Citing personal reasons, hard-hitting opening batsman Chris Gayle has opted out of the upcoming ODI and T20I series against India.
The squads for the limited overs’ leg of West Indies’ tour of India, slated to begin from October 21, have been announced by their board on Monday.
“We will be without our stalwart, Chris Gayle for this Indian tour and the next tour against Bangladesh as he has declined selection at this time, however, he has made himself available for the selection for the visit of England to the Caribbean and the World Cup in 2019,” said Courtney Browne, the chairman of the selection panel in the West Indies Cricket Board.
The T20I team would see comeback from all-rounders Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell whose injury has ruled him out 50-over cricket. Talismanic off-spinner Sunil Narine also hasn’t found a place in the squads for both the formats.
Jason Holder would lead the ODI side while Carlos Brathwaite, whose four gigantic sixes took West Indies to the World T20 title in 2016 would captain the team in the shortest version of the game.
There has also been three new inclusions in the form of opener Chandrapaul Hemraj, all-rounder Fabian Allen and pace bowler Oshane Thomas.
As we continue our Cricket World Cup preparations, the upcoming tour of India provides a great opportunity to expose some of our young talent,” Browne further added.
“Opener, Chandrapul Hemraj, all-rounder Fabian Allen and fast bowler Oshane Thomas will get their opportunity to showcase their skills, along with Sunil Ambris, who is returning to the fold.
“With the 2020 ICC World T20 two years away and the limited amount of T20 Internationals within the next year, the panel believes at this juncture it is time to invest in the young players that have emerged over the last two years from Windies A and B teams, along with 2018 CPL,
“The selection of a young group two years prior to the World T20 gives the coaching staff time to help them with their skills and for the team to develop into a cohesive and competitive unit.
“The team will continue to retain some experienced players who will work alongside the younger group…offer our congratulations to the players making their international debuts and welcome back Darren Bravo and Kieran Pollard to international cricket,” he further added.
The West Indies are currently trailing the two-match Test series against India 0-1 after they were defeated easily within three days by the hosts in Rajkot.
They would play a total of five ODIs and three T20 Internationals.
The three new faces have been drafted into the West Indies squad with an eye on the World Cup next year scheduled to be held in England and Wales and the 2020 T20 World Cup, to be held in Australia.
The reasons for the early squad announcement was explained by WICB Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave who said, “The team will have a camp before the start of the ODI series in Guwahati, so we had to select the squad before the start of the Super50 Cup, in order to organise flights and visas. With the CPL finishing last month, there was no reason to delay announcing the T20 squad.”
West Indies squads:
ODIs: Jason Holder (capt), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Oshane Thomas.
T20Is: Carlos Brathwaite (capt), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Oshane Thomas.
Image credit- DNA India