Sammy looks at historic Nepal tour to refine T20 World Cup squad

West Indies will tour Nepal with an ‘A’ team, comprising T20 specialists, towards the end of April.

In a historic first, a West Indies representative side will tour Nepal for a five-game T20 series. Though this will be an ‘A’ tour, it will feature experienced T20 players such as Fabian Allen, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher and Hayden Walsh and will help both sides prepare for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

With several West Indies regulars including skipper Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Nicholas Pooran, Kyle Mayers, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph and Shimron Hetmyer featuring in the Indian Premier League, this tour will be an opportunity for the remaining players to get some game-time ahead of the home T20 World Cup.

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West Indies white-ball coach Daren Sammy was confident that the five-game series against the Rhinos would help the side define roles and gauge their depth.

“From a coaching perspective, the Nepal tour couldn't have come at a more opportune time," Sammy said. "It offers us a chance to refine our [T20] World Cup squad, defining roles and personnel more clearly.

“Additionally, with nine players in the IPL, we can truly gauge and push the limits of our T20 team's depth.”

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The team will be captained by Roston Chase, who hasn’t sealed a regular place in the T20I setup. However, he impressed in his last outing in the format against Australia in Perth, where he scored a quickfire 37 to help West Indies to a formidable 220/6 and then picked 2/19 in a 37-run win for his side.

The 32-year-old was backed by West Indies lead selector Desmond Haynes, who praised the all-rounder for his work ethic and leadership qualities.

“Chase has exhibited over the past few years an impressive work ethic and proven leadership qualities,” Haynes said in a statement, “No doubt since Chase made his T20I debut in October 2021, for West Indies against Bangladesh, he has continued to make considerable strides.”

West Indies A squad for the tour of Nepal: Roston Chase (c), Alick Athanaze (vc), Fabian Allen, Kadeem Alleyne, Joshua Bishop, Keacy Carty, Johnson Charles, Mark Deyal, Andre Fletcher, Matthew Forde, Obed McCoy, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh

The A team will be coached by former West Indies international Floyd Reifer, with Rayon Griffith as his assistant.

West Indies are in Group C of the T20 World Cup, along with Uganda, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Afghanistan. They begin their campaign against PNG in Providence on June 2.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup, 2024NewsMT20 Cricket World Cup