Johnson Charles, is gearing up to cement his place in the West Indian squad, when they take on Australia today.
Charles, currently aged 23, is the second St Lucia cricketer to be picked for the national team, after Captain Darren Sammy, is hoping that playing in front of his home crowd can boost his confidence.
“I’m fully focused and I’m eager to play in front of my home crowd, but I’m not over eager” he said.
He added that he felt honoured to be representing his country, and that his dreams had come true. “As a boy growing up, I would always think of myself playing for St Lucia, for Windwards and for West Indies in front my home fans. Now I will get the chance to play against Australia on home soil and that’s quite good” Charles said.
Charles has made a case for himself, after scoring 84 runs in three innings, with a top score of 45, which came in the third ODI against the Australians.
However, with Chris Gayle in talks to make his return to the squad, Charles will have to pull off a miraculous innings to convince the selection committee of taking him seriously.
The threat of Gayle has given Charles a wakeup call, as he does not want to disappoint his family and friends in the fourth ODI. “Obviously, it means a lot to my family and close friends that I have made it into the West Indies team. A few players from my area have represented the St. Lucia team, but I am the first person from my area and from my family to reach this stage of the game, so everyone is happy and they expect the best from me” he said.
With Charles aware that he may be dropped, the West Indies are hoping to see a gutsy performance from a young man who has a lot of talent, and quite possibly a long international career ahead of him.