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Big-hitting all-rounder Andre Russell has been included in the West Indies’ preliminary World Cup squad, but fellow all-rounders Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine failed to make the cut.
Russell has not played ODI cricket since July 2018, but has been in tremendous form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), where he has accumulated 392 runs in 10 games for the Kolkata Knight Riders at a brilliant average of 65.33 and an eye-popping strike-rate of 217.77.
The 30-year-old has also claimed seven wickets at an average of 23.85.
Pollard and Narine are both playing in the IPL as well, with the former having scored 195 runs in 10 matches for the Mumbai Indians at an average of 32.50 and a strike-rate of 175.67.
As for Narine, he has amassed 132 runs in eight games for the Knight Riders at an average of 18.85 and a strike-rate of 169.23. He has also taken six wickets at an average of 36.
Meanwhile, openers Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis have both been included in the squad, with Gayle having expressed his intentions to retire from ODIs after the World Cup.
Pace bowlers Shannon Gabriel, who last played ODI cricket in December 2017, and Kemar Roach are also in the side.
However, there was no space for veteran all-rounder Marlon Samuels.
“Based on the new selection policy approach which allowed us to consider a number of players that have not regularly appeared in the side over the last two years, we had a wide base of talent from which to choose,” new chief selector Robert Haynes was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“There were a number of tough calls we had to make to settle on our squad of 15, including ensuring there was some continuity in the side, but we believe we have chosen a strong squad of players taking into consideration such factors as experience, fitness, team balance, current form and conditions.
“In keeping with tournament regulations, we submitted our squad prior to the deadline date of yesterday. All players named for the tri-nations series could, however, stake a claim to be in the final 15-member squad that will be submitted after the tri-series and before the final deadline next month.”
The West Indies will be permitted to make changes to their World Cup squad without permission from the International Cricket Council (ICC) until May 23.
The men from the Caribbean will kick off their World Cup campaign against Pakistan in Nottingham on May 31.
West Indies’ Preliminary World Cup Squad: Jason Holder (capt), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas