West Indies welcomed back batsman Darren Bravo and all-rounder Kieron Pollard to their Twenty20 international squad for the upcoming series against India, while swashbuckling opener Chris Gayle has declined selection for the same owing to his commitment in the ongoing Afghanistan Premier League and the forthcoming T10 league.
Bravo returns to the West Indies side after a gap of two years whereas Pollard is set for his national appearance after a year as India and Windies will feature in a three-match T20I series from November 4.
West Indies announced their squad for the five-match ODI series and T20I series against India on Monday (October 8). Jason Holder will captain the Windies in the 50-over format while Carlos Brathwaite will lead the side for the T20I series.
Courtney Browne, Chairman of the Selection Panel, explained the selections saying that they are looking to give youngsters a chance to showcase their skills ahead of the 2019 ICC World Cup.
"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," Browne said in a statement.
"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," he added.
Brownie also welcomed Bravo and Pollard back in the squad while adding that they have taken decisions keeping in mind the World T20 in 2020.
"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,” Browne asserted.
"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," he continued.
WICB Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave justified the rationale behind the early announcement of both the squads.
"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 organise flights and visas. With the CPL finishing last month, there was no reason to delay announcing the T20 squad," he said.
As expected, Dwayne Bravo and spinner Sunil Narine did not find a place in any of the squads after their names were snubbed from the 25-player list.
ODI squad: Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Oshane Thomas.
T20I squad: Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Oshane Thomas.