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Wainwright bemoans loss of Smith

Gone West: Smith has thrown his lot in with Somerset (File photograph)

Dennis Wainwright is happy Sinclair Smith has been included in St George’s team, but felt sorry to lose another talented youngster, Regino Smith, to Somerset.

The Cup Match champions were showing interest in Sinclair Smith who opted to stick with St George’s, while Regino Smith, the Flatts batsman, has switched to Somerset after previously trying out for St George’s.

He has been named as a reserve for Somerset, which now prevents him from returning to St George’s.

“I even paid his dues some years ago, I think I was on the management [committee] at the time,” Wainwright said of Regino Smith.

“I went to the chairman of selectors and explained that this guy has a lot of potential, he’s interested in playing for St George’s and we should invite him down to training to show that we are interested in him.

“When I checked with him the next season and asked him if he had been down to St George’s he said he had been a couple of times but didn’t have any transportation.

“Yesterday, I heard he is reserve for Somerset who, when they saw him in the Eastern Counties, sent him an invitation to join their training sessions.

“He can keep wicket and is a good bat. I wish I had kept on him. He would never have got out of the hands of [former selection committee chairman] Oliver Caisey.”

Wainwright, who is in charge of the annual Cup Match Safe Hands award, which was won last year by Somerset’s Derrick Brangman, still holds the record for most dismissals by a wicketkeeper, 37 (26 catches and 11 stumpings) between 1957 and 1977. The Safe Hands presentation will take place next Tuesday at Bermuda HealthCare Services.

Wainwright has already run the rule over Sinclair Smith and likes what he has seen in the St George’s colt.

“He has a lot of potential and speaking with him he seems like a person who wants to learn, so I passed on a few tips to him, especially his work down the leg side,” Wainwright said.

“He seemed very receptive. I also talked to him about the importance of being physically fit, even fitter than the bowlers, because he’s the one the bowlers depend on to take the chances.”

Wainwright said Cup Match will have two outstanding wicketkeepers, with Jekon Edness following in the footsteps of his father Anthony Manders, who is a former wicketkeeper for Western Stars and Somerset.

“I always thought Edness was pretty good, too,” he said. “Herbie Bascome’s boy, Okera, has some potential also.

“Sinclair is dedicated and committed to the position and that’s very important. I could even throw with my left hand because I worked on it so much.”

St George’s made six changes to last year’s team and Wainwright, still a financial member at the club, supports the decision to bring back experienced batsman Lionel Cann.

Wainwright, a former captain of St George’s, believes they have a good chance of victory against an unchanged Somerset team.

“I think their chances are pretty good,” he said. “I know some people are questioning whether Lionel [Cann] should be in the team, but what are you trying to do, win the cup or just produce a team?

“If we had the trophy I would say pick some youngsters, but when you’re trying to get the trophy this is no time to be trying out people.”