West Indies’ search for the ideal squad to take to the T20 World Cup in October continues at pace with an almost entirely new set of personnel set to take on Bangladesh in a three-match series that starts on July 2. Five of the 16 that played in their last short-form assignment have been left out.
It had already been announced that Jason Holder would be rested
from these matches, and Kieron Pollard has retired from international cricket altogether but Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell and Shai Hope, who had all made the trip to India in February, have been sidelined. Dominic Drakes only finds place as a reserve player.
Meanwhile, Rovman Powell
, who had an impressive season with Delhi Capitals at the IPL, was named T20I vice-captain.
A T20I squad of 13 featured recalls for left-arm seamer Obed McCoy
, who played the IPL final for Rajasthan Royals, allrounder Keemo Paul
and wicketkeeper Devon Thomas
, the left-arm spinner who has played a Test and a T20I each, was called up to a 13-man ODI squad to face Bangladesh from July 10. Nicolas Pooran will continue to captain West Indies in both formats.
“We know Rovman’s history,” chief selector Desmond Haynes
said. “He has captained the West Indies before and is also the captain of his CPL franchise [Jamaica Tallawahs]. Our role is to look at future leaders as well and we have identified a few, including himself, who we will be putting programmes around to ensure we keep them involved in that aspect of the cricket.
“Generally, we have to start looking at the bigger picture of getting these players playing together as often as possible in preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup later down in the year. We need to ensure we are fielding a very strong side for that tournament.”
West Indies’ last white-ball cricket was in Pakistan, a three-match ODI series they lost 3-0. Brandon King
, who struggled in that series, kept his place in the side. The 32-year old Thomas, who broke an eight-year spell between T20I appearances
this past December, stayed in the team as well. Over a 101-game T20 career, he averages 18.79 and strikes at 112.90.
“Thomas is a very versatile cricketer, who has been knocking on the door in all formats,” Haynes said. “He has been doing well in franchise cricket and with that level of talent, we must ensure we keep him interested. He brings a lot to the table and is basically a four-dimensional player, he can bat, bowl, he is brilliant in the field, and he can keep wicket as well.”
The white-ball games will kick off with three T20Is on July 2, July 3 and July 7, before the ODIs on July 10, July 13 and July 16. The first two games will be played in Dominica, the first games that country will host since Hurricane Maria heavily damaged the island in 2017. The final four games will take place in Guyana. West Indies concluded a two-match Test series against Bangladesh on Wednesday, winning both games.