Mon | Dec 11, 2023

Rutherford, Forde in WI ODI squad

Jamaican batsman Rovman Powell axed by selectors

Published:Tuesday | November 21, 2023 | 12:08 AM
 Sherfane Rutherford
Sherfane Rutherford

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):

Uncapped Sherfane Rutherford and Matthew Forde have been called up for next month’s three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against touring England, in a 15-man squad which sees the recall of 32-year-old gloveman Shane Dowrich, four and a half years after he played his only ODI.

Selectors have also axed vice-captain Rovman Powell and elevated fast bowler Alzarri Joseph to that role, while opener Kyle Mayers, fast bowlers Jayden Seales and Dominic Drakes, along with off-spinner Kevin Sinclair, have all been overlooked from the squad that faced India last July in the Caribbean.

Leading all-rounder Jason Holder and explosive left-hander Nicholas Pooran, both of whom also missed the India series, have been left out of the side, Cricket West Indies saying in a statement both players were “prioritising preparation” for the other two formats.

Yet again, selectors have found no place for veteran left-hander Darren Bravo, who plundered a tournament-leading 416 runs at an average of 83 for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, as he captained them to their 14th Super50 title earlier this month.

The 34-year-old last turned out for West Indies 22 months ago.

Rutherford, meanwhile, has been rewarded for his form in the Super50 Cup, the left-hander leading Guyana Harpy Eagles with 278 runs at an average of 46, and notching his maiden List A hundred.

The 25-year-old has already played six Twenty20 Internationals but has not featured for the regional side in nearly four years.

Forde’s selection is more of a surprise, the 21-year-old managing only five wickets at 31 for West Indies Academy in the Super50 Cup campaign.

But chief selector Desmond Haynes said the Barbadian had been “impressive”.

“Matthew Forde is a whole-hearted cricketer who has been impressive. He is one of the players coming through the West Indies Academy programme who can form part of the future,” Haynes said.

“England on tour of the West Indies is always filled with excitement and expectation. We expect this to be a hard-fought series, but we also believe this squad will do well in our home conditions.

“We have a clear vision. We are focused on building a solid team. Our main focus is to rebuild for success at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2027.”

Dowrich has found his way back in the international squad for the first time since abruptly leaving the tour of New Zealand three years ago for “personal reasons”, a development which was followed by a 14-month break from first-class cricket.

The Barbadian, who has played 35 Tests, captained Combined Campuses and Colleges in the Super50 Cup, leading their batting with 234 runs at an average of 78.

Kjorn Ottley, 33, who played his only two ODIs nearly three years ago, has also gained a recall after scoring 317 runs in the regional domestic tournament.

Meanwhile, Mayers, who has two hundreds in 28 ODIs and averages 25, has been dispensed with after a torrid time against India where he scraped 42 runs from three innings.

The 31-year-old’s lean scoring came on the heels of a difficult World Cup-qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe, where he averaged only 16.

The England ODI series runs from December 3-9 in Antigua and Barbados.

SQUAD – Shai Hope (captain), Alzarri Joseph (vice-captain), Alick Athanaze, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Matthew Forde, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Kjorn Ottley, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas