In a bizarre turn of events, West Indies have dropped middle-order batter Shimron Hetmyer from their T20 World Cup squad after he missed his rescheduled flight to Australia, the Cricket West Indies (CWI) said in a statement.
Hetmyer’s original flight was postponed at his request due to family reasons, which meant he would have had to skip the first of two T20 warm-ups against Australia on Wednesday.
“With flight availability a real challenge, a seat was found for him to leave Guyana today, meaning he would, unfortunately, miss the 1st T20 International against Australia on Wednesday 5 October at the Metricon Stadium,” CWI said in a statement.
“This morning, Mr Hetmyer, informed the Director of Cricket that he would not be able to get to the airport in time for his flight this afternoon to New York.”
The 25-year-old left-hander has been replaced in the squad by Shamarh Brooks, a 34-year-old right-hander who has played 11 T20s for the West Indies and will fly out “as soon as possible” to join the squad in Australia.
Windies director of cricket Jimmy Adams said: “Whilst we changed Shimron’s flight from Saturday to Monday due to family reasons, it was made clear to him that if there were any further delays and issues with his travel to Australia then we would have no choice but to replace him in the squad, as we are not prepared to compromise the team’s ability to prepare for this extremely important global event.”
“Shamarh has been a part of our recent T20 International squads and delivered strong performances in the latter stages of the recently concluded CPL.”
Brooks scored 241 runs in seven innings for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League, including an unbeaten 109 in the qualifier final on their way to winning the tournament.
West Indies play Australia on the Gold Coast on Wednesday and at the Gabba in Brisbane two days later. Their World Cup campaign begins against Scotland in Hobart on October 17 at Blundstone Arena, Hobart.
They also play Zimbabwe and Ireland, with the top team from Group B going into the second group of the Super 12 stage with India, Pakistan and South Africa.