ICC World Cup 2019: Andre Russell makes it to West Indies 15-member squad
West Indies announced their 15-man squad for the ICC World Cup 2019 on Wednesday. The ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle and big-hitting all-rounder Andre Russell were included in the side. There was no place for the likes of Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine as the West Indies Cricket Board decided not to spring a surprise.
“I spoke to Andre a few days ago and he assured me that he will be okay for the World Cup. He has a few niggles. He has some pain behind his knee but he assured he’ll be okay for the World Cup,” Jimmy Adams, CWI Director of Cricket, said.
“He’s scored a lot of runs and we’ll be using him as a batting all-rounder,” Floyd Reifer, Windies’ interim head coach, 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.”
The 15-member West Indian squad full of power hitters will be led by all-rounder Jason Holder. The West Indies have a formidable batting line-up with the likes of Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Andre Russell, and Darren Bravo up their sleeves.
Young wicket-keeper batsman Nicholas Pooran was also named in the squad. Apart from a very strong batting line-up the West Indies also boast of a formidable seam bowling attack with Shannon Gabriel as the leader. Left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell, young Oshane Thomas and the experienced Keemar Roach are the other fast bowlers in the squad.
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.”
Ashley Nurse was the only spinning option in the squad.
West Indies start their World Cup campaign against Pakistan on May 31 at Nottingham.
West Indies World Cup squad: Jason Holder ©, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo, Fabian Allen, Nichollas Pooran, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas and Keemar Roach