Veteran stalwart Chris Gayle Monday has opted out of the ODI and T20 series against India citing personal reasons as the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) named three fresh faces for the assignment. The West Indies are currently engaged in a two-Test series in India and are trailing after going down in the opening Test inside three days. The West Indies will play five ODIs and three T20 Internationals. The first ODI will be held in Guwahati on October 21.
“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,” WICB chairman of the selection panel Courtney Browne said in a statement.
With an eye on next year’s 50-over World Cup and 2020 World T20 in Australia, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has drafted in three youngsters — opener Chrandrapaul Hemraj, all-rounder Fabian Allen and fast bowler Oshane Thomas — in the limited overs squads.
Big-hitting Kieran Pollard, middle-order batsman Darren Bravo and all-rounder Andre Russell have also made a comeback into the T20 squad.
“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 said.
“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.
Russell, however, has been ruled out of all 50-over format due to injury and Alzarri Joseph will undergo a fitness test before leaving for India.
“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,” Browne explained.
“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 said.
WICB Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave justified the reasons behind the early squad announcements.
“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,” he said.
As expected Dwayne Bravo and spinner Sunil Narine did not find a place in any of the squads after their names were left out of the 25-player list prepared to procure the Indian visa.
While Jason Holder will be the captain of the ODI squad, the West Indies T20 team will be led by Carlos Brathwaite.
West Indies ODI Squad: Jason Holder (Captain), 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.
West Indies T20I Squad: Carlos Brathwaite (Captain), 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.
(With Quotes from Agencies)