McCoy, Thomas return, Powell named vice-captain
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC):
LEFT-ARM PACER Obed McCoy is set to feature for West Indies for the first time in nine months after being recalled to the Twenty20 International squad to face Bangladesh, while Devon Thomas has also found favour with selectors again after playing his first T20I in eight years last December.
The invigorated Rovman Powell has been appointed vice-captain to Nicholas Pooran in a 13-man squad which sees the return of all-rounder Keemo Paul after nearly a year-and-a-half away from the shortest format.
There are no major changes in the One-Day International squad with left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie the only new face.
West Indies will clash with Bangladesh in the first two T20Is of the three-match series at Windsor Park in Dominica next weekend, with the final game set for the Guyana National Stadium in Georgetown on July 7.
Guyana will also host the entire ODI series from July 10-16.
The 32-year-old Thomas, also recalled for the just-concluded Test series but failed to get a match, finds himself with another opportunity to impress after being dropped following a single T20 innings on last year’s tour of Pakistan.
He has played only four T20 Internationals, the first three coming between 2009 and 2013.
McCoy, 25, forced out of last October’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates with injury, returns to the top level following an impressive campaign in the Indian Premier League for Rajasthan Royals, which yielded 11 wickets from seven matches.
He was also outstanding for Sussex in the England T20 Blast, snatching 14 wickets in five matches earlier this month.
“Thomas is a very versatile cricketer who has been knocking on the door in all formats,” said chief selector, the Most Honourable Desmond Haynes.
“He has been doing well in franchise cricket and with that level of talent, we must ensure we keep him interested. He brings a lot to the table and is basically a four-dimensional player – he can bat, bowl, he is brilliant in the field, and he can keep wicket as well.
“McCoy has done exceptionally well in the IPL and enjoyed a successful stint in England as well, so we are confident that he is back to his best in terms of playing and fitness.”
Powell’s appointment as vice-captain follows the elevation of Pooran to captain, in the wake of Kieron Pollard’s retirement from international cricket.
And Haynes said it was part of a process of identifying future leaders.
“We know Rovman’s history. He has captained the West Indies before and is also the captain of his CPL franchise.
“Our role is to look at future leaders as well and we have identified a few, including himself, who we will be putting programmes around to ensure we keep them involved in that aspect of the cricket.”
From the team which toured India, gone are all-rounders Roston Chase and Fabian Allen, fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell, along with batsmen Shai Hope and Darren Bravo.
Haynes reiterated the importance of the imminent series, noting it formed part of the preparation for this year’s showpiece in Australia.
“Generally, we have to start looking at the bigger picture of getting these players playing together as often as possible in preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup later down in the year. We need to ensure we are fielding a very strong side for that tournament.”
T20Is – Nicholas Pooran (captain), Rovman Powell (vice-captain), Shamarh Brooks, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.
Reserve: Dominic Drakes
ODIs – Nicholas Pooran (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Anderson Phillip, Rovman Powell, Jayden Seales
Reserve: Romario Shepherd