Windiescricket says Hayden Walsh, Jr. had “big dreams” of wearing the maroon colors of the West Indies cricket team and is ready to make the step into the team after being named in the One-Day International and Twenty20 International squads for the upcoming series against Afghanistan.
This is the leg-spinner’s first selection to the West Indies squad and came as a result of his heroics for Barbados Tridents in the recent-concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Windiescricket said.
It said Walsh took 22 wickets — six more than the next highest wicket-taker — and was “the talisman” as the Bajans won their second title. The 27-year-old was named the Most Valuable Player.
Windiescricket said Walsh is a member of Liberta Cricket Club in Antigua, where he is teammate of all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall, who was named in the Test squad.
Walsh has represented Leeward Island Hurricanes and Barbados Pride in the West Indies Championship (four-day) and Super50 Cup tournaments.
“It’s one of those boyhood dreams that me and my younger brother Tahir had,” Walsh told Windiescricket. “He went on to be a star in track and field, and I stuck to the cricket.
“When I got the call-up, my mind flashed back to when we played in the yard with my father, and we were imagining what roles we would play in the West Indies team,” he added. “Today, my dream is reality, and I’m really proud to be named in the West Indies team.
“This is just the beginning,” Walsh continued. “I’m just looking forward to getting onto the field and making a name for myself and helping West Indies win. That’s the main goal.
“It’s going to be a step-up,” he said. “I’m going to have to zone in and bring my ‘A’ game. I’m confident I can do whatever the team requires of me. Also, we have a few payers I have played with in the team, and I’m familiar with everyone in the West Indies systems; so, I know I will fit in with the team unit.”
Windiescricket said Walsh has already played at the international level, making his debut for USA last year and appearing in a single One-Day International and eight T20s.
Walsh grew up in Antigua and honed his skills on the island, under the guidance of his father, the late Hayden Walsh, Sr., who represented Leeward Islands during the 1980s and 1990s, Windiescricket said.
“I want to say a special thanks to everyone at USA Cricket and the team-mates in the USA team who made me feel welcomed while I played there,” Walsh said. “It was a good eye-opener to what it’s like on the international stage, and it’s an experience I will cherish.”
Iain Higgins, chief executive of USA Cricket, told Windiescricket that Walsh “has been nothing short of outstanding on and off the field for USA since his first selection in 2018.
“His all-round talent with bat and ball, allied with his world-class fielding, were crucial factors in the USA team gaining ODI status for the first time earlier this year,” Higgins said. “Of course, we are very disappointed to lose him, but we are glad that USA Cricket was able to provide an international platform for him at an important point in his career.
“And everyone involved with USA Cricket understands and fully supports his decision, and we wish him all the best for his future career with CWI (Cricket West Indies),” he added.
The West Indies, the reigning ICC World T20 champions, will play against Afghanistan in three T20Is, three ODIs and a Test match.
They arrive in India on Nov. 1, with the series going until Dec. 1.
Windiescricket said the matches will be played at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium in the city of Lucknow.
Test Match– Jason Holder (captain), Shai Hope, John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Sunil Ambris, Jomel Warrican, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul and Alzarri Joseph.
One-Day Internationals – Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sunil Ambris, Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd and Alzarri Joseph.
T20 Internationals – Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Brandon King, Fabian Allen, Hayden Walsh Jr, Jason Holder, Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Kesrick Williams and Alzarri Joseph
Nov. 4: Warm-up match — Ekana International Cricket Stadium, Lucknow; Nov. 6: 1st ODI — Ekana International Cricket Stadium; Nov, 9: 2nd ODI — Ekana International Cricket Stadium; Nov. 11: 3rd ODI — Ekana International Cricket Stadium; Nov. 14: 1st T20I — Ekana International Cricket Stadium; Nov. 16: 2nd T20I — Ekana International Cricket Stadium; Nov. 17: 3rd T20I — Ekana International Cricket Stadium; Nov. 20-23: four-day warm-up — Ekana International Cricket Stadium; and Nov. 27 to Dec. 1: Test Match — Ekana International Cricket Stadium.