Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced the squad for the proposed tour of New Zealand next month, comprising of three T20 Internationals and two Test matches. CWI’s Board of Directors ratified the details of the tour during a teleconference on Thursday.
All-rounder Jason Holder remains the captain in the red-ball format. The notable returnees to the Test squad are middle-order batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer, who had opted out of the tour to England earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All-rounder Keemo Paul has also found a place in the squad.
CWI lead selector Roger Harper expressed confidence that Darren Bravo will solidify the West Indies top-order. He also added that this is an opportunity for Hetmyer to show how good a player he is.
“The return of Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul will bolster the team, I expect that Darren will solidify the top-order, hopefully making it more productive, while Shimron gives the squad more options in the middle-order and it is another opportunity for him to show how good a player he is,” Harper said.
Shai Hope, however, could not make the squad. Harper opined that he needs to reorganize his Test match game to get back to his best.
“Shai is a player whom I think has a tremendous future in Test cricket but at the moment he needs to reorganize his Test match game and get his batting in the longest version, back to its best.”
The CWI lead selector expects the West Indies Test squad to put the learnings of English tour to practice. He is hopeful that the team will be very competitive taking on New Zealand in their home conditions.
“The Test team has an opportunity to put into practice the learnings from the tour of England earlier this year. The team has good all-round depth and I expect them to be very competitive. New Zealand is a very good team especially in New Zealand, so we need to be on the top of our game.”
TEST SQUAD: Jason Holder (C), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach
TEST RESERVES: Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua DaSilva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales
CWI revealed that Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis have opted out of the tour
CWI revealed that star all-rounder Andre Russell and top-order batsmen Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis have opted to stay out of the T20I tour. However, CWI also made it clear that this won’t be affecting their chances of selection in the future.
The inclusion of 32-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Andre Fletcher in the squad came as a surprise. He hasn’t been part of the West Indies squad since 2018.
“Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell are two very experienced T20 players who performed very well on the last tour of Sri Lanka and their absence will surely be noted. However, Andre Fletcher has another opportunity to show us what he can do and what he brings to the table,” Harper said.
All-rounder Kyle Mayers has earned up a maiden national call in the T20 squad on the back of some good performances in the CPL.
T20I SQUAD: Kieron Pollard (c), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams
The tour is scheduled to kick-start with a T20I at Auckland on 27th November. The first Test match will start in Hamilton on 3rd December.
The CWI has agreed to the tour in principle, subject to final details on protocols of CWI, New Zealand Cricket and the Government of New Zealand.