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By Ian Burnett – West Indies T20 star Andre Russell has been overlooked for selection for the ICC T20 World Cup starting next month, while left-hand opening batter Evin Lewis has been recalled after nearly a year of not representing the regional side.
Two uncapped players, right-arm leg-spinner, allrounder Yannic Cariah and left-arm batting allrounder Raymon Reifer, have also been named in the 15-man team announced on Wednesday by Cricket West Indies (CWI) for the World Cup which will be played in Australia from October 16 to November 13.
CWI’s lead selector Desmond Haynes said they went with a mix of youth and experience and had looked at the players who were doing well in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
“I said at the beginning of my tenure that I would be interested in giving players the opportunity and I think I have been consistent in doing that. I believe it is a very good team we have selected, and it is a team that will compete, given that we have to qualify from Round 1 into the Super12s,” he said.
“There are players who did not make the team and I hope they will continue to work hard and perform to their best in the CPL and the upcoming CG United Super50 Cup, because you never know what can happen in case of injuries or any other unforeseen situations where we might need to call up players as replacements.”
Both Lewis and Russell last featured for the West Indies in the 2021 T20 World Cup in Dubai.
However, on Monday, the 34-year-old Russell said he was more focused on representing the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the CPL than on earning a recall to the West Indies squad, although he had told Sky Sports last month that he still had aspirations to win another World Cup for his side.
Andre Russell has played 67 T20Is and has been part of two successful World Cup teams that saw West Indies become the only team to have won the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup twice – in Sri Lanka in 2012 and in India in 2016.
Nicholas Pooran will be leading the West Indies in his first World Cup as captain, with Rovman Powell as vice-captain, as the men in maroon begin their campaign on October 17 to win an unprecedented third World Cup title.
They start with a match against Scotland in the first of three Group B fixtures played at the Bellerive Oval, in Hobart, Tasmania to qualify for the Super 12 phase of the tournament.
West Indies will face Zimbabwe on October 19 and then Ireland on October 21 with the top two teams from Group B joining the Super 12s, along with the top two teams from Group A which features Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, and Namibia. The top two teams from each Super12 group will advance to the semi-finals on November 9 and 10.
However, before the start of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, the West Indies will meet home team Australia in a two-match bilateral T20 International (T20I) series on October 5 at the Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast and on October 7 at the historical Gabba, in Brisbane.
FULL SQUAD: Nicholas Pooran (captain), Rovman Powell (vice-captain), Yannic Cariah, Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akael Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Raymon Reifer, Odean Smith.