Russell Returns as West Indies Finally Announce World Cup Squad
West Indies have finally announced their squad for this summer’s ICC World Cup and yes, Chris Gayle and Andre Russell are both part of the 15.
While the senior campaigners were named in the squad, Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine were the notable absentees.
Jason Holder has been expectedly named the skipper of the team which has the perfect mix of youth and experience with the likes of Shimron Heymyer being given a go along with Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach.
The World Cup squad was selected by the newly-appointed interim selection panel chaired by Robert Haynes, along with Jimmy Adams (director of cricket) and West Indies' newly appointed coach Floyd Reifer.
“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.”Robert Haynes, Interim Chief Selector
Gayle and Russell Back
Chris Gayle made a comeback to the West Indies national team after a gap of 7 months earlier this year during the home series against England where he scored two centuries and two fifties in four innings. The 39-year-old has since carried forward the form into the IPL where he’s playing for Kings XI Punjab.
Gayle is currently the third-highest scorer of this IPL with 444 runs in 10 matches.
Andre Russell is Kolkata Knight Riders’ top run-scorer and wicket-taker this season and even though he hasn't played ODI cricket for West Indies in almost a year, the selectors have shown faith in the 30-year-old match-winner.
“To have a player the calibre 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.”Robert Haynes, Interim Chief Selector
West Indies’ World Cup Squad
- Jason Holder (capt)
- Andre Russell
- Ashley Nurse
- Carlos Brathwaite
- Chris Gayle
- Darren Bravo
- Evin Lewis
- Fabian Allen
- Kemar Roach
- Nicholas Pooran
- Oshane Thomas
- Shai Hope (wk)
- Shannon Gabriel
- Sheldon Cottrell
- Shimron Hetmyer
Having dropped to number 9 in the ICC ODI standings, West Indies in fact weren't even an automatic entry to the 2019 World Cup. The team had to go through a qualifying tournament where they lost the final to Afghanistan but still made the cut for England.
West Indies players however have been lighting up the IPL this season and had even drawn the five-match ODI series against England 2-2 earlier this year, giving national legend Brian Lara hopes of a resurgence at this summer’s showpiece event.