SOME of TT’s most experienced and upcoming cricketers have been hinted at for a possible call-up to the West Indies (WI) team which play host to Sri Lanka from March 3.
A source close to the West Indies camp said, on Tuesday, that all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is favoured to be selected to the regional team’s T20 lineup while young spinner Akeal Hosein is also set for his first call-up in this version of the game.
Ace-spinner Sunil Narine is still unconfirmed for the T20s but sources close to the situation have said Chris Gayle and Andre Russell are also expected to make a welcome return to the unit.
On Tuesday, Cricket West Indies (CWI) issued a statement that international cricket will return to the Caribbean, in March, as Antigua plays host to Sri Lanka for two T20 Internationals, three One-Day Internationals and two Test matches.
The competition will be held in a bio-secure environment from March 2 to April 2. The last international WI men’s home series featured Ireland in January 2020.
Since then, WI have made three overseas tours to England, New Zealand and Bangladesh as part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Future Tours Programme (FTP).
Newsday reached out to CWI CEO Johnny Grave via WhatsApp, on Tuesday, to confirm if any of these players had been shortlisted for selection.
He responded, “We have a provisional squad but it is unlikely to be announced until after the group stages of the ongoing CG Insurance Super50.”
On January 31, 2015, Bravo announced his retirement from Test cricket. One year later, he was part of the WI team which lifted the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World T20 final title.
In October 2018, he announced his retirement from international cricket in all formats but said he would continue to play franchise T20 cricket.
In December 2019, the all-rounder came out of international retirement in preparation for the 2020 T20 World Cup which was postponed owing to the pandemic. Over the past year, he again competed with the Trinbago Knight Riders and helped lead them to a historic third Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title.
He then represented the Mumbai Indians at the Indian Premier League (IPL) but was forced to return home due to a groin injury. Since his return to TT, Bravo has been doing major rehabilitation work and has been training and serving as a mentor with the TT Red Force team.
Hosein, on the other hand, recently returned from his West Indies ODI debut at the tour of Bangladesh. Although the visitors lost the three-match series 0-3, Hosein has been in fine form with the ball and was a bowling spectacle at last year’s CPL.
If he is selected to represent the WI at the T20I level, this would be his fourth stint in the maroon after serving the WI Under-19 in a quadrangular tournament in India (2011) and then once more in the World Cup (2012).
WI, however, are the defending T20I World Cup champions and will be looking to field the strongest possible team to go up against the globe’s best cricketing nations.
The likes of Narine being added to the squad would serve as a major boost for the team. Narine has also shown good progress with the ball, even though he was reported for a suspected bowling action at last year’s IPL. He was placed on a warning list but still allowed to play. His action has since been corrected.
The possible additions of Jamaican big-hitters Chris Gayle and Andre Russell to the WI T20 squad remains uncertain until the official squad list is revealed by CWI.