Inside the Region & WICB News
Date Published: 2019-02-07
Region & WICB News
Gayle, Lewis recalled to WI squad for first two ODIs against England
St. John’s, Antigua, February 7 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Pugnacious openers Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis have been recalled to the West Indies' 14-man squad for the first two of the five-match One-Day International series against England.
Gayle last played for West Indies during the home ODI series against Bangladesh in July 2018, and had made himself unavailable for the tours of India and Bangladesh over the 2018-19 winter in order to play the Afghanistan Premier League and the T10 League.
Fellow left-hander Lewis had withdrawn from the India tour for personal reasons, and missed the ODIs in Bangladesh as well, but returned to the squad for the T20Is.
Another left-hander, Nicholas Pooran, has been called up to the ODI squad for the first time. The Trinidadian has impressed with his shotmaking ability in the eight T20Is he has played so far, most notably while slamming an unbeaten 53 off 25 balls against India in November.
The squad features a number of other changes too. Captain Jason Holder is back, as expected, having made a successful return to the Test side after missing the Bangladesh tour with a shoulder injury. Fellow Barbadian, off-spinner Ashley Nurse also returns, having made a comeback to domestic first-class cricket after injuring his shoulder on the India tour.
Batsmen Marlon Samuels, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Kieran Powell and Sunil Ambris, and all-rounders Roston Chase and Carlos Brathwaite, who were all part of the ODI squad in Bangladesh, have been left out.
Samuels, according to chairman of selectors Courtney Browne, is undergoing treatment on a knee injury. He also suggested that the fast bowler Shannon Gabriel could feature in 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 said. "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."
The first two matches will be played at Kensington Oval in Barbados on February 20 and 22.
West Indies squad: Jason Holder (captain), 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.
1st ODI: Kensington Oval – Wednesday, February 20
2nd ODI: Kensington Oval – Friday, February 22
3rd ODI: Grenada National Stadium – Monday, February 25
4th ODI: Grenada National Stadium – Wednesday, February 27
5th ODI: Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia – Saturday, March 2