Cricket West Indies (CWI) have announced a 15-player squad for their ODI series in Sri Lanka beginning this month, with recalls for Darren Bravo, Rovman Powell and Fabian Allen. But there is no place for either Shimron Hetmyer or Evin Lewis, both of whom have failed to meet new minimum fitness standards.
Allen will make his return following a knee injury he picked up during West Indies' tour of India in November last year. Bravo meanwhile has not played an ODI since Windies fell to defeat against Bangladesh in Taunton during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, in which the specialist batsman came in at No.8.
Should he make a start during the series, Powell would be making his first ODI appearance since late 2018, with another loss at the hands of Bangladesh – this time in Sylhet – signalling his most recent ODI cap.
"Darren Bravo and Rovman Powell owe their recall to their outstanding performance in the Colonial Medical Super50 tournament," CWI Lead Selector Roger Harper said in a press release. "Bravo brings good form, a renewed appetite for runs and lots of experience which will benefit the team tremendously. Powell who is back from injury, will add batting firepower to the lineup, increase the team’s bowling options and strengthen the fielding unit."
The omission of Lewis and Hetmyer comes as somewhat of a shock, but both players have fallen short of new fitness standards introduced by the board, as Harper explained.
"Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer missed out due to the fact that they came up short in the fitness test," he said. "They will be missed, Lewis was the team’s best batsman in the recent Colonial Medical Insurance ODI Series against Ireland where he batted with great composure and proved the bedrock for the team’s series win. Hetmyer appeared to be getting his act together and was an integral part of the team’s batting group."
West Indies come into the series off the back of 3-0 victories over Afghanistan and Ireland, as well as a narrow 2-1 loss away in India in their three most recent ODI series, results Harper believes the team can build on as the team look to improve on their current 9th position in the MRF Tyres Men's ODI Team Rankings.
"I look forward to the team building on its recent performances against Afghanistan and India in the subcontinent and against Ireland at home – playing consistent, smart cricket to win the series. Sri Lanka are a very good team in their own conditions. I do not expect it to be easy but our team has shown that it is very capable. These are the series we will have to win in order to move up the rankings."
Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh.
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