CG United Super50 last year and then got his first 100 in the West Indies Championship recently.
Jordan, a right-arm seamer who has made just five first class appearances, picked up 12 wickets for Barbados Pride at 16 runs apiece.
He also took 12 wickets from three matches in the 2022 campaign, in which he made his first class debut.
“Jordan has been very impressive from last year, he has continued to bowl well and he has been excellent in the first two matches so far this year.” Haynes continued.
“He is very skillful, can bowl the new ball, and looks to put the ball in the right areas. He is also a sharp fielder and good catcher close to the wicket.”
West Indies, which thrashed Zimbabwe by an innings and four runs recently in Bulawayo to take the two-match series 1-0, will now turn their attention to the much more challenging tour of South Africa.
They arrived in South Africa for two Tests — at SuperSport Park in Centurion from Feb. 28 to March 4 and the Wanderers in Johannesburg from March 8-12.
Prior to the first Test, they took on a South Africa Invitational XI in a four day match which started on February 21.