Dashing left-handed batsman Shimron Hetmyer was included in the West Indies team for the upcoming One-Day International (ODI) series against India, after an 11-month hiatus.
Hetmyer, 26, was named in a 15-man squad for the first ODI of the three-match CG United series, which starts on Thursday 27 July at Kensington Oval. The two teams will then square off in a five-match T20 International series.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) selectors also recalled fast bowler Oshane Thomas, while fast bowler Jayden Seales, leg-spinner Yannic Cariah and left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie are also included having sufficiently recovered from injury-enforced layoffs.
The “Maroon Men” are without injured pacer Keemo Paul while left-handed batsman Nicholas Pooran and allrounder Jason Holder were declared as “unavailable for selection”.
Pooran’s absence saw CWI lead selector Desmond Haynes turn to the controversial Hetmyer.
“We welcome Oshane and Shimron back into the group,” Haynes told the CWI Media. “Both have played at the international level before, with some success, and we believe they will fit well into the set-up.
“Oshane brings pace and is a potential wicket-taker with the new ball. Shimron’s style of batting will offer a lot especially in the middle stage of the innings and he is also a potential ‘finisher’.”
Hetmyer’s return is arguably the latest instalment in a topsy-turvy international career for the gifted Guyanese batsman.
Left out of several squads in the aftermath of the 2021 ICC T20I World Cup for “fitness issues”, Hetmyer was recalled to face India in the Goldmedal T20I Cup in July 2022.
However, within a month, he declared himself unavailable for the subsequent ODI series for “personal reasons” and then was dropped in October for missing two flights to Australia in the build-up to last year’s T20I World Cup.
“We are not prepared to compromise the team’s ability to prepare for this extremely important global event,” said then CWI director of cricket Jimmy Adams, at the time.
The Haynes-led selection panel thought the time was right to reintegrate Hetmyer, though—in what would be his first ODI since 26 July 2021.
Hetmyer averages 35.29 for West Indies in ODIs with five centuries and four half-centuries, and 20.97 in T20Is with four half-centuries.
(West Indies ODI squad)
Shai Hope (captain), Rovman Powell (vice-captain), Alick Athanaze, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Dominic Drakes, Shimron Hetmyer, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair, and Oshane Thomas.
Additional players at white ball preparation camp: Dennis Bulli, Roston Chase, McKenny Clarke, Kavem Hodge, Jair McCallister, Obed McCoy, and Kevin Wickham.