Andre Russell and Shimron Hetmyer have returned to the fold as they have been named in Windies’ provisional T20I squad for the summer. Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas and Hayden Walsh Jr. have also made it to the side while Rovman Powell has been overlooked after featuring against SL.
It’s going to be a bonanza T20I summer for West Indies where they play 15 T20Is and host South Africa, Australia and Pakistan respectively. And ahead of that, Cricket West Indies named a 18-member provisional squad that will start preparing ahead of the first T20I that West Indies play against South Africa on June 26. And the squad has marked returns of star all-rounder Andre Russell, who last featured in 2020 against Sri Lanka, and Shimron Hetmyer, who didn’t make the cut for the home series against Sri Lanka after failing a fitness test.
Pacers Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas, and spinner Hayden Walsh Jr. have also returned back to the side to give it a strong look. There’s no dearth of experience too as the selectors have retained the trio of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Fidel Edwards, who will provide ample experience. However, Rovman Powell, who played a solitary T20I against Sri Lanka and failed, has been axed from the side.
Cricket West Indies’ chief selector Roger Harper reckons that the upcoming summer will provide the defending champions a great opportunity to ascertain their best XI ahead of the T20 World Cup.
"The Provisional T20I Squad was put together with all T20I Home Series Matches against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan in mind," CWI's Lead Selector, Roger Harper said, reported Cricbuzz.
"This gives us the opportunity to continue to build towards the upcoming World Cup and to determine our best squad and our ideal eleven."
Windies coach Phil Simmons also echoed similar sentiments and felt that they have a strong side, full of match-winners who will take the stage by storm.
"These upcoming T20Is are crucial in terms of our preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup," West Indies Head Coach, Phil Simmons said. "We have assembled a very solid squad with experienced world-class match-winners and some exciting young talented players, ready to explode onto the global stage and do great things for West Indies cricket.
"We are at that point where we have identified those who we will look to be the core of the squad to defend our World Cup title, so we want to make sure the upcoming matches create that environment. We won five years ago, so the next few weeks and months will be major stepping stones on the road towards defending our title and being World Champions for a third time."
Provisional squad:Kieron Pollard (C), Nicholas Pooran (VC), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr