Desmond Haynes backs Windies ODI squad after South Africa

West Indies ODI captain Shai Hope - CWI Media
West Indies ODI captain Shai Hope - CWI Media

WEST Indies men’s lead selector Desmond Haynes said the selectors are sticking with the group that showed potential in a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against South Africa earlier this year.

The selectors last week announced the squads for the ICC World Cup qualifiers to be played in Zimbabwe from June 18. West Indies will look to secure one of the two available spots in the World Cup, set to bowl off October 5 in India.

Ahead of the qualifiers, West Indies will have a three-match ODI series against United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Sharjah on June 5, 7 and 9.

The West Indies ODI team played to a 1-1 draw vs South Africa in March. A similar team got past South Africa 2-1 in a T20 series on the same tour.

Asked about the absence of Guyanese batsman Shimron Hetmyer during an online media conference on Monday, Haynes said, “Yes, Hetmyer was available. He did send through an e-mail or correspondence to Jimmy (Adams) our director of cricket saying that he was available for the tour.

“What as selectors we decided to do is that we just had a new (ODI) captain in Shai Hope and he was very happy to express his views with the camaraderie we had in the team in South Africa…We saw the commitment, we saw a real change in the approach to how we play. We thought it was only fair that we stick with these guys at this time.”

Haynes made it clear that no player has been ruled out because “we don’t have the depth.”

Haynes said as far as he knows there were no fitness concerns when it came to the non-selection of Hetmyer.

Hetmyer has been largely at the sidelines over the past two years for various reasons. His fitness has come into question multiple times along with his commitment to West Indies cricket. For the T20 World Cup last October he was initially scheduled to board a flight from Guyana to join his West Indies team-mates. After missing his first flight due to personal reasons, he also failed to board the second flight Cricket West Indies arranged for him and was replaced for the tournament.

Hetmyer is the third highest run scorer among West Indies batsmen in the 2023 Indian Premier League with 253 runs at an average of 36.14.

Kyle Mayers has been having an impressive season with 361 runs and former West Indies white-ball captain Nicholas Pooran has scored 292 runs.

Haynes was also asked about TT all rounder Yannic Cariah who was a surprise pick on the team last year for the ICC T20 World Cup. Cariah has been chosen for the upcoming series and qualifiers.

“We decided we are going to go left field and select someone like Yannic for the World Cup (qualifiers). As you know, Yannic to us is a leg-break and googly bowler. That art is very difficult…We also have Hayden who (we) have invested in, but recently Hayden has lost his form, but we continue to keep him in our plans.”

Haynes said Cariah can do the “business” for West Indies at the qualifiers.

WI squad for UAE series: Shai Hope (captain), Brandon King (vice-captain), Alick Athanaze, Shamarh Brooks, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Dominic Drakes, Kavem Hodge, Akeem Jordan, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Raymon Reifer, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas.

WI squad for World Cup Qualifiers: Shai Hope (captain), Rovman Powell (vice-captain), Shamarh Brooks, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd


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