ROSEAU, Dominica – Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has hailed the inclusion of uncapped left-hander Alick Athanaze in the 15-man West Indies squad for the Test tour of South Africa.
In a social media post, Skerrit said the 24-year-old’s call-up was a “gratifying moment” for the local cricket fraternity and said the entire country was “immensely proud” of the player.
“This is a momentous achievement for young Athanaze, the Windward Islands Volcanoes captain, who hails from the community of Grand Bay,” Skerrit said on Facebook.
“The Government and People of Dominica are immensely proud and stand in full support of Athanaze as he joins the regional side for the tour of South Africa, which bowls off on February 28.
“Just off his first century in regional First Class cricket earlier this month, Athanaze’s selection is yet another gratifying moment for local cricket fans who have tracked his rise over the years.
“We celebrate with him. Very best wishes for his continued success!”
Athanaze, a former West Indies Under-19 batsman, has been one of the leading scorers in the first two rounds of the Regional First Class Championship.
He struck a fifty against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the opening round in Grenada two weeks ago and followed up with a superb hundred against Guyana Harpy Eagles at the same venue last week.
Athanaze, who averages 31 from 22 first class matches, said he was looking forward to the experience.
“I’m very happy. I’m satisfied that the work I’ve put in over the years has paid off,” the Windward Islands Volcanoes captain said.
“I was a bit surprised. I wasn’t expecting it so soon because I was just focused on doing my hard work and enjoying the season and enjoying the cricket I’m playing, but I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
West Indies take on South Africa in two Tests – at SuperSport Park in Centurion from February 28 to March 4 and at the Wanderers in Johannesburg from March 8-12.