Port of Spain: Former Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) captain Daren Ganga has been dropped from the team for next year's Caribbean Twenty20 Championship beginning Jan 9 in Antigua.

The T&T Cricket Board announced the 14-member squad Thursday and Ganga was not included in the side that will defend the regional title under the leadership of West Indies wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin.

Dudnath Ramkessoon, chairman of the National Selection Panel, said that Ganga could not fit into the current team set-up.

'After he resigned as captain, we looked at the position where Daren can fit into this team and it was difficult to place him in,' said Ramkessoon. 'He has served us well, but it is very difficult to offer him a place on the team at this time.'

Ganga finished second in the CT20 averages in this year's tournament and led the regional champions to the Champions League Twenty20 in India. He had no comment to make on his exclusion from the side.

Unorthodox left-arm spinner Dave Mohammed and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, a recent graduate of the West Indies High Performance Centre, have also failed to make the final cut.

Eight members of the team are currently on West Indies duty in India. They are Ramdin, Adrian Barath, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Keiron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Lendl Simmons and Darren Sammy.

Seven of these players will return Dec 12 to link up with the locally-based players, but Pollard will jet off straight to Australia, where he will be taking part in the Big Bash series before returning to the Caribbean early next month in time for the regional tournament.

The rest of the squad are all familiar faces, but out-of-favour West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo will leave Thursday for Australia to take part in their Big Bash T20 before returning Jan 7 to join the national team for the regional series.

Ramkessoon said the T&T side is a very strong one and he expects them to do well.

'On paper, we have a very strong team and if you look carefully at the set-up, we are one of the best teams in the Caribbean. Being the strongest team does not win you the title automatically however. You have to pull together and focus on the job at hand.' he said.

T&T have been drawn with Guyana, Leeward Islands and Windward Islands in Group-A of the CT20.

Squad:

Denesh Ramdin (captain), Samuel Badree, Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Kevon Cooper, Rayad Emrit, Sherwin Ganga, Justin Guillen, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Keiron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Lendl Simmons.

(Agencies)