Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
West Indies openers Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis have returned to the ODI squad for the upcoming five-match series against England, which gets underway on February 20 in Barbados.
Gayle has not played ODI cricket since July last year as he made himself unavailable for the West Indies’ tours of India and Bangladesh in order to play in the Afghanistan Premier League and T10 League.
As for Lewis, who has also not played since July 2018, he skipped the India tour due to personal reasons and also missed the ODIs against Bangladesh. However, he did return and feature in the Twenty20 portion of the tour.
Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran has received his maiden call-up to the ODI squad.
Pooran has represented the West Indies in eight Twenty20 Internationals to date, with his crowning achievement being a 25-ball 53 against India on November 11.
Captain Jason Holder will also be back after he missed the ODI series against Bangladesh due to a shoulder injury, while spinner Ashley Nurse has also been recalled after recovering from a shoulder injury he picked up during the tour of India.
Holder will be going into the ODI series on a high as he has been in red-hot form with both the bat and ball in the ongoing three-Test series against England.
In the first Test in Barbados, Holder smashed a career-best 202 not out. He has also taken seven wickets in the first two Tests at an average of 17.85.
While Holder and Nurse are back, there was no space in the side for Marlon Samuels, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Kieran Powell, Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase and Carlos Brathwaite.
West Indies chief selector Courtney Browne revealed that Samuels is undergoing treatment for a knee injury, while pace bowler Shannon Gabriel could be added to the ODI squad for the latter part of the series.
“As we continue our Cricket World Cup preparations, the upcoming series against the top-ranked ODI side is a great opportunity for us to gauge where we are as a team,” Browne was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “This allows us to identify any areas that need addressing relating to selection and also helps the coaching staff to fine tune their game strategy.
“We welcome the return of Chris Gayle who missed the last two series and Ashley Nurse from injury. We are pleased to introduce Nicholas Pooran to the ODI cricket for the first time. He is clearly a young player with undoubted talent and we believe he can add value to our middle order. Shannon Gabriel remains very much in our World Cup plans but with a heavy workload expected in the Test series he will be considered for selection later in the ODI series.”
West Indies’ ODI Squad: Jason Holder (capt), Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas