King leads WI in S/Africa dress rehearsal; Shamar set for T20I debut

Cricket West Indies today announced a 15-man team to face South Africa in the West Indies’ final dress rehearsal before the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which is jointly hosted by the Caribbean and the United States.

West Indies and South Africa will face each other in three T20 exercises at Sabina Park, Jamaica on 23, 25 and 26 May.

West Indies batsman Rovman Powell hits for 6 during the 5th and final T20I against England at Kensington Oval in Barbados on 30 January 2022.
(Copyright Randy Brooks / AFP via Getty Images/ CWI Media)

The Maroon Men are without captain Rovman Powell and vice-captain Alzarri Joseph, along with Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, and Sherfane Rutherford.

The CWI Media explained that Joseph and Rutherford “will be added to the squad if their respective franchises don’t reach the Indian Premier League (IPL) final”.

In the case of Hope and Pooran, both batsmen are “rested” for the series and will join the squad in Trinidad on Monday 27 May.

The West Indies Selection Panel, led by former cricket star Desmond Haynes, called up Fabian Allen, Alick Athanaze, Andre Fletcher, Matthew Forde, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy and Hayden Walsh Jr as replacements.

West Indies batsman Brandon King plays a shot during the first ODI against India at the Queens Park Oval in Port of Spain on 22 July 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Batsman Brandon King, who missed the recent Nepal series due to injury, will captain West Indies against South Africa.

The South Africa series also allows rookie pacer Shamar Joseph to make his T20I debut before the upcoming World Cup.

“These are among the last competitive T20 International matches before the start of the World Cup,” Haynes told the CWI Media. “Players have the opportunity to fine-tune their skills and ensure they are as prepared as they can be for the World Cup—whether they are in the final squad or reserve pool.”

West Indies white ball head coach Daren Sammy also explained the importance of this series to his squad.

West Indies pacer Shamar Joseph.

“We have not played together as a team since the Australia series,” said Sammy, “but we just completed a very high-intensity training camp in Antigua.

“Now we have the chance to integrate some of our players returning from the IPL and build some momentum as a group going into the World Cup.”

West Indies squad: Brandon King (captain), Roston Chase (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Alick Athanaze, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Matthew Forde, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr.

Photo: West Indies spinner Akeal Hosein.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Management staff: Daren Sammy (head coach), Floyd Reifer (assistant coach), Rayon Griffith (assistant coach), Denis Byam (physiotherapist), Ronald Rogers (strength and conditioning coach), Rawl Lewis (team manager), Dario Barthley (team media and content officer), Avenesh Seetaram (team analyst), Fitzbert Alleyne (team masseuse).

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