ICC World Cup Squad – Team West Indies
West-Indies board announced their provisional 15-man ODI squad for the World Cup 2019 and it was full of surprises. Major players like Keiron Pollard, Sunil Narine were left out of the 15-man squad. The team will be led by Jason Holder. The inclusion of Chris Gayle in the squad put a smile on every fan. Gayle, who will be playing his fifth World Cup will be looking to lead the batting squad from the front.
Here’s the full squad:
Squad: Jason Holder (C), Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Shai Hope, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer
Players to look forward to:
Shimron Hetmyer, a left-hand batsman, had played four games after his first-class debut for Guyana in April 2014 before he led West Indies to their first Under-19 World Cup title, in Bangladesh in 2015-16. Hetmyer scored 158 runs in six games in that competition, including successive fifties in the quarter-final and semi-final. It was his second Under-19 World Cup – he had also featured in the 2014 edition of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates. Hetmyer did not have a great time tallying only a handful of runs. He did, however, show a lot of promise as he scored a ton against UAE in the World Cup qualifiers to start his campaign. But then the conversion problem again got the better of him in the rest of the games.
Shai Hope made his Test debut as a 21-year-old, having played just 14 first-class matches at the time. But few in the Caribbean doubted his talent as a batsman. Clive Lloyd gave him his West Indies cap, and coach Stuart Law insisted that he only needed one innings to get going. The world eventually got to know why the boy from Barbados was rated so highly when he became the first player, in 534 first-class matches, to score a hundred in each innings at Headingley. Hope was 23 at the time, the youngest member of the XI, leading West Indies to victory with scores of 147 and 118 not out. They had been faced with a target of 322 – not since Bradman’s Invincibles rocketed to 404 for 3 in 1948 had a team chased that many on Yorkshire’s storied turf, and won. Hope made his first-class debut in 2012-13, but propelled himself into consideration for the West Indies team after a superb season in 2014-15, when he scored 628 runs in nine matches – he was the fourth-highest run-getter in the tournament. He racked up 538 runs at 67.25 in 2015-16 – the highest average among the top-10 – and secured his maiden first-class double-hundred at his home ground, Kensington Oval, in March 2017.
Jason Holder was seen as a future talent until a selection panel headed by former World Cup-winner Clive Lloyd appointed him West Indies’ ODI captain in 2014. Holder was only 23 at the time and was still making his way as a fast bowler and a lower-middle order batsman. Less than a year later, he took over the Test team too, indicating how much the WICB and men in the know – ranging from Viv Richards to Brian Lara to Tony Cozier – believed in this man, who comes across as remarkably level-headed and mature for someone so young. He played one first-class game before being called up for the 2010 Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, where he was his team’s leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets. He replaced the injured Tino Best for West Indies’ limited-overs leg of the Bangladesh tour in 2011 and made his international debut in Australia a few months later. A Test debut came against New Zealand in Bridgetown in June 2014, and he took two wickets and made a fighting 52 at No. 7. He had been signed by Chennai Super Kings in the 2013 IPL auction but was dropped. However, in 2016, he was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders. He captained West Indies in the 2015 World Cup, where they won three out of seven matches. He was also part of the squad that won the 2016 World T20, though he didn’t play a game.
If there is one player that has made a huge mark on world cricket with his fearless batting, it has to be Christopher Henry Gayle, a.k.a Chris Gayle. Not only is he the most feared batsman, but he also holds numerous records like Most T20 Hundred, Most Sixes in T20. His form in the recently concluded West Indies tour of England got him in the squad. His antics with the bat in the IPL is well known, being the player with the highest 100s and sixes there as well.