BSP-03 Windies name Gayle and Russell in World Cup squad, Pollard misses out

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BSP-03

CRICKET-WC-2019-WIS SQUAD

Windies name Gayle and Russell in World Cup squad, Pollard misses out

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda, April 25, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – The West
Indies named star players Chris Gayle and Andre Russell in their 2019 World
Cup squad on Wednesday, although allrounder Kieron Pollard was among those
left out.

Big-hitting opening batsman Gayle returned to the Windies one-day
international side in their 2-2 series draw against top-ranked England
earlier this year, scoring two hundreds and two fifties in four innings.

Russell did not feature against England and has been struggling with
injuries, playing a limited role with the ball in the ongoing Indian Premier
League for Kolkata Knight Riders.

But he has been in fine form with the bat, and will bring vital power
hitting to the middle order for the two-time world champions in England and
Wales.

“I spoke with Andre about four days ago and he assured me that he’ll be OK
for the World Cup,” said West Indies chief selector Robert Haynes. “He just
has a couple of niggling injuries.”

Interim coach Floyd Reifer, who replaced the sacked Richard Pybus earlier
this month, said Russell was in the squad mainly as a batsman for a team who
had to come through qualifying.

“Looking at the IPL, he’s been scoring a lot of runs, so we’re going to
use him as a batting allrounder,” said Reifer.

“We’ll have to manage his injuries between games.”

– Narine out injured –

Despite the Windies changing their rules regarding international players
needing to play in their domestic competitions to qualify for selection,
there were no places in the squad for Pollard or spinner Sunil Narine.

Pollard, a veteran of 101 ODIs, and Narine both last played 50-over
cricket for the Caribbean outfit in 2016.

Narine, who also opens the batting in the IPL for Kolkata, is suffering
with a finger injury and does not feel able to play the longer limited-overs
format.

“We had a lot of dialogue with Sunil and he assured us he would love to be
playing for the West Indies, but he has a very sore finger,” added Haynes.

“He’s getting treatment after every IPL game, and he cannot bowl 10 overs
and is struggling to bowl four.”

Other big names to miss out included Dwayne Bravo, who has been in the
international wilderness since 2016, and Marlon Samuels.

Young batsmen Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer were included, as was
Evin Lewis, who missed the England series, at the expense of John Campbell.

Lewis is likely to open the batting with the 39-year-old Gayle, who is
just 252 runs away from breaking Brian Lara’s all-time ODI West Indies record
and will retire from the format after the tournament.

The Windies, who won both their World Cup trophies in England in 1975 and
1979, get their campaign underway against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on May 31.

They can amend their squad until May 23, but director of cricket Jimmy
Adams said there were no plans to do so after the warm-up tri-series with
Bangladesh and Ireland in Dublin.

“I hope no one gets injured, but this squad is for the World Cup in
England,” said Adams.

This year’s World Cup will be played as a 10-team league before semi-
finals and the final.

West Indies 15-man squad named on Wednesday for the 2019 World Cup in
England and Wales:

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, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer.

BSS/AFP/FI/ 0828 hrs