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Gayle, Russell, Pollard named in West Indies squad for T20I series vs South Africa, Australia and Pakistan

With T20 World Cup round the corner, all-rounder Andre Russell is back in the West Indies T20I squad for the first time since March 2020. The Cricket West Indies selection panel on Tuesday named a solid 18-man squad for the three back-to-back five-match T20I series against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.

Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas and Hayden Walsh Jr. return alongside the majority of the squad who featured in the 2-1 T20I Series victory against Sri Lanka in March. Kieron Pollard, who led the team to the ODI and T20I series win against Sri Lanka, will continue to captain the team. Nicholas Pooran will play the role of Pollard’s deputy. It has been learnt that Suni Narine is still not ready to return to international cricket.

CWI’s Lead Selector, Roger Harper, explained the thinking behind naming the squad and said, “The Provisional T20I Squad was put together with all T20I Home Series Matches against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan in mind. This gives us the opportunity to continue to build towards the upcoming World Cup and to determine our best squad and our ideal eleven.”

West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, expressed confident going into the summer and said that he was ooking forward to the upcoming World Cup in India.

“These upcoming T20Is are crucial in terms of our preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup. We have assembled a very solid squad — with experienced world-class match-winners and some exciting young talented players, ready to explode onto the global stage and do great things for West Indies cricket.

“We are at that point where we have identified those who we will look to be the core of the squad to defend our World Cup title, so we want to make sure the upcoming matches create that environment — the way we train, the way we plan, the way we execute and the chemistry within the group. We won five years ago, so the next few weeks and months will be major steppingstones on the road towards defending our title and being World Champions for a third time,” he said.

West Indies T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jnr

T20I MATCH SCHEDULE:

West Indies vs South Africa

June 26: 1st T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
June 27: 2nd T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
June 29: 3rd T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
July 1: 4th T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium
July 3: 5th T20I, Grenada National Cricket Stadium

West Indies vs Australia

July 9: 1st T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
July 10: 2nd T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
July 12: 3rd T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
July 14: 4th T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
July 16: 5th T20I, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia

West Indies vs Pakistan

July 27: 1st T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
July 28: 2nd T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
July 31: 3rd T20I, Guyana National Stadium
August 1: 4th T20I, Guyana National Stadium
August 3: 5th T20I, Guyana National Stadium

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