THE VALLEY, Anguilla – Jahmar Hamilton said he was approaching the home series between West Indies-A and Sri Lanka-A with a clear mind and a focus on improving his individual game.
The 22-year-old Hamilton was chosen in a 13-member squad for the first four-day "Test" between the two sides, starting next Wednesday at Warner Park in St. Kitts.
Hamilton said he will not get carried away by his selection to the A-Team, but would use the opportunity to further enhance his skills and his experience.
"I know this means I stand a chance of making it to the next level, but I am not really focussed on the position, it’s more about playing much better right now," Hamilton told WICB Media.
"I do not want anything to go to my head. I just want to stay down-to-earth and work on my skills. This is far more important than thinking about playing for West Indies.
"Of course, I want to play for West Indies, but I do not want that to consume me. I just want to play the game, do well and be consistent, which has been a problem in the Caribbean for wicketkeeper/batsmen, so I am looking to take up that challenge."
Hamilton finished this year’s Regional 4-Day Tournament with 297 runs – the second highest aggregate for bottom-placed Leeward Islands – with an average of 29.70 and a maiden first-class hundred of 106. He also held 12 catches behind the stumps.
He said this was only a start and he would like to build on that platform during the series against the Sri Lankans.
"I am looking to transport some of the form that I had during the Regional 4-Day into this series against the Sri Lankans," he said.
"I’ve ramped up training in the last few weeks once I knew I was selected for the A-Team and doing some work at home with some of the senior players here in Anguilla.
"I have also been playing in our local league tournament, so I have been working on my keeping and my batting in an effort to improve."
Hamilton, left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell and fellow fast bowler Miguel Cummins are the only three players in the squad that have never appeared in an international fixture for West Indies nor played for West Indies-A previously.
All three were part of the second cohort that attended the Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre in Barbados, which he credited for helping him to understand his game better.
"I must thank Sagicor WIHPC coach Graeme West for the work he did with me," said Hamilton. "I spent about seven months at the Sagicor WIHPC and it has helped me to improve my game a bit more.
"I took what I learnt during my stay at the Sagicor WIHPC into the Regional 4-Day and stuck to the basics which I knew would take me through.
He added: "The Sagicor WIHPC also taught me a lot about life and how to manage myself and various situations, apart from how to look into my game a lot more.
"It was not just about going to park and doing things one way. It was broken down into detail and worked on different things, there was video analysis and all of this combined to make it a very special experience at the Sagicor WIHPC."