Narine, Pollard return as West Indies announce T20I squad

Sunil Narine

In a welcome move, West Indies have named Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard in the 14-man squad that will face India in the first two T20I matches. The all-rounder duo plays T20 cricket all around the world, this will be a fantastic opportunity for them to shine in the national colours. The inclusion also makes West Indies a formidable side against India.

Narine back after two years

Famed as a mystery spinner, Narine last played a T20I for West Indies two years ago. It was a one-off T20I against England in England. The spinner earned the player of the match award for his miserly spell of 2/15 as his side coasted to a 21-run win. The 31-year old has concentrated on franchise cricket since and now returns to the national fold. In the meantime, he has also gained the reputation of being a fierce striker of the ball.

Pollard, the mainstay of Mumbai Indians in the IPL, has been turning out for the national team sporadically. His last T20I was against India in November 2018. The all-rounder has 59 international caps till date. The selectors have clarified that the recall of these two is a step towards defending the T20 World Cup next year.

Eyes on the T20 World Cup

Robert Haynes, the intern chairman of selection, said, “We felt that players like Narine and Pollard, who have played well in T20 leagues around the world, once they are fit and mentally ready to play, we must give them the opportunity to represent the West Indies again.”

“It’s not just about the present – the India tour of the West Indies – but we are also looking at the T20 World Cup coming up next year and it is important that we find the right combination of players and the right formula for defending our title,” he added.

West Indies have also given a maiden call-up to the 28-year old wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble based on his performances in Canada’s GLT20. Andre Russell has also been named in the squad but his participation shall depend on clearing the fitness test. Chris Gayle shall not be playing the T20I series due to his Canada Global T20 League commitment.

The three-match T20I series begins on 3rd August at Lauderhill, Florida.

Full squad:

John Campbell, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicolas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite (c), Keemo Paul, Sunil Narine, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Anthony Bramble, Andre Russell, Khary Pierre.