ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Veteran batsman Chris Gayle will not get his desired farewell from international cricket before his home crowd next month, as he was not included in the squad for the one-off T20 International (T20I) against Ireland at Sabina Park, Jamaica.
He was also omitted from the T20I team for the series against England to follow January 22 to 30, 2022 at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
The 42-year-old Jamaican had indicated his desire to play one final match in West Indies colours in an international match at home, after the West Indies’ failed campaign at the T20 World Cup in October.
In the squad announced by Cricket West Indies (CWI) interim selection panel, Keiron Pollard returns, having missed the tour of Pakistan after failing to recover from a hamstring injury he sustained during the recent T20 World Cup. He will lead the Caribbean’s One-Day International (ODI) and T20 sides in the white ball series starting next month.
COVID-19 has ruled two key players out of selection.
Fabian Allen, who has recovered from ankle injury, and Evin Lewis are unavailable for the Ireland series due to a COVID-19 positive test, CWI said. Anderson Phillip is also unavailable due to a recent COVID-19 positive test. Obed McCoy was also said to be unavailable due to rehab on a shin injury.
Left handed stroke maker Shimron Hetmyer was not considered for selection. CMC Sports understands he failed to meet CWI fitness standards.
Meantime, Roston Chase and Justin Greaves who recently recovered from COVID-19 have been included in the squad.
“We have tried to maintain the general make-up of the squads from the Pakistan Tour before Christmas, with the captain and some senior players coming back in. COVID-19 has also played a part in the final make-up of the squad. The challenges in the next couple months are getting the young players in both squads to not only improve on their skills but maintain the attitude and desire we saw in Pakistan,” head coach Phil Simmons said.
“We do need to start the year on a high. And we know both Ireland and England have very good teams, so we expect a very strong challenge as we look improve our chances of automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023 and building the T20 team for the ICC T20 World Cup in 2022.”
The West Indies will start the new year at Sabina Park, Jamaica when they host Ireland in the three-match CG ODI Series and a one-off CG Insurance T20I from January 8 to 16. The two-time World Champions will then travel to Barbados to face England in five T20Is at Kensington Oval.
The CG Insurance ODI Series between West Indies and Ireland will form part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, in which the top seven teams can secure automatic qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India.
ODI vs Ireland
Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice captain), Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Jayden Seales, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas
COVID-19 Reserves: Keacy Carty, Sheldon Cottrell
T20Is vs Ireland and England
Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice captain), Fabian Allen (England T20Is only), Darren Bravo (England T20Is only), Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr.
COVID-19 Reserves: Jayden Seales, Alzarri Joseph, Devon Thomas (CMC)