Hard-hitting opener Chris Gayle and all-rounder Andre Russell were named in the 15-member West Indies squad for this month’s ICC World Cup in England and Wales.
Several veteran players — all-rounders, Kieron Pollard, fast bowler Alzarri Joseph and off-spinner Sunil Narine — were left out the squad.
Joseph and Narine are reportedly on the injured list. There was no room for all-rounder Dwayne Bravo.
Interim chairman of Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel, Robert Haynes announced the squad at a media conference last week at the Sandals Royal Resort in Barbados.
Gayle will head the powerful batting lineup, which will see the return of fellow left-hander Evin Lewis from injury, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel who will lead the bowling attack in the preliminary squad of the two-time champions West Indies.
The 15-member squad, which will be captained by Jason Holder, includes nine players that will be making their first appearance in the global showpiece, including Shimron Hetmyer, the captain of the West Indies Under-19 side that won its first ever ICC Youth World Cup three years ago.
Russell last played an ODI for West Indies in July 2018.
Commenting on the selection Haynes said, “based on the new selection policy approach which allowed us to consider a number of players that have not regularly appeared in the side over the last years, we had a wide base of talent from which to choose.”
He said all the players named in the Tri-Nation Series could, however, stake a claim to be in the final 15-member squad that will be submitted after the Tri-Nation Series before the final deadline next month.
Gayle will be making a record fifth World Cup appearance for West Indies and needs just 253 runs to overtake fellow left-hander batsman Brian Lara and become the leading batsman for the Caribbean side in One Day Internationals.
Roach will be making his third World Cup appearance while it would be the first for Gabriel.
Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Carlos Braithwaite, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell and Oshane Thomas.