By E. Glenford Prescott
St. Vincent and the Grenadines legspining all-rounder Keiron Cottoy, with just three T20 matches under his cap, has been drafted by the St. Lucia Zouks as replacement for injured captain Darren Sammy.
Reports say that Sammy has been ruled out for four weeks and will miss the remainder of the Caribbean Premier League after he fractured his left hand while batting in the match against Jamaica Tallawahs. Sammy took a blow from a delivery by Andre Russell and had to retire hurt.
Cottoy, a tall right-arm legspinner, has caught the eyes of regional commentators after his performance in the regional Nagico Super50 playing for the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), where he displayed good control and good variation with his deliveries. Prior to this, the 25-year-old found it difficult to break onto the regional scene with a place in the Windwards team mystifyingly not available despite him being the leading wickettaker in the 2014 Windwards tournament.
He bagged 15 wickets @13.73 with a best of 5/69 against Dominica. The Victors 1 player, who made his first class debut in 2011 where he played two matches, has not found favour with the selectors since then at either the longer or shorter version of the game.
Cottoy was on a developmental contract with the WICB, five years ago and in 2008 was named as the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) 2008 Under-19 Player of the Year.
It is believed the contract with the Zouks could be the breakthrough that had eluded Cottoy over the years. He now joins U19 captain Gidron Pope as a member of the Zouks line-up. Pope was given a contract under a new initiative introduced for the 2015 CPL season to benefit young players. He was one of six young players to have been offered the opportunity.
In addition to Pope, Cottoy will meet another of his compatriots in left-arm seamer Delorn Johnson, who was picked up by the Zouks in the draft. A
nother Vincentian, Ian Allen, the former West indies seamer is the assistant coach of the Zouks as well.
Reports say that former England captain, Kevin Pietersen will take over leadership of the Zouks in Sammy’s absence.
Sammy, who led Zouks to three wins and two losses this season, scored 81 runs in six innings with the highest score of 29 at a strike-rate of 124.61 and also picked up six wickets at an economy-rate of 8.5.