ICELAND SQUAD ANNOUNCED

The Iceland Cricket Association has named a squad of 22 players for the Iceland national team this year. A selection committee comprising Bala Kamallakharan (Chairman), Mohammad Younas (Vice Chairman), Keenan Botha (Coach) and Lakmal Bandara (Captain), assisted by advisor Kit Harris, met yesterday to discuss the composition of the squad.


The last Iceland squad to be selected was a group of 15 players who travelled to Malta for the Valletta Cup in October 2019 under Darren Talbot as coach and Nolan Williams as captain. This is the first squad put together under the auspices of their respective successors, Botha and Bandara. Of the Malta squad, three players were not picked this time: Harris and Botha have both retired from international cricket and Leslie Dcunha has moved to Norway. The remaining 12 have all retained their places.


Four players have been recalled: Ravi Rawat, the opening batsman, played for Iceland in 2016 and 2017 and has returned to the squad after making a strong start to the season opening the batting for Reykjavík. Khan Gul makes a comeback, having played a solitary match for Iceland in 2017; still considered the fastest bowler on the island, he gets a recall as veteran pacer Nolan Williams advances into middle-age. Lakshitha Bimsara made a single appearance for Iceland in 2019 and scored a duck; as age encroaches on Lee Nelson, the selection of an extra wicketkeeper was deemed wise, and he hit a quickfire 42 for Reykjavík at the start of this season. The seamer Ramachandran Gujapan also made his Iceland debut in 2019 but was not taken to Malta; he has continued to show promise by taking wickets consistently since then.


Six players have earned their first call-ups to the Iceland squad. Jegadeesh Subramaniyam has been the runaway star performer with the ball so far this summer, with a five-wicket haul and a hat trick under his belt already. Sebastiaan Dreyer is Vesturbær's in-form batsman; he's consistently performed as an opener and keeper this season. Avik Ghosh is considered a steady, reliable top-order batsman who has the potential to fill the anchor role previously filled by Dcunha. Navas Karim has made only one appearance for Kópavogur at club level but has a been picked as a wild card for his raw but promising big-ripping leg spin, there being no other wrist-spinner in the squad. Two promising all-rounders from Hafnarfjörður, Tajdar Khan and Tariq Mehmood, both of whom bowl medium pace and can hit the ball hard, complete the squad.


Sathiya Rupan, Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Younas will accompany the squad as net bowlers and reserves.


The Coach, Keenan Botha, said "We've gone for players who we think would have good discipline, a good work ethic and would be good team players." He called the squad strong and talented, adding "I can't wait to start preparing the boys towards their journey to Italy this autumn."


The squad will meet on Saturday for a practice match ahead the three games against the touring Association of Indian Dentists on 1, 2 and 3 July.


Squad


Lakmal Bandara (Reykjavík) (captain)

Dushan Bandara (Hafnarfjörður)

Lakshitha Bimsara (Reykjavík)

Abhi Chauhan (Kópavogur)

David Cook (Kópavogur)

Derick Deonarain (Reykjavík)

Sebastiaan Dreyer (Vesturbær) *

Chamley Fernando (Hafnarfjörður)

Avik Ghosh (Vesturbær) *

Samuel Gill (Hafnarfjörður)

Ramachandran Gujapan (Vesturbær)

Khan Gul (Reykjavík)

Navas Karim (Kópavogur) *

Tajdar Khan (Hafnarfjörður) *

Sadun Lankathilaka (Reykjavík)

Lee Nelson (Vesturbær)

Ravi Rawat (Reykjavík)

Jakob Robertson (Kópavogur)

Tariq Mehmood (Hafnarfjörður) *

Prabhath Weerasooriya (Reykjavík)

Nolan Williams (Kópavogur)

Jegadeesh Subramaniyam (Kópavogur) *


* first selection for an Iceland squad


Reserves / net bowlers: Abdur Rehman (Kópavogur), Sathiya Rupan (Reykjavík), Mohammad Younas (Hafnarfjörður).


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