West Indies ICC World Cup Qualifiers
Sunil Narine

West Indies will be without some of their biggest stars when they play the forthcoming ICC World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe this year in a bid to qualify for the main event, scheduled in England next year.

While veteran opener Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels have been named in the 15-man squad, the likes of Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo have decided to opt out.

Instead of playing for the national team, the players have opted to ply their trade in the forthcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL). Courtney Browne, chairman of selectors, confirmed the player’s had picked the league over the national team.

“We are pleased that Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels have indicated their full support and commitment to the cause,” he said. “Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Darren Bravo and Andre Russell, however, indicated that they were unavailable to help us qualify as their priority was playing in the Pakistan Super League.”

Pollard, Russell, Narine Pick Pakistan Super League Over World Cup Qualifiers
Gayle has been named in the team (Credits: Getty)

The third edition of the Pakistan Super League will be played from February 22 to March 25 while the qualifiers will be played from March 4-25.

Browne further confirmed that veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo wasn’t considered for selection.

“Dwayne Bravo was not contacted as he had indicated previously that he is no longer available to play cricket for the West Indies,” Browne said.

The team will be led by Jason Holder while Jason Mohammed has been named the vice-captain. T20I skipper Carlos Brathwaite has also been included in the team. Brathwaite last played an ODI for the two-time world champions in March last year against England.

Pollard, Russell, Narine Pick Pakistan Super League Over World Cup Qualifiers
Brathwaite has been recalled (Credits: AFP)

West Indies, who won the first two World Cups, will fight it out against Ireland, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Netherlands, Scotland, Hong Kong and two more teams from ICC World Cricket League Division 2 to seal a place in the World Cup. The top two teams will join the top eight-ranked nations for the upcoming World Cup.

Pollard, Russell, Narine Pick Pakistan Super League Over World Cup Qualifiers
Holder will lead the side (Credits: Getty)

Meanwhile, the West Indies squad will depart for Zimbabwe on February 16. They will play a couple of warm-up matches before the league phase of the qualifiers gets underway.

West Indies squad:

Jason Holder (capt), Jason Mohammed (vice-capt), Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Shai Hope (wk), Carlos Brathwaite, Rovman Powell, Ashley Nurse, Sheldon Cotterell, Nikita Miller, Kesrick Williams, Kemar Roach, Shimron Hetmyer, Devendra Bishoo.

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