FORMER TT and West Indies opener Suruj Ragoonath believes Akeal Hosein deserves his pick after the left-arm spinner was announced as a replacement for the injured left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Fabian Allen on the West Indies 15-man squad for the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup.
West Indies will open their campaign against England at 10 am (TT time), on Saturday. The tournament is being held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
A media release by Cricket West Indies (CWI) said, “Allen was ruled out of the ICC tournament due to an unhealed right ankle injury which he sustained during the recently concluded IPL (Indian Premier League).”
The change to the West Indies squad has been approved by the ICC tournament’s technical committee.
CWI said, “Hosein, who was originally named as a travelling reserve, now joins the official squad. Another exciting young left-arm spinner, Gudakesh Motie, has been called up by the West Indies selectors as a reserve player. Motie is due to fly to the UAE where he will be able to join the West Indies squad as a reserve, once he has completed the six days of mandatory quarantine with the required negative covid19 test results.”
Ragoonath welcomed the news that Hosein is in the squad.
“I think it is much deserved,” Ragoonath said.
“He has recently done well for West Indies and then he had a pretty good CPL (Caribbean Premier League) and I think coming down to the latter stages of the CPL we saw an improvement in his batting as well. I think that he will be a good replacement for Fabian Allen.
His fielding is also an asset, so it’s not just his bowling.”
Ragoonath said he is “happy” for Hosein and wished him well.
Over the last few weeks, West Indies cricket stakeholders said Hosein should have been in the original 15-man squad when it was named last month.
Roger Harper, CWI’s lead selector, said it is unfortunate that Allen is unavailable.
“I know Fabian was really looking forward to playing in this World Cup, so it is very disappointing that he is forced to miss out,” Harper said in the CWI media release.
“His all-around capabilities will be missed by the team. I would like to wish him a full and speedy recovery and look forward to him being available for squad selection in the near future. I take the opportunity to congratulate Akeal on being drafted into the 15-member squad and look forward to him continuing the good form he displayed throughout the year. I also congratulate Gudakesh Motie whose performances in CG Insurance Super50 and CPL have resulted in him being added to the reserves as spin bowling cover.”
Allen’s batting has improved in 2021 as he has demonstrated his power-hitting ability for West Indies. West Indies played Sri Lanka, South Africa, Australia and Pakistan in T20 series in the Caribbean in 2021.
The CWI selectors have also requested that Dominic Drakes and Odean Smith stay in the UAE following their recent IPL engagements. The two fast bowlers will train with the West Indies squad as net bowlers during the squad’s preparations this week.
WEST INDIES SQUAD
Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jnr
Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Gudakesh Motie