The return of West Indies left-hander Shimron Hetmyer to the CWI Four-Day Championship will add further interest to the contest between Windward Islands Volcanoes and five-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada today.
Hetmyer has only played twice in the series in the past two seasons and the Jaguars, looking to regain stability following their loss in the previous round, will be glad to have him add depth to their batting.
Last season, in his only appearance, Hetmyer made 26 and 61 against these same opponents to help Jaguars to an eight-wicket win on home soil at Guyana National Stadium.
This weekend, however, it is the Spice Isle that provides the backdrop for the contest after the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia was the venue for the last four seasons.
The Volcanoes will be hoping that the change of scenery means a change of fortunes. They have not won against the Jaguars since Rawl Lewis’ side beat Travis Dowlin’s by 151 runs, a little over 11 years ago at the Guyana National Stadium.
Elsewhere, the Championship returns to the Trelawny Multipurpose Complex for the first time in 11 years when Jamaica Scorpions host Leeward Islands Hurricanes in a bottom-of-the-table scrap.
Few significant matches have been played at the venue in the recent past and neither side has enough intimate knowledge of the condition of the pitch. However, the hosts Scorpions will not let that trouble them too much, entering the match with a huge boost of confidence after their come-from-behind victory over the Jaguars in the previous round.
In contrast, the Hurricanes suffered another setback when the Pride beat them by an innings and 81 runs and they sunk to their third loss this season.
Bowling appears to be the strength for both sides, but gaining a measure of solidity from the batting could ultimately turn the match in favour of either team.
There will be a rivalry within this rivalry between incumbent West Indies Test left-handed opener John Campbell, the Scorpions captain, and his predecessor Kieran Powell of the Hurricanes.
There could also be fireworks in the bowling, where Jamaican leg-spinner Damion Jacobs, one of the Hurricanes’ draft choices, will be looking to prove himself against his former teammates in tandem with West Indies off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall.
Jacobs has taken 192 wickets and would relish the chance to get the eight scalps he needs to reach 200. The Scorpions, meanwhile, will be looking for another big performance from off-spinner Peat Salmon, their match-winner against the Jaguars. All matches between the teams have been won, with Scorpions holding a 6-4 edge.