The West Indies have announced an 18-member interim squad for the three five-match T-20 series against Australia, South Africa and Pakistan. Before the start of the World Cup, the West Indies will play a total of 15 T-20 matches with 3 countries.
Most of the players have been included in the squad for the 2-1 series win against Sri Lanka. Mumbai Indians all-rounder Kieron Pollard has been appointed as the captain and wicket-keeper Nicholas Pooran will be his assistant. Other players are Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Ocean Thomas and Haden Walsh Jr.
The 41-year-old veteran Chris Gayle has also been included in the squad. It’s a clear indication that he will take part in the upcoming T20 World Cup if he succeeds in the series.
Andre Russell, one of the most destructive T-20 players in the world, has been named in the squad and selectors have welcomed Shimron Hetmyer. Russell last played for the West Indies in Sri Lanka in March last year, and Hetmyer’s last appearance came in the New Zealand T-20. Due to fitness issues, he was dropped from the series against Sri Lanka earlier this year. Rovman Powell, who was part of the team that won the series against Sri Lanka, has been dropped.
“These upcoming T20Is are crucial in terms of our preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup,” West Indies Head Coach, Phil Simmons said. “We have assembled a very solid squad with experienced world-class match-winners and some exciting young talented players, ready to explode onto the global stage and do great things for West Indies cricket.
A provisional squad of West Indies:
Kieron Pollard (C), Nicholas Pooran (VC), Chris Gayle, Andre Fletcher, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards, Kevin Sinclair, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Andre Russell, Evin Lewis, Hayden Walsh Jr, Obed McCoy, Oshane Thomas, Lendl Simmons
Sunil Narine has yet to find a place in the West Indies squad for the South Africa, Australia and Pakistan series.
In preparation for the T-20 World Cup this summer, the West Indies will host South Africa, Pakistan and Australia in a total of 15 T-20s this summer. The 18-member interim squad will split and train in St. Lucia before the first T-20 against South Africa on June 2.
In addition to Cottrell and Ocean Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr. and 39-year-old fast bowler Fidel Edwards have also been named in the squad as a fast bowler.
“We are at that point where we have identified those who we will look to be the core of the squad to defend our World Cup title, so we want to make sure the upcoming matches create that environment. We won five years ago, so the next few weeks and months will be major stepping stones on the road towards defending our title and being World Champions for the third time.”
The series against South Africa will start on June 2 and end on July 3, with five matches to be played in Grenada. Five T-20 matches against Australia will be played in St. Lucia, and five matches against Pakistan will be played in Barbados and Guyana.
West Indies vs South Africa schedule:
June 26: 1st T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
June 27: 2nd T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
June 29: 3rd T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
July 1: 4th T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
July 3: 5th T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
West Indies vs Australia schedule:
July 9: 1st T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
July 10: 2nd T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
July 12: 3rd T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
July 14: 4th T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
July 16: 5th T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
West Indies vs Pakistan schedule:
July 27: 1st T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
July 28: 2nd T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
July 31: 3rd T20I, Guyana National Stadium
August 1: 4th T20I, Guyana National Stadium
August 3: 5th T20I, Guyana National Stadium