West Indies Test captain Jason Holder and One-Day International captain Kieron Pollard are among 10 cricketers who rejected call-ups for next month’s tour of Bangladesh due to ‘Covid-19 related concerns or personal fears’.
The other players who ‘declined the opportunity to tour’ for similar reasons are: Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran.
A Cricket West Indies (CWI) media statement also noted that Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich are ‘unavailable due to personal reasons’.
West Indies are scheduled to play three ODIs and two Tests in Chattogram and Dhaka, in a shortened tour. The regional team should arrive in Dhaka on 10 January, while the series ends on 15 February.
Bangladesh has a population of just over 164 million people and had over 500,000 infections and 7,000 deaths since the onset of the pandemic. Trinidad and Tobago, with a population of 1.4 million, recorded 7,115 positive cases and 125 deaths as of yesterday evening.
The CWI Covid-19 policy, according to the release, allows any player to opt out of selection for an overseas tour, only when based on the player’s own safety fears or concerns. Such decisions will not impact their consideration for future selection.
In the absence of a dozen first-team players, the CWI selection panel recalled 34-year-old former Trinidad and Tobago captain Jason Mohammed to serve as ODI captain, while 28-year-old batsman Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the Test team.
Right-handed top-order batsman Kavem Hodge, 27, received a maiden Test call-up, while left-handed opener Shayne Moseley, 26, and all-rounder Kyle Mayers, 28, will tour in the Test squad for the first time—after making trips to England and New Zealand as reserves this year. Mayers made his T20I debut against New Zealand last month.
“Kavem Hodge […] has been around for a few years and has made a case for himself and he now gets his chance,” said CWI lead selector Roger Harper. “The fact that he also bowls left arm spin has certainly helped his cause. We also have Kyle Mayers and Shayne Moseley, who have both toured with the team to England and New Zealand as reserves, being selected in the Test Squad for the first time.
“Moseley [is] coming off successful ‘A Team’ games in New Zealand and Mayers has performed well in each of the CWI regional tournaments and also the CPL, over the last year.”
Twenty-seven-year-old Akeal Hosein, a left-arm spinner allrounder, and 31-year-old Kjorn Ottley, a left-handed top-order batsman, received their first ODI call-ups. Both are Trinidadians.
“The absence of several more experienced players has certainly provided an opportunity for the left-handed Kjorn Ottley who has had a good Super50 tournament last year,” said Harper.
Harper hinted that the weakened West Indies touring party face an uphill challenge but said he expects the selected squad to be ‘very competitive’.
“Tours of Bangladesh are never easy as they always play well in their own conditions,” he said. “Although a number of the senior players are missing in both formats, I expect our teams to be very competitive. I expect our players to play with purpose, with passion and with the desire to prove that they belong at this level.”
West Indies Test Squad:
Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Shayne Moseley, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Raymon Reifer, and Jomel Warrican.
West Indies ODI Squad:
Jason Mohammed (captain), Sunil Ambris (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Kjorn Ottley, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, and Hayden Walsh Jr.
Full tour schedule
January 10: West Indies arrive
January 18: One-day warm-up match, BKSP, Savar
January 20: 1st ODI, SBNCS, Dhaka
January 22: 2nd ODI, SBNCS, Dhaka
January 25: 3rd ODI, ZACS, Chattogram
January 28-31: Four-day warm-up, MA Aziz Stadium, Chattogram
February 3-7: 1st Test Match, ZACS, Chattogram
February 11-15: 2nd Test Match, SBNCS, Dhaka