Veteran batsman Chris Gayle, 41, will wear the maroon strip next month, as he was recalled to the West Indies limited overs team, which will face Sri Lanka from 3 March at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.
Gayle joins experienced pacer Fidel Edwards, 39, as well as spinners Akeal Hosein, 27, and Kevin Sinclair, 21, in the Windies T20 team, which is captained by Kieron Pollard. And Cricket West Indies (CWI) head selector Roger Harper hinted that Gayle could represent the regional team at the ICC 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup, which bowls off in India this October.
“As we build towards the defence of the T20 World Cup, the opportunity is being taken to determine our best team and squad as we go forward,” Harper told the CWI Media. “Chris Gayle has performed very well in recent tournaments and the selection panel thinks that he can still add great value to our team. Fidel Edwards has been selected to give the bowling the potent firepower needed.”
Gayle and Edwards will limit their involvement to West Indies’ T20 team while Hosein and Sinclair were also named in the regional One-Day International (ODI) squad, along with Test captain and fast bowler Jason Holder.
“Jason Holder has shown his all-round value in this format in recent times and, after missing a few series, he will add depth and experience to the squad,” said Harper. “Akeal Hosein performed very well in Bangladesh [ODI Series] and had excellent stats in the CPL so this is an opportunity to see how he equips himself in this format.
“Kevin Sinclair grabbed our attention in the Super50 Cup back in 2019 and has been consistently economical in the last CPL and the current CG Insurance Super50. He will provide an off-spinning option for the team.”
There was no room though for gifted batsman Shimron Hetmyer, spinner Sunil Narine, pacers Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, and Chemar Holder, or all-rounder Roston Chase.
The CWI Media revealed that Cottrell, Thomas, Hetmyer and Chase ‘failed to reach the minimum fitness standard in time for selection consideration’ and ‘will all remain in Antigua after the CGI Insurance Super50 Cup to work on their fitness and conditioning’.
(West Indies limited overs squads)
T20I SQUAD: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Rovman Powell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair.
ODI SQUAD: Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Jason Mohammed, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair.
(West Indies Match Schedule)
CCG – Coolidge Cricket Ground
SVRS – Sir Vivian Richards Stadium
March 3: 1st CG Insurance T20I at CCG – 6pm Eastern Caribbean Time (ECT);
March 5: 2nd CG Insurance T20I at CCG – 6pm ECT;
March 7: 3rd CG Insurance T20I at CCG – 6pm ECT;
March 10: 1st CG Insurance ODI at SVRS – 9:30am ECT;
March 12: 2nd CG Insurance ODI at SVRS – 9:30am ECT;
March 14: 3rd CG Insurance ODI at SVRS – 1:30pm ECT;
March 17-18: Two-day warm-up match at CCG;
March 21-25: 1st Test at SVRS – 10am ECT;
March 29 to April 2: 2nd Test at SVRS – 10am ECT.