WI recall Russell for England T20I series; Shai replaces Mayers as vice-captain

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel has recalled 35-year-old allrounder Andre Russell to the West Indies squad for this month’s five-match T20 International (T20I) series against England.

Russell last represented the West Indies during their disastrous showing at the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and the United Arab Emirates. However, the selection panel, led by Desmond Haynes, suggested that the Jamaican could still bring something to the table for the 2024 T20 World Cup, which will be staged in the West Indies and the United States.

Photo: West Indies allrounder Andre Russell.

Russell averages 19.50 with the bat at T20I while his 39 wickets come at an average of 34.97.

There were returns too for Guyanese pair of 28-year-old spinner Gudakesh Motie and 25-year-old batsman Sherfane Rutherford, who are both among West Indies’ standout players in the ongoing One-Day International (ODI) contest with England.

Rutherford played just six T20Is for the West Indies, with his last outing coming against Ireland on 19 January 2020. Motie has just one T20I cap for the Maroon Men.

And 21-year-old Barbadian pacer Matthew Forde, another in-form current ODI player, gets the T20I nod for the first time “having impressed with the new ball throughout the past two CPL seasons”.

West Indies spinner Gudakesh Motie (right) bowls while India batsman Shubman Gill looks on during the first ODI against India at the Queens Park Oval on 22 July 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

The quartet replace Johnson Charles, Obed McCoy, Odean Smith and Oshane Thomas who featured in West Indies’ 3-2 T20I win over India in August.

Another notable change is West Indies ODI captain Shai Hope replacing Kyle Mayers as T20I captain Rovman Powell’s deputy.

“This will be the final home T20I series for the West Indies in 2023, as they prepare to be one of the two host teams for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA in June 2024,” Haynes told the CWI Media.

“We have selected a squad that we think gives us the best chance of success in that tournament. We will continue to assess in the lead up to the competition.”

West Indies opener Shai Hope in action.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

The T20I series bowls off at Kensington Oval in Barbados on 12 December and continues with two matches in Grenada on 14 and 16 December.

The Haynes-led selection panel will then revisit the composition of the squad before the West Indies travel to the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad to play England on 19 and 21 December.

West Indies squad: Rovman Powell (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, and Romario Shepherd.

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