Gayle, Russell highlight West Indies squad for WC
Barbados: The Windies announced their World Cup squad late on Wednesday as Andre Russell and Chris Gayle were named in the 15-member squad for the showpiece event in England and Wales. While the senior campaigners were named in the squad, Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine were the notable absentees.
Jason Holder has been expectedly named the skipper of the team which has the perfect mix of youth and experience with the likes of Shimron Heymyer being given a go alongside the likes of Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach.
Commenting on the selection, interim chief selector Robert Haynes said: “Based on the new selection policy approach which allowed us to consider a number of players that have not regularly appeared in the side over the last two years, we had a wide base of talent from which to choose.
“There were a number of tough calls we had to make to settle on our squad of 15, including ensuring there was some continuity in the side, but we believe we have chosen a strong squad of players taking into consideration such factors as experience, fitness, team balance, current form and conditions.”
Haynes said that Narine and Alzarri Joseph were not considered due to finger and shoulder injuries respectively.
Haynes also spoke about having the likes of Gayle and Russell to provide the boost the team needs with bat in hand. “To have a player the calibre of Chris in the side to lead the batting with his vast experience and his ability to play match-winning or game-changing innings is a blessing for us and the motivation of becoming the leading scorer for West Indies in ODIs is something which I think he will relish.
“Looking at the condition of pitches in ODIs over the last few years in England and Wales, it appears that big totals will be the order of the day, so we believe we have a line-up that can put big totals on the board or chase them, as we have seen from recent matches. With players like the captain, Holder, as well as Russell in the lower middle-order, we believe we have good depth to our batting which will allow us to play the brand of cricket that will give us the best of chance of winning the World Cup,” he explained.
Squad: Jason Holder (c), Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Nicholas Pooran, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas, Shai Hope, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Gayle.