Newly appointed West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite insisted that his team are flying to Bangladesh in confident spirits, despite missing a dozen senior players including regular captain Jason Holder.
The West Indies departed from Barbados in two tranches on Thursday and Friday night. All squad members returned two negative Covid-19 PCR tests, as part of the established medical protocols to travel, and will arrive in Dhaka on Sunday.
Brathwaite, who filled in as captain once before when Holder was suspended, insisted that they are going to compete.
“We are all up for the challenge,” Brathwaite told the CWI media. “[…] It will be a tough series in Bangladesh but we have confidence and we have belief that we will do very well.
“We have some members of the squad who will be playing there for the first time so it will be something new to them, but they know they have the talent and are capable of performing at this level.”
West Indies will play three One Day Internationals and two Tests between 20 January and 15 February. However, Holder, ODI captain Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, and Nicholas Pooran all declined invitations to tour—due to ‘Covid-19 related concerns or personal fears’.
Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich also rejected the opportunity to tour ‘due to personal reasons’ while Romario Shepherd misses the tour after testing positive for Covid-19. Shepherd was replaced by Keon Harding.
Cricket West Indies’ Covid-19 policy allows any player to opt out of selection for an overseas tour, based on their safety fears or concerns. Such decisions will not impact their consideration for future selection.
Brathwaite is determined to have a good tour, though. The Barbadian batsman scored three of his eight Test centuries against Bangladesh, which includes a career-best 212 in 2014—although all three tons were scored in the Caribbean.
And the Windies captain said he already has a game plan in mind.
“It’s about being very clear in our plans, whether when we’re batting or when we’re bowling,” said Brathwaite. “We have to know how we want to play, how we are going to score our runs and how we are going to look for our wickets. Patience will be the key. It’s always very important in the Test format and especially on the pitches in Bangladesh.”
The two Test matches in Bangladesh are part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World Test Championship, while the three ODIs factor in to the ICC’s Cricket World Cup Super League.
The ODIs are the first opportunity for the West Indies to earn Super League points, which count towards the pre-qualification for the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.
West Indies ODI Squad: Jason Mohammed (captain), Sunil Ambris (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Keon Harding, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Kjorn Ottley, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Hayden Walsh jr.
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, Jomel Warrican.
Team Management: Phil Simmons (head coach), Rawl Lewis (team manager), Roddy Estwick (assistant coach), Monty Desai (assistant coach), Rayon Griffith (assistant coach), Denis Byam (physiotherapist), Dr Praimanand Singh (team doctor), Ronald Rogers (strength and conditioning coach), Sharon Coppin (massage therapist), Simeon Christophe (massage therapist), Donald Le Guerre (mental skills coach), Dario Barthley (media and content officer), Paul Slowe (security and compliance officer), AR Srikkanth (team analyst).
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