… Cloud still exists over Narine’s return
CRICKET West Indies (CWI) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Johnny Grave has announced that on September 17 West Indies squad for this year’s World T20 title defence will be selected.
CWI selection panel consists of Roger Harper (Lead Selector), Miles Bascombe and Head Coach, Phil Simmons.
The selection will come two days after the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) concludes, and Grave said impressive performances there could count towards getting the nod for the World T20 which will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman from October 17 to November 14.
“The World Cup squad will be picked on the September 17 and may involve players who would have performed well in CPL but I personally would be surprised if anyone is picked who has not been involved in these 15 matches over the summer.
“But that is my personal opinion, I have not spoken to the selectors about their intentions,” Grave revealed while speaking Tuesday evening on the Barbadian radio programme Mason and Guest.
West Indies currently has an 18-man provisional squad which consists of: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kevin Sinclair, Oshane Thomas, Akeal Hosein and Jason Holder. Those players have been rotated throughout the 15 concluded Twenty20 International matches this year at home, and similar is expected against Pakistan for the five-match series which starts July 27 in Barbados.
“We got an 18-man squad that was picked for these matches and listening to Roger Harper and Phil Simmons, it is really that 18-man squad they are looking at, to try and jell but there will always be opportunities for players in CPL to make the last claim for a position in the final squad. I would be surprised if any came into the squad outside of that pool of 18.”
Grave added, “Certainly, from a Cricket West Indies point of view, we want everyone in the region available for selection; we want to make the job for the selectors harder than it is.”
What about Sunil Narine?
Grave who has been in the CEO position since his appointment in 2017 was questioned directly on the possibility of mystery spinner Sunil Narine featuring and he expressed uncertainty.
“I am not sure, to be honest; I know he had the finger injury which caused him a lot of problems with being able to put revs on the ball and the last time he was formally asked by CWI, he didn’t feel he was ready to step up to international cricket.
“But I personally like to think that every player who plays in the CPL is available and would want to go to a World Cup if selected and the deadline to pick the squad is after the CPL. So that is the last opportunity players have to make a case for selection.”
In June, Pollard has said that Narine could return to the T20 side after he regains confidence in his bowling action.
The spinner was warned for a suspect action at last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), and last played for West Indies in August 2019, in a series against India, but there have been complaints about his bowling action since 2014.