The Trinidad quartet of Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree will make a return to the West Indies squad for the upcoming T20 international series against Pakistan.
The four players, who have been largely overlooked for West Indies ODI matches, will play the first two of the four-match series. The first match will take place on March 26 in Barbados, followed by three matches in Trinidad and Tobago’s Queen’s Park Oval on March 30, April 1 and April 2.
It is unclear if the players will partake in the last two games since the 2017 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) starts on April 5. All four players are part of franchises playing in the IPL.
The four players were informed of their selection by West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) selection committee head Courtney Browne. The rest of the squad is yet to be announced.
Carlos Brathwaite will be captaining the side despite question marks over his recent performances.
Aside from the four-match T20I series, West Indies will also host Pakistan for a three-match ODI series and a three-match Test series.
The WICB has a strict selection policy whereby only players involved in the domestic circuit are to be selected for the team representing the island nations. Given that Pollard, Simmons, Narine and Badree did not feature in the Regional Super50 between January and February this year — and their IPL commitments — they are unlikely to be selected for the April 7 to 11 ODI series against Pakistan.
However WICB officials are said to be revising their selection policy.
SAMMY HOPING TO RETURN
Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who led the team to the World T20 in India title last year, is still hopeful of returning to the side.
Most recently, Sammy played an instrumental role in Peshawar Zalmi winning the final of the Pakistan Super League on March 5. He captained the side through the second season of the tournament.
Sammy was relived of captaincy duties for West Indies in August 2016, just months after the team won the World T20 final in Kolkata. Since then, Sammy has found himself exiled from the limited-overs side. He had retired from Test cricket in 2014.
Sammy participated in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz, playing for Hung Hom JD Jaguars in the four-day tournament from March 8 to March 12. He reiterated his desire to return to the West Indies side.
“I’m only retired from Test cricket. I’m not retired from limited-overs cricket. I’m available for selection. We have a series coming up against Pakistan, [I’m] available for that and wherever my services are needed,” Sammy said while playing in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.