Russell, Gayle picked for World Cup as West Indies announce squad

West Indies World Cup squad

West Indies has announced their squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which will be held in England and Wales. Jason Holder will be leading the side.

Some tough calls have been made and few big names like Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard miss out but Andre Russell has been picked as the batting all-rounder of the team. Russell has been in sublime form in this years IPL scoring 392 runs in nine matches with a strike-rate of 218.

“I spoke to Andre a few days ago. He has a few niggles. He has some pain behind his knee but he assured the selection panel that he’ll be okay for the World Cup. He’s scored a lot of runs and we’ll be using him as a batting all-rounder,” interim head coach Floyd Reifer said of Russell. “He’s doing very well in the IPL. We have got to manage his injuries and have three to four days rest between the games.” Robert Haynes, the interim chairman of CWI, said.

Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis have been selected as the openers. On Evin’s lack of International match experience, Haynes said “Evin assured the selection panel that he’s doing a lot of training in India. We must remember that we have two games in England before the World Cup starts, so we can get him in that”

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“If you look at his track record, he’s done very well opening the batting with Chris Gayle and we believe that he’s somebody we are going to see progressing as the tour goes on,”

On Chris Gayle’s addition Haynes said, “To have a player the caliber of Chris in the side to lead the batting with his vast experience and his ability to play match-winning or game-changing innings is a blessing for us and the motivation of becoming the leading scorer for West Indies in ODIs is something which I think he will relish,” 

Kieron Pollard wasn’t picked as he has not been consistent with the bat and hasn’t bowled at all in this year’s IPL.

“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,” Haynes said. “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.”

Sunil Narine misses out due to finger injury. “We had to look past Narine because of his fitness issue but I know, definitely, he wanted to play for the West Indies side,”

“We had a lot of dialogue with Sunil Narine. He assured that he would have loved to play in the World Cup but unfortunately, he has an injured finger. He’s getting treatment after every game in IPL and he’s not capable at the moment to bowl 10 overs. He’s struggling to bowl even four overs in the IPL.” Haynes said.

“Looking at the condition of pitches in ODIs over the last few years in England and Wales, it appears that big totals will be the order of the day, so we believe we have a line-up that can put big totals on the board or chase them, as we have seen from recent matches.

“With players like the captain, Jason Holder, as well as Andre Russell in the lower middle-order, we believe we have good depth to our batting which will allow us to play the brand of cricket that will give us the best of chance of winning the World Cup.”

Squad: Jason Holder (c), Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Oshane Thomas, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell

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