Chris Gayle was named as part of a drastically altered West Indies ODI squad alongside Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse and Evin Lewis – who all return to the ODI team after spells on the sidelines.
Plenty of big-name players will miss out (including the likes of Marlon Samuels and Carlos Brathwaite), but the 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran will be looking forward to making his debut against England in their stead.
Shannon Gabriel has also been afforded an outside chance to feature in the latter stages of the series following his sensational bowling during the Test series.
Gayle had excluded himself from selection during the West Indies’ tours of India and Bangladesh due to his commitments in the new T10 league and the Afghanistan Premier League. Meanwhile, Lewis returns to the side after having cut his tour of the subcontinent early for personal reasons.
Both Holder and Nurse return to the ODI setup after missing out on the last two series due to their respective shoulder injuries, whereas Samuels has been dropped in order to undergo treatment on his injured knee, according to Cricket West Indies’ chairman of selectors Courtney Browne.
‘As we continue our Cricket World Cup preparations, the upcoming series against the top-ranked ODI side is a great opportunity for us to gauge where we are as a team,’ Browne said. ‘This allows us to identify any areas that need addressing relating to selection, and also helps the coaching staff to fine-tune their game strategy.
‘We welcome the return of Chris Gayle, who missed the last two series, and Ashley Nurse from injury. We are pleased to introduce Nicholas Pooran to ODI cricket for the first time. He is clearly a young player with undoubted talent and we believe he can add value to our middle order. Shannon Gabriel remains very much in our World Cup plans, but with a heavy workload expected in the Test series, he will be considered for selection later in the ODI series,’ added Browne.
The West Indies will meet England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados for the first ODI of the five-match series on Wednesday 20 February.
West Indies squad: Jason Holder, Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas
In: Jason Holder, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran
Out: Marlon Samuels, Roston Chase, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Carlos Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Sunil Ambris
Photo: Julian Herbert/Getty Images