ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
Big-hitting Gayle, Samuels, Russell in 15-man squad
INFLUENTIAL opener Chris Gayle numbers among three Jamaicans who were named in the West Indies' 15-man squad announced yesterday, to contest next month's ICC Twenty20 World Cup cricket tournament in Sri Lanka.
Other Jamaicans included are elegant middle-order batsman Marlon Samuels, who has been having a purple patch in scoring in all forms of the game for the regional team, and all-rounder André Russell.
The flambouyant Gayle, a destructive left-handed batsman, will head the Windies batting which also boasts Indian Premier League (IPL) stars Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Smith.
Exciting all-rounder Russell has been recalled after missing the T20 double-header against New Zealand in Florida through injury.
The right-armer, however, took 10 wickets in the subsequent five-match one-day series and had unbeaten knocks of 59 and 42.
He will partner with Ravi Rampaul and Fidel Edwards to form the pace attack, with Sunil Narine expected to be at the heart of the Windies armoury with his beguiling off spin.
Narine dominated the Florida T20s with seven wickets and then followed up with 13 in the one-day series.
Leg-spinner and fellow Trinidadian Samuel Badree, who made his debut in the Florida double-header, is the other specialist spinner in the squad.
Meanwhile, left-handed stroke-maker Darren Bravo has made a return in an otherwise predictable squad.
The stylish 23-year-old has not played for West Indies since limping out of the tour of England in June with a groin injury, but now joins a squad which will be led by Darren Sammy, with older brother Dwayne Bravo as vice-captain.
West Indies will do battle in Group B alongside Australia and Ireland, and have been tipped to advance to the Super Eight, second round.
The tournament runs from September 18 to October 7.
SQUAD: Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo (vice-captain), Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, André Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.