West Indies swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle will return to national colours for the first time since August 2019 after the selectors named him for the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka. The 14-man team also sees Fidel Edwards returning as he expressed his desire to play for the West Indies after the end of Kolpak status. Kieron Pollard will lead the squad.
Nicholas Pooran will serve as Kieron Pollard’s deputy for the series while uncapped spinner Kevin Sinclair earns his first West Indies selection. On the other hand, left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein gets his first T20I call-up. The squad does not feature the likes of Andre Russell, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Roston Chase, and Shimron Hetmyer as they are yet to return to full fitness.
Selector Roger Harper underlined that as they are on the road to the 2021 T20 World Cup, they are trying to figure the best team for it. The former West Indies cricketer stated that Chris Gayle has performed incredibly well in the recent tournaments and adds great value to their team. On the other hand, Fidel Edwards has earned a recall to add bowling firepower to the side.
“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,” Harper said as quoted by India Today.
Jason Holder has shown his all-round value in this format in recent times: West Indies Chief selector
Roger Harper further said that Jason Holder’s all-round skills and addition gives the squad much-needed depth. On the other hand, Akeal Hosein performed well in Bangladesh and his CPL stats suggest that he deserved a spot in the national team. The 57-year old added that Kevin Sinclair grabbed their attention in the Super50 Cup back in 2019 and bowling economically in CPL and the recent current CG Insurance Super50.
“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,” he added.
West Indies T20I team: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Rovman Powell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair
West Indies ODI team: Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Jason Mohammed, Nicolas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, and Kevin Sinclair