Harper: WI can keep title with ‘rub of the green’; Rampaul, Roston, Gayle in 15-man squad—Holder in reserves

Thirty-six-year-old fast bowler Ravi Rampaul and 29-year-old all-rounder Roston Chase today both successfully forced their way into the 15-man West Indies squad for the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

West Indies are the defending champions and only two-time winners of the title—after triumphs in Sri Lanka 2012 and India 2016. Captain Kieron Pollard’s men begin their campaign to become the first team to manage a hat-trick of titles on 23 October, when they face England in Dubai.

Photo: West Indies captain Kieron Pollard (centre) celebrates with his team=mates after the dismissal of India’s Rishabh Pant during the third T20I in Mumbai on 11 December 2019.
(Copyright AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Neither Rampaul nor Chase featured in the West Indies’ T20 team for some time but both staked their claims at the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 cricket tournament, where they top the bowling and batting stats respectively.

Conversely, 41-year-old batsman Chris ‘Universe Boss’ Gayle and 36-year-old opener Lendl Simmons held on to their squad places, despite a recent dip in form. However, the big omission was former captain and talented 29-year-old all-rounder Jason Holder who was named among the squad’s four reserves and can only see action at the World Cup in the case of injury to one of the selected 15.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) lead selector Roger Harper said Rampaul, who featured in the 2012 World Cup but has not received a Windies call-up since 2015, is a positive addition to the squad.

“Ravi Rampaul is a highly experienced bowler who performed well in the last CG Insurance Super50 Cup and the current Hero CPL to date,” Harper told  CWI Media. “He will boost the team’s wicket-taking options in the powerplay and the middle phase and will provide another option for the death overs.”

Photo: Veteran TKR pacer Ravi Rampaul, who has already made enough waves in the 2021 CPL to get the selectors’ nod for the October to November World Cup.
(via CPL T20 Ltd 2021)

Harper also commended Chase for earning his pick.

“Roston Chase has shown that he is a very capable T20 player,” said Harper. “He performed well in the CPL in 2020 and has been outstanding in the 2021 edition so far. He has shown the ability to knit the innings together while still scoring at a fast rate with a low dot-ball percentage.

“He will be an excellent foil for the explosive players in the team.”

Seven members of the West Indies’ 15-man squad are over 30 years old—the average age of the team is 30.6—and just two players, pacers Obed McCoy and Oshane Thomas, both 24, are below the age of 25.

Harper believes the team’s know-how will be an asset in the UAE.

“The squad is one with good depth and strength in all departments,” he said .  “There is tremendous T20 experience along with World Cup-winning experience which should stand the team in good stead. This squad is made up of many world-beating players, who once knitted into a world-beating team,  and they will be extremely difficult to beat.

Photo: West Indies batting star Chris Gayle (centre) celebrates with team-mate Dwayne Bravo during their ICC World T20 match against South Africa in Nagpur, India on 25 March 2016.
(Copyright AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

“I expect the team to do very well and with the ‘rub of the green’, I think the team has a good chance of defending the title.”

For theopening ‘Super 12’ phase of the World Cup, WI are grouped with England, Australia, South Africa and two still undetermined qualifying teams. Of those six nations, only two will advance to the knockout semi-final round.

West Indies 15-man squad:

Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.

Travelling reserves:

Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein.

Photo: West Indies batsman Chris Gayle goes on the attack.
(Copyright AP)

ICC T20 Cricket World Cup schedule

Round 1

Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Namibia;

Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, and Oman.

(Top two teams from each group advance to Super 12s)

Super 12s

Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1 and B2.

Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, A2 and B1.

(Top two teams from each group advance to the semi-finals)

Photo: St Lucia Kings batsman Roston Chase (right) hits to leg for six while GAW wicket-keeper Nicholas Pooran looks on during CPL action at Warner Park on 2 September 2021 in Basseterre, St Kitts on 2 September 2021.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

West Indies Match Schedule

23 October: v England in Dubai (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica);

26 October: v South Africa in Dubai (2pm UAE time, 6am Eastern Caribbean/5am Jamaica);

29 October: v B2 in Sharjah (2pm UAE time, 8am Eastern Caribbean/7am Jamaica);

4 November: v A1, in Abu Dhabi (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica);

6 November: v Australia in Abu Dhabi (2pm UAE time, 6am Eastern Caribbean/5am Jamaica);

Photo: TKR batsman Lendl Simmons gets himself an off-side boundary  while Jamaica Tallawahs wicket-keeper Kennar Lewis looks on during CPL action at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis on 7 September 2021.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)


November 10: Group 1 winner v Group 1 second in Abu Dhabi (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica);

November 11: Group B winner v Group A second in Dubai (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica);


November 14: Final in Dubai (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica).

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  1. Wish this West Indies team well but I remain concerned about some of these selections. The subject of fitness continues to be sighted as the reason when players are left out. Yet
    no insight into what are the fitness standards that are in use are revealed. That raises questions as to certain players actually can or do successfully complete fitness test.

    • Come, come! Any good reason why you opt for “certain players” and not to call names?

      You have cocoa in sun or what? Or you have skin in the game? Natural reticence? Plenty broughtupcy?

      Who are these “certain players”? Spill the beans.

      • My comment was not about this team alone it was general. After hearing the Chief Selector tonight attempting to justify inclusions and exclusions it was even clearer to me the need to provide the fitness criteria currently in use so that we all understand and not speculate about whether or not players are meeting the criteria or even capable of meeting the criteria as set. The continued abscene of this information unfortunately brings into question the selection policy, the leadership and management of the team. Mr. Harper’s statements appear to give credence to my views.

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