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Back from exile

Sylvester Joseph.

ST. JOHN’S – Former West Indies batsman Sylvester Joseph is returning to regional cricket after a three-and-a-half-year absence.

And after playing just one season he has been appointed to captain the 14-member Leeward Islands team for the Caribbean Twenty20 Tournament in St Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago.

The stylish right-handed batsman last played competitive cricket in 2008 in the Stanford 20/20 before taking a break from the game. On his return this year to local cricket for his club MedPath New Winthrope’s, Joseph did enough to earn him national selection again, and also as captain of the national team in the Leeward Islands 50 overs and 3- day tournaments.

Joseph said he was happy that the Leeward Islands’ selectors and the management of the various associations had entrusted him with that confidence to lead the team.

He noted that the Leeward Islands had very talented players, but they must have pride in themselves and always remember that they were representing the Leeward Islands.

Joseph, who captained the West Indies A Team and represented the West Indies senior team in five test matches and 13 ODIs from 2000 to 2005, said the Leeward Islands would not be taking any team for granted in the tournament, but added Trinidad & Tobago would be their biggest threat based on their experience and the resources they had.

Joseph said he was looking forward to working with his former captain and team-mate Stuart Williams, who is the coach of the team. He said that there must be a plan going into this tournament, and the players must be focus.

The full Leeward Islands team includes Devon Thomas, Gavin Tonge, Anthony Martin, Rahkeem Cornwall and Justin Athanase of Antigua & Barbuda, Kieran Powell (vice-captain), and Tonito Willett of Nevis, Javia Liburd of St. Kitts, Chesney Hughes, Jahmar Hamilton, Lyndel Richardson, Kelbert Walters and Shane Burton of Anguilla.The manager is Junie Mitcham of St. Kitts.

The Leeward Islands will open their campaign against Barbados on January 7 before taking on Trinidad & Tobago on January 9 at the Queen’s Park Oval. (windiescricket)†††

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