St John’s, ANTIGUA– Three young players have been selected into the WINDIES white-ball squads for the tour of India. With less than a year to go before the 2019 Cricket World Cup and two years before the next World T20 in Australia, plans are being put in place to prepare the team for these important ICC global events.
Chairman of the Selection Panel, Courtney Browne explained “as we continue our Cricket World Cup preparations, the upcoming tour of India provides a great opportunity to expose some of our young talent. Opener, Chandrapul Hemraj, all-rounder Fabian Allen and fast bowler Oshane Thomas will get their opportunity to showcase their skills, along with Sunil Ambris, who is returning to the fold. We will be without our stalwart, Chris Gayle for this Indian tour and the next tour against Bangladesh as he has declined selection at this time, however, he has made himself available for the selection for the visit of England to the Caribbean and the CWC in 2019.”
Andre Russell has been ruled out of all 50-over cricket due to injury and Alzarri Joseph will undergo a fitness test before leaving for India.
Courtney Browne added that, “with the 2020 ICC World T20 two years away and the limited amount of T20 Internationals within the next year, the panel believes at this juncture it is time to invest in the young players that have emerged over the last two years from WINDIES A and B teams, along with 2018 CPL. The panel believes that this new group of cricketers, in addition to their cricketing skills, will have the athleticism needed to improve our fielding, which will be vital to our success. The selection of a young group two years prior to the World T20 gives the coaching staff time to help them with their skills and for the team to develop into a cohesive and competitive unit. The team will continue to retain some experienced players who will work alongside the younger group. We wish the team every success on a challenging assignment in India and, offer our congratulations to the players making their international debuts and welcome back Darren Bravo and Kieran Pollard to international cricket.”
Chief Executive Officer, Johnny Grave, confirmed the reasons for the early squad announcements saying “the team will have a camp before the start of the ODI series in Guwahati, so we had to select the squad before the start of the Super50 Cup, in order to organize flights and visas. With the CPL finishing last month, there was no reason to delay announcing the T20 squad.”