Gabriel gets Windies recall - Regional team missing big names for Tri-Nations series
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):
Left-hander Jonathan Carter has been recalled following a two-year absence, while speedster Shannon Gabriel also returns after a 16-month break, in a weakened West Indies 14-man squad for next month’s Tri-Nations Series against hosts Ireland and Bangladesh.
The side, which will be led by regular captain Jason Holder, will be without key players, who featured recently against England, with the likes of veteran Chris Gayle, Carlos Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, and Oshane Thomas all tied up in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
All-rounder Keemo Paul, who was forced out of the England series due to injury, is fit again but is also plying his trade in the IPL.
The squad is the first one to be chosen by the new selection panel headed by Robert Haynes and which includes director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, and interim head coach, Floyd Reifer.
“We are immediately implementing the new policy of having the best West Indies team selected based on availability, form, and fitness,” Haynes said.
“The pace attack of Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, and Jason Holder will only serve to enhance the performances we expect from the team. We felt that the composition of the team brought together a harmony of experienced international players and players who have been on the periphery of international cricket.”
Adams reiterated that the squad was not the World Cup side, which is set to be announced later this month, but said it would allow players the experience of English conditions.
“They have selected a squad to Ireland that allows a slightly wider pool of players to get 50-over experience in UK conditions, which I think is very important,” said the former Test captain.
“This is not the World Cup squad as a number of players are not available for this series as they are still participating in the IPL.”
All-rounder Rovman Powell, who led West Indies on the tour of Bangladesh last year, is missing from the squad. He was forced out of the England series with injury, but there was no word from CWI on if he has returned to fitness.
And even in a weakened squad, there still is no place for Leeward Islands off-spinning all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall, who has been repeatedly ignored in recent years despite outstanding performances for the Hurricanes franchise domestically and for West Indies A.
Carter, meanwhile, has not played since India’s tour of the Caribbean in 2017, while Gabriel last turned out in an ODI on the tour of New Zealand later that year.
The 31-year-old Carter averaged 50 and scored over 350 runs in the last Super50 Cup and also was among the leading scorers in the just-concluded Regional first-class tournament with nearly 700 runs at an average of 40.
The Tri-Nations Series runs from May 3-17 and is the final one-day tour for the Caribbean side before the ICC World Cup, which starts May 30 in England.
SQUAD – Jason Holder (captain), John Campbell, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Sunil Ambris, Raymon Reifer, Fabian Allen, Ashley Nurse, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Jonathan Carter.