Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards have been named in the 14-man West Indies T20I squad for the three-match home series against Sri Lanka. Akeal Hosein and Kevin Sinclair have also received maiden call-ups while the Test series hero in Bangladesh, Kyle Mayers, continues to be part of the ODI side.
Hard hitting batsman Chris Gayle has returned to the West Indies' senior side for the first time since 2019 while fast bowler Fidel Edwards, who last played internationals in 2012, has also returned to the fold after a long time. The three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka will take place between March 3-7 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua. Cricket West Indies chief selector Roger Harper stated that the Windies team have started building up for the 2021 T20 World Cup and both Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards can prove to be great additions.
"As we build towards the defence of the T20 World Cup, the opportunity is being taken to determine our best team and squad as we go forward. Chris Gayle has performed very well in recent tournaments and the selection panel thinks that he can still add great value to our team. Fidel Edwards has been selected to give the bowling the potent firepower needed," Cricket West Indies chief selector Roger Harper said, reported Cricbuzz.
Akeal Hosein and Kevin Sinclair have also received maiden call-ups and Roger Harper asserted that both have done well to earn their places in the senior side besides stating that Jason Holder will add a lot of value with his all-round abilities as well.
"Jason Holder has shown his all-round value in this format in recent times and after missing a few series he will add depth and experience to the squad. Akeal Hosein performed very well in Bangladesh [ODI Series] and had excellent stats in the CPL so this is an opportunity to see how he equips himself in this format. Kevin Sinclair grabbed our attention in the Super50 Cup back in 2019 and has been consistently economical in the last CPL and the current CG Insurance Super50. He will provide an off-spinning option for the team."
In the series against Bangladesh, several first-choice players had skipped the tour due to the COVID pandemic but now most of them are back to the fold. However, the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Shimron Hetmyer, and Roston Chase weren't considered for the white-ball series after they couldn't pass the fitness test. Andre Russell couldn't make it to the side as he is still recovering from COVID-19 as per the CWI.
Left-handed batsman Kyle Mayers, who had led West Indies to a historic Test win in Bangladesh, was also named in the ODI squad despite his poor 50-overs displays in the last series while Romario Shepherd and Jason Mohammed also made it to the squad.
T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (c), Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Rovman Powell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair.
ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (c), Shai Hope, Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Jason Mohammed, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair.