Quartet snub West Indies selectors
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
West Indies have selected their 15-man squad for the crucial ICC World Cup qualifiers without a ball bowled in the Regional Super50, recalling all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite and Kemar Roach but snubbed by the experienced quartet of Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, and Darren Bravo.
The squad, led by regular captain Jason Holder, however, includes veteran batsmen Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels and represents the core of the unit that suffered a humbling whitewash in the three-match series in New Zealand last December.
Chief selector Courtney Browne said in a statement, he had reached out to Pollard, Narine, Russell, and Bravo, but they had opted to play in the Pakistan Super League, which bowls off on February 22 and runs alongside the World Cup qualifying tournament from March 4-25.
"We are pleased to announce a squad that has a combination of experience and youth," Browne said.
"Given the importance of the West Indies qualifying for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, we thought it was important that we chose players who brought not only skills, but experience to the table, combined with younger players who had performed creditably on the international scene.
PLEASED WITH SUPPORT
He added: "We contacted some of our well-known senior cricketers to ascertain their availability for the tournament, and we are pleased that Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels have indicated their full support and commitment to the cause.
"Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Darren Bravo, and AndrÈ Russell, however, indicated that they were unavailable to help us qualify as their priority was playing in the Pakistan Super League."
Brathwaite and Roach have been handed lifelines in their one-day careers.
The 29-year-old Brathwaite, the Windies Twenty20 captain, played the last of his 23 ODIs last March when he was dropped for a poor run of form that saw him gather 113 runs in his last eight innings at an average of 14.
The Regional Super50, which bowls off next week, normally serves as a prerequisite for selection to the ODI squad, but International Cricket Council regulations required West Indies to submit a squad by February 2.
West Indies are down to compete in Group A of the World Cup Qualifiers alongside Ireland, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, and winners of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.
SQUAD: Jason Holder (captain), Jason Mohammed (vice-captain), Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cotterell, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Nikita Miller, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Kesrick Williams.