Austin aims to be top bowler for 2012

Off-spinner has eyes of West Indies spot "PINK ball matches step in right direction"

Bridgetown, Barbados -As he prepares for the start of the 2012 West Indies Cricket Board’s Regional Four-day Tournament, Ryan Austin the Combined Campuses & Colleges off-spinner, says he is looking to continue from where he left off last year.

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The experienced campaigner is about to start his 10th season of first-class cricket and has three major goals. According to Austin, his main job is to help CCC win their first four-day title, and go one better that their second place finish behind Jamaica last year.

The 30-year-old also wants to be the leading wicket-taker again – a feat he achieved when he took 44 wickets at just under 20 runs each last year. His third aim is to "impress the West Indies selectors" and earn a place in the West Indies team to face Australia in the three-match Digicel Test Series next month.

"I am looking to be the leading wicket-taker again this year. This is one of the main goals I have set for myself. I took the most wickets in 2009 as well so I want to continue my consistent performances and put pressure on the batsmen all the time," he said.

"My job is also about getting CCC back on top of the table again and this time around not just to make it to the final but also win the trophy. I believe if I do this I could catch the attention and impress the West Indies selectors and come into the picture to play Test cricket.

"I would love to get an opportunity to play in the West Indies team. I played against Bangladesh in the Caribbean back in 2009 and enjoyed it. We have four first-class matches before the Aussies come and I am looking to do well and try to get a look-in. There is competition for places, but I want my name to come up when the selectors meet to pick the squad."

Austin made his first-class debut for Barbados back in 2001 and has so far played 57 matches. He has 226 wickets at an average of just over 24 runs per wicket. CCC play their opening match on Friday against Trinidad & Tobago at the 3Ws Oval of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies.

The match will feature the PINK ball and will be played under lights. First ball is 3.30 pm (2.30 pm Jamaica Time). Austin said he is quite comfortable using the PINK ball and is excited to be playing at night under the lights.

"When we used the PINK ball in 2010 things went quite well. There is not a huge difference between the PINK ball and the red ball so I will be quite comfortable. What is really good is that fact that the matches will be played in the evening and into the night and the fans will get a chance to participate in a big way. It was great to see the large number of fans during the WICB Caribbean T20. It shows that night cricket is something the fans really want and these first-class matches at night are definitely a step in the right direction," Austin added.

The other matches this weekend are day matches. Defending champions Jamaica will face Windward Islands at Sabina Park, while Guyana meet Leeward Islands at Windsor Park in Dominica. Barbados have drawn a bye.