Smith delighted with national team call-up

Gregory Smith was all smiles as he was notified of his selection to the Cayman Islands national cricket squad to compete in the ICC World Cricket League Division 5 tournament in South Africa in September.

Smith was named in a 14-man squad announced by Cayman Cricket technical director Peter Anderson on 18 July. He learned of his place after being interrupted from a net session at Smith Road Oval, when Anderson and fellow selector, Ricardo Sealy, called him for a quick chat.

“I’m very proud to be making the senior national team for the first time,” Smith told CaymanSportsBuzz.com moments after learning of his selection. “I’m really honoured to finally make the senior side and represent my country.”

At 31, he’ll wear the national uniform for the first time. “I’ve been waiting so long to make it, if I get a game, I’m just hoping to perform and help the team get a victory and move up to a next division.”

Upon learning of his place in the national side, Smith walked back to the nets, looked to the heavens and took a deep breath, as the magnitude of the news hit him.

“It was pretty emotional. A lot of the guys said to just keep on working…I’m really happy and proud of myself.”

 

Smith has been useful with the ball during the domestic season.

 

Anderson said the all-rounder fit into the selectors plans for a well-rounded team with players who understand and accept their roles.

“He’s got a fantastic attitude, his fielding is exceptional, he’s a very good team man and part of the decision for him to be in the reserves is when he’s called upon, I think he can fill a gap when required,” Anderson said.

“It’s a good opportunity for him. He’s a very hard worker in the nets and I think he deserves his selection,” he added. In addition to tidy bowling and fielding, Smith is a hard-runner between the wickets, who can help rotate the strike when runs are needed.

The technical director said it is important to have players in the pavilion, who are ready to contribute when called upon. “It’s a very tough position to be in. Sometimes you get a game, sometimes you don’t. So, the attitude is very important on the bench and that is part of the reason [for his selection] and if he gets the opportunity, I know he can fill an important role,” Anderson said.

He described the national squad as well-rounded and balanced with batting down to number 11 with solid medium pace bowlers and spinners, including those who can bowl tight and others who are more attacking.

The full squad is: Ramon Sealy (captain), Alessandro Morris (vice-captain), Kevin Bazil, Ryan Bovell, Corey Cato, Darren Cato, Sacha De Alwis, Jalon Linton, Deno McInnis, Ricardo Roach, Gregory Smith, Troy Taylor, Omar Willis, and Conroy Wright.

Reserves are: Kevon Bazil, Neil Coley, Ainsley Hall and Chris Palmer.

The Cayman Islands moved up to Division 5 after defeating Argentina earlier this year. For the 2-9 September tournament, they will face Qatar, Guernsey, and Italy in the group stage. Other teams are Jersey, Vanuatu, Ghana and Germany.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.