Image courtesy of: Zimbio
West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has returned to the Twenty20 team for the upcoming Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge, which is a charity match where the men from the Caribbean will take on a an ICC Rest of the World XI at Lord’s on May 31.
Russell has not represented the West Indies since August 2016 as he was banned for 12 months in January 2017 for a doping-code violation, where he missed three drug tests on January 1, July 1 and July 25 in 2015 and failed to file his whereabouts on each occasion.
Under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules and regulations, skipping three tests equates to a failed drug test.
Meanwhile, captain Carlos Brathwaite and openers Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis are back in the squad are missing the recent three-match series in Pakistan.
Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and pace bowler Keemo Paul, who made his international debut in Karachi, retained their places.
However, Jason Mohammed, who captain the West Indies in Pakistan, was left out.
“We welcome the return of the players who missed the Pakistan series and are delighted to recall Andre Russell to the squad, as we believe he will have a key role in our white-ball cricket,” West Indies chairman of selectors Courtney Browne was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Denesh Ramdin and Keemo Paul keep their places after encouraging performances at both regional and international level.”
The one-off Twenty20 International will raise funds for five cricket grounds that were damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria – James Ronald Webster Park in Anguilla, Dominica’s Windsor Park Stadium, Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua, A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground in the British Virgin Islands and Carib Lumber Ball Park in St Maarten.
“On behalf of CWI, I’d like to thank the players for their commitment to and support of this vital cause,” Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave said. “We’re hoping to raise a significant sum from the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge and are very grateful to the MCC, ECB and ICC, without whom this match would not be taking place.”
West Indies’ Squad: Samuel Badree, Carlos Brathwaite (capt.), Rayad Emrit, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Kesrick Williams