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West Indies announce squad for New Zealand tour

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Cricket West Indies have announced the squads for the upcoming tour to New Zealand, which will consist of 2 Test matches and 3 T20 Internationals. The 2 Test matches will be part of the ICC World Test Championship.

West Indies Test squad: Jason Holder (c), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach

The West Indies have named the following players as reserves for the main squad:

Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales

Darren Bravo, whose highest Test match score of 218 came against the same opposition at Dunedin in 2013, has been recalled to the Test squad. Other than Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul have also earned call-ups to the squad.

West Indies T20I squad:

Kieron Pollard (c), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell,  Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams

Andre Fletcher has earned a call-up to the T20I squad after a long gap of two years. Kyle Mayers, who was a stand-out performer in the Caribbean Premier League two months ago, has earned a maiden call-up to the squad as well.

West Indies

Andre Fletcher returns to the West Indies T20I side after two years

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All-rounder Andre Russell and top order batsmen Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis have opted not to participate in the tour. CWI has stated to have fully respected their decision to choose to do so and that this will not impact consideration for future selection.

The CWI Selection Panel indicated this upcoming series will form part of the overall planning towards defending the ICC World T20 title. The panel outlined that they will continue to monitor closely the progress of spin bowler Sunil Narine and all other players in the lead-up to the global event.

Roger Harper, CWI’s Lead Selector said the following, “The return of Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul will bolster the team, I expect that Darren will solidify the top-order, hopefully making it more productive, while Shimron gives the squad more options in the middle-order and it is another opportunity for him to show how good a player he is. Keemo provides another wicket taking seam option.

“The Test team has an opportunity to put into practice the learnings from the tour of England earlier this year. The team has good all-round depth and I expect them be very competitive. New Zealand is a very good team especially in New Zealand, so we need to be on the top of our game.”

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Harper also spoke on the omission of Shai Hope from the Test squad and teenage fast bowler Jayden Seales among the reserves.

“Shai is a player who I think has a tremendous future in Test cricket but at the moment he needs to reorganize his Test match game and get his batting in the longest version, back to its best.

“Jayden is a very talented young fast bowler, who is being given some exposure to the West Indies team environment on tour in an effort to fast track his development. He will have a tremendous opportunity to learn and grow as a player as he trains and practices with the West Indies Test players under the guidance of Phil Simmons, the Head Coach, and his coaching staff.

Speaking on the T20 squad, Harper said, “Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell are two very experienced T20 players who performed very well on the last tour of Sri Lanka and their absence will surely be noted. However, Andre Fletcher has another opportunity to show us what he can do and what he brings to the table.”

Harper continued, “The T20I Team is now getting back into the groove after a nine-month absence from international competition. Fortunately, a number of players have been involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and before that the CPL, so they have had some competitive cricket leading up to this tour. The structure of the tour with the COVID-19 quarantine period, does not give the team any real opportunity for match practice as a team but there are a number of experienced players in the team so, hopefully, they can adapt quickly.

“In the build-up to the ICC T20 World Cup, every T20I series is an important opportunity to fine tune the team, to get our personnel, our compositions and combinations right. For our players to become more attuned to their roles and the team to have a greater understanding of what works best in each situation. So, this is a very important series for us from that perspective and also in an effort to improve our rankings.”