Batsman Shimron Hetmyer, all-rounder Andre Russell and pacer Sheldon Cottrell were among five additions to the West Indies squad announced today for consecutive five-match T20 International outings against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan in the Caribbean, which will run from 26 June to 5 August.
Pacer Oshane Thomas and spinner Hayden Walsh Jr complete the list of returnees in West Indies’ provisional 18-man T20 team, which is led by captain Kieron Pollard. Middle-order batsman Rovman Powell is the only exclusion from the 14-man outfit that edged Sri Lanka 2-1 in the T20 series which concluded in March.
“The provisional T20I squad was put together with all T20I Home Series matches against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan in mind,” Cricket West Indies lead selector Roger Harper told CWI Media. “This gives us the opportunity to continue to build towards the upcoming World Cup and to determine our best squad and our ideal eleven.”
The continuing absence of spinner Sunil Narine from the West Indies team, according to the CWI, was due to the 32-year-old player informing Harper that he was not ready to return to international cricket.
“If his position changes, then the selectors would consider him for selection,” a CWI spokesman told ESPN CricInfo.
West Indies head coach Phil Simmons said the upcoming T20Is are ‘crucial in terms of our preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup’, as the ‘Men in Maroon’ aim to defend their crown in the shortest version of the game.
“We have assembled a very solid squad, with experienced world-class match-winners and some exciting young talented players, ready to explode onto the global stage and do great things for West Indies cricket,” said Simmons. “We are at that point where we have identified those who we will look to be the core of the squad to defend our World Cup title.
“So we want to make sure the upcoming matches create that environment—the way we train, the way we plan, the way we execute and the chemistry within the group.
“We won five years ago, so the next few weeks and months will be major stepping stones on the road towards defending our title and being world champions for a third time.”
The provisional squad will quarantine and train in St Lucia ahead of the first T20I series against South Africa, which starts on 26 June at the Grenada National Cricket Stadium.
The series against Australia bowls off on 9 July at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia, while West Indies and Pakistan will battle from 27 July at Kensington Oval, Barbados before switching to the Guyana National Stadium from 31 July.
The official squad will be selected and announced ahead of each series.
CWI said it is ‘working closely with regional governments, their ministries of health and CARPHA to ensure the training camps and matches can proceed within a bio-secure environment’.
All players and support staff will undergo Covid-19 testing prior to and during each of these engagements.
(West Indies provisional T20 squad)
Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.
(T20 Home Series schedule)
West Indies vs South Africa
- 26 June: 1st T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
- 27 June: 2nd T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
- June 29: 3rd T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
- 1 July: 4th T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
- 3 July: 5th T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
West Indies vs Australia
- 9 July: 1st T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia
- 10 July: 2nd T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia
- 12 July: 3rd T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia
- 14 July: 4th T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia
- 16 July: 5th T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia
West Indies vs Pakistan
- 27 July: 1st T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
- 28 July: 2nd T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
- 31 July: 3rd T20I, Guyana National Stadium
- 1 August: 4th T20I, Guyana National Stadium
- 3 August: 5th T20I, Guyana National Stadium
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