Mansingh looks to ‘spin’ things for Jamaica
Melbourne CC and Combined Campuses and Colleges spinner Abhijai Mansingh is overjoyed to be selected in Jamaica Scorpion's 13-man squad and is relishing the opportunity to kick-start his lifelong dream.
The 24-year-old Mansingh was selected for his first senior first-class squad, which will fly out to Antigua, for the early February start of the Regional Four-Day Championship.
Mansingh is among four spinners that coach Andrew Richardson and the selectors will use because of the spin-friendly conditions in Antigua where the Jamaicans will play their first two encounters.
"It means the world to me as my dream is to play Test cricket for the West Indies and this is one step closer to realising that dream. I am looking forward to winning games for my country.
"It's exciting for me to play in Antigua because the pitches there are similar to what we have in Jamaica and so it's not alien to me. I am excited to see how my leg spin pans out on those pitches because I feel I can extract some turn from the surfaces," he said.
Mansingh's selection could change the 2021 view of former West Indies lead selector, Roger Harper, who in 2021 opined that the region was lacking good quality right-arm leg spinners.
Since Harper's utterances, West Indies have prolonged with a plethora of left-arm leg spinners in Veerasammy Permaul and Gudakesh Motie of Guyana and Jomel Warrican of Barbados, while Jamaica have not utilised a right-arm spinner since the days of Odean Brown and Damion Jacobs, who played most recently as 2020.
Mansingh, a former Campion College player, however, will take heart that of the top 10 bowlers in last year's regional championship, six were spinners. While those stats will weigh heavily on the slow bowlers, Mansingh is keen to remain focused and deliver for Jamaica.
"The only number I really care about is my country winning. One of the biggest motivations for us is that we can create history by winning the CPL and the Super 50, so if we can win the four-day tournament, Jamaica would hold all regional titles," he said.