Ahead of the T20 World Cup that will begin after the IPL, West Indies announced their squad for the tournament and some exclusions grabbed a lot of attention. Sunil Narine, who has been a stalwart in this format internationally and across leagues, missed out on a place alongside young all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford.
However, chief selector Roger Harper cited fitness concerns as the main reason behind Narine and Rutherford’s exclusion. Rutherford had a sensational CPL, scoring 201 runs in 7 matches, with an average of 40.20 and a strike rate of 136.73. However, both the players failed to meet the minimum mark in the Yo-Yo Endurance Test unless given a medical exemption by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) medical committee.
“As well as he has been performing he is one of a few players who did not meet our fitness criteria, so he was not eligible for selection,” Harper said.
“Sunil Narine is a great miss for a team like this in a tournament like this. Any team would miss having a bowler of that quality in the team but as I mentioned with Rutherford and some of the others Sunil also did not make our fitness standards,” He added. According to some reports, Odeon Smith is another one of the cricketers who failed to meet the fitness criteria besides Rutherford and Narine.
Roston Chase gets the cut ahead of Sunil Narine
Kieron Pollard will lead the defending champions, in the hunt for their 3rd T20 World Cup title. Ravi Rampaul, who was an integral part of the 2012 winning squad in Sri Lanka, returned to the side, which left the likes of Jason Holder, Sheldon Cottrell and Akeal Hosein in the reserves.
Their batting department looks quintessentially Caribbean, with players like Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran and Lendl Simmons more than capable of chipping in with match-winning, whirlwind knocks. Andre Russell will continue to be a crucial cog among the all-rounders alongside Roston Chase and the veteran Dwayne Bravo.
Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.
Reserves: Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein