Gayle, Rampaul and Fletcher make way, as CWI names WI white ball teams for Pakistan tour

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Veteran batsman Chris Gayle, pacer Ravi Rampaul and wicket-keeper/batsman Andre Fletcher were overlooked by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel today, as CWI announced 20 players for the West Indies tour of Pakistan next month.

West Indies will play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and as many T20 Internationals (T20Is) from 13 to 22 December at the National Stadium in Karachi. Lead selector Roger Harper said the ODIs are particularly important as the West Indies try to amass the necessary points to qualify directly for the India 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Photo: Guyana Amazon Warriors all-rounder Romario Shepherd (right) is congratulated by a team-mate during CPL action.
(Copyright CPL)

At present, the West Indies are eighth in the Cricket World Cup Super League rankings, with only the top seven teams qualifying automatically for the showcase ODI competition. The ‘Maroon Men’ are already condemned to play in the qualifying rounds of next year’s ICC T20 World Cup.

“The ODIs in Pakistan are part of the ICC ODI Super League where points gained work towards qualification for the ICC World Cup 2023,” Harper told the CWI Media. “So these ODIs are very important to us and are being treated as such.”

After the West Indies’ disastrous campaign in last month’s T20 World Cup, the CWI announced more than a half-dozen changes to its limited overs team.

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All-rounder Fabian Allen and pacer Obed McCoy are still unavailable owing to injury and rehabilitation, while bowling all-rounder Jason Holder is being rested owing to workload management. At present, Holder is in Sri Lanka with the West Indies Test team.

Photo: West Indies fast bowler Jason Holder, who has long been at or near the top of the ICC All-rounder rankings, claims another Pakistan scalp.
(via CWI Media)

Batsmen Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer and Lendl Simmons and all-rounder Andre Russell also declared themselves unavailable ‘due to personal reasons’.

The CWI selectors did not offer any reason for the omission of Gayle, Rampaul and Fletcher, which suggested that the trio were surplus to requirements.

Their absences meant opportunities for uncapped players in both formats of the white ball game. Batsmen Justin Greaves and Shamarh Brooks received their first ODI call-ups alongside left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie and fast bowling all-rounder Odean Smith. Smith and Motie are also selected in the T20I squad for the first time along with left-arm fast bowling allrounder Dominic Drakes. 

In the recent T20 World Cup, when Akeal Hosein was promoted to the 15 to replace Allen, Motie became a travelling reserve. Drakes and Smith were used as net bowlers before the start of the tournament.

Photo: St Kitts and Nevis Patriots batsman Dominic Drakes heaves over the offside for six during the 2021 Hero CPL final against the St Lucia Kings on 15 September 2021 at Warner Park in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

“There are a number of talented newcomers in each format that will have the opportunity to show what they are capable of at the international level,” said Harper. “Justin Greaves is a very talented player, had a good CG Insurance Super50 tournament and performed well in the President’s XI match against Ireland in 2020.

“[…] Shamarh Brooks batted well in the CG Insurance Super50 Cup and followed that up with good performances in the CPL. He will lend greater depth to the batting line-up.”

Harper also praised the additions to the West Indies bowling department.

“Odean Smith really grabbed our attention in the last CPL,” he said. “His pace was never in question. However, he has added greater control and has displayed the ability to be a wicket-taker.

“[…] Gudakesh Motie has been rewarded for his outstanding performance in the CG Insurance Super50, followed up by his showing in the CPL. Dominic Drakes has the potential to be an outstanding all-rounder as he displayed during the last CPL.”

Photo: Guyana Amazon Warriors spinner Gudakesh Motie (right) celebrates the dismissal of Jamaica Tallawahs batsman Rovman Powell during CPL action at Warner Park in St Kitts on 11 September 2021.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

West Indies ODI Team:

Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Anderson Phillip, Nicholas Pooran, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr.

West Indies T20I Team:

Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.

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