Akeal Hosein and Keagan Simmons have been drafted into the T&T Red Force squad for next season’s Professional Cricket League (PCL) campaign. The 26-year-old Queen's Park Cricket Club cricketer will make a return to regional cricket after missing out last season. The last time Hosein played was in 2017 for the Leeward Islands Hurricanes. Simmons, who is 20, is yet to make his first-class debut, but he has played five List A matches.
Chairman of Selectors, Tony Gray, and head coach, Mervyn Dillon, oversaw the draft for the T&T Red Force. In addition to drafting Hosein and Simmons, they also brought in Yannic Cariah, Isaiah Rajah, and Daniel St. Clair. The protected players include Bryan Charles, Joshua Da Silva, Kyle Hope from Barbados, Imran Khan, Jason Mohammed, Anderson Phillip, Khary Pierre, Denesh Ramdin, Odean Smith from Jamaica and Jeremy Solozano.
Three other Trinidad and Tobago players were drafted by different franchises. Kjorn Ottley and Tion Webster have been added to the Barbados Pride line-up while the Leeward Islands Hurricanes have snapped up wicket-keeper Amir Jangoo. Each franchise contracts a minimum of 15 players, with 10 of their picks pre-selected from their home territory or from the previous season’s roster. The remaining five players are drafted from the Player Pool with a minimum of two from outside the franchisee's territory.
Speaking to Guardian Media Sports yesterday after receiving the news, Hosein was delighted to be back on the regional radar. He said, “It’s a really good feeling. Looking on from the outside is always difficult, even if you are doing well. You have to be at the regional level in order to address the selectors, and I’m happy to be back here.”
The left arm spinner enters a team that has been struggling in the first-class game, but he feels he can assist in getting the Red Force back up the table. “At the end of the day, no one player can pull an entire team up the table. It all goes down to team effort. I always bring a positive vibe and the key to the Red Force is to stick together. That’s the only way we are going to get by. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” Hosein told Guardian Media Sports.
Having spent a year out of the regional game, he is hopeful this can be his revival period. He is happy with the squad T&T has and feels he will fit right in.
T&T Red Force suqad: Bryan Charles, Joshua Da Silva, Kyle Hope (Barbados), Imran Khan, Jason Mohammed, Anderson Phillip, Khary Pierre, Denesh Ramdin, Odean Smith (Jamaica), Jeremy Solozano; Yannic Cariah, Akeal Hosein, Isaiah Rajah, Keegan Simmons, Daniel St. Clair