West Indies chances against India in the upcoming T20I Series were given a boost with the recall of the veteran duo of Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard. Wicket-keeper/batsman Anthony Bramble is the only newcomer in the 14-member squad selected for the first two T20Is in the series which will be played on August 3 and 4 at the Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida. The Selection Panel has the opportunity to make changes to the squad before the third T20I on August 6 at the Guyana National Stadium.
The squad also includes Andre Russell, subject to him passing a fitness assessment prior to the series. He is set to return to the playing field following his early exit from the Cricket World Cup 2019 to undergo an operation on his troublesome left knee. Left-handed opener John Campbell and left-arm spinner Khary Pierre have also been included alongside a number of regulars led by captain Carlos Brathwaite, as the interim Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel seeks to explore options with the ICC World T20 looming next year in Australia.
Squad: John Campbell, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicolas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite (c), Keemo Paul, Sunil Narine, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Anthony Bramble, Andre Russell, Khary Pierre.
“This squad is an excellent balance of experience and youth,” said the interim chairman of the CWI selection panel, Robert Haynes. “It’s not just about the present – the India Tour of the West Indies – but we are also looking at the T20 World Cup coming up next year and it is important that we find the right combination of players and the right formula for defending our title.
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“We have to make sure that we put certain things in place now, so that when it comes to picking the squad for the T20 World Cup, it becomes easier, so we are giving more players the opportunity to play and get the exposure.” Mystery spinner Narine last played in a T20I for West Indies against England almost two years ago at Chester-le-Street and batting all-rounder Pollard appeared last November on the Tour of India.
“We felt that players like Narine and Pollard, who have played well in T20 leagues around the World, once they are fit and mentally ready to play, we must give them the opportunity to represent the West Indies again,” said Haynes.
The 28-year-old Bramble has given firm proof of his batting and keeping ability in the West Indies Championship for reigning five-time champions Guyana Jaguars, who also reached the Final of last year’s West Indies Super50 Cup.
He captained West Indies “B” to the Final of the Global T20 Tournament last year in Canada and was recently picked up in the CPL draft for the first time in three years and will play for his home-based Guyana Amazon Warriors.