TT opening batsman Kjorn Ottley, 33, and Barbados wicket-keeper/batsman Shane Dowrich, 32, have earned recalls to the West Indies team for the three-match One-day International (ODI) series versus England from December 3 to December 9.
The CWI men’s selection panel named a 15-man squad for the series, which starts at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. Former West Indies captains Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder were both unavailable for selection, along with aggressive left-handed batsman Kyle Mayers.
A Cricket West Indies (CWI) release on Monday said Pooran was prioritising "preparation for the T20 format" and Holder was prioritising preparation for the T20 format, as well as the Test match arena.
There was no room in the squad for the TT Red Force pair of Akeal Hosein and captain Darren Bravo, who finished as the leading run scorer in the 2023 CG United Regional Super50 tournament as he led Red Force to the title. Lead selector Desmond Haynes said the direction of the selection committee has turned towards the 2027 Cricket World Cup.
"It was a very tough decision for us to make as a panel. Darren has proven not only this year, but last year as well in the Regional Super50, to be somebody who performs well at this level. We have invested in players like Alick Athanaze and Keacy Carty," Haynes said during a virtual press briefing on Monday.
"We just figured that selecting this team, we also had to take into consideration the World Cup 2027 is something we have in mind and we believe we have invested in these players and we believe we should give them the opportunity to play against a very strong England team. That's the reason why Darren has been omitted."
Bravo, 34, topped all batsmen in the Regional Super50 tournament with an aggregate of 416 runs. Justin Greaves, who played for the losing finalists Leeward Island Hurricanes in the Super50 tournament, was the tournament's second-leading scorer with 403 runs. Greaves was ruled out of selection due to an injury he sustained in the Super50 final. Ottley finished third among the run scorers in the Super50 with 317 runs.
"We have got to look at the roles we want the player to play. Kjorn Ottley was included in the team because we had an injury to Justin Greaves, and we wanted somebody to bat up front and that is how Ottley got the pick."
Ottley's two ODI matches came on West Indies' tour to Bangladesh in 2021, when several senior players opted out of the tour owing to covid19 concerns. Like Ottley, Dowrich has had limited action in ODI cricket as his lone game came against Bangladesh in 2019. Dowrich has played 35 Tests, although his last game came on a tour to New Zealand in December 2020.
Along with the 24-year-old Athanaze and the 26-year-old Carty, the selectors have shown their faith in Guyanese left-handed batsman Shimron Hetmyer, 26. Hetmyer scored just 148 runs in the Super50 tournament at an average of 21.14. Carty scored 147 runs and averaged 18.37.
"We can't invest in guys one year and then get rid of them the next year.
"Going into a competition, we want guys to be comfortable with their batting positions and also their form. I believe with Hetmyer's experience he will be able to pull through. But any time we see someone playing and they are not getting runs – with the ability Hetymer has – it will be of concern."
Haynes also called on the varying territorial boards to expose young players from an earlier age as well, to allow selectors the chance to "form an opinion on them."
Stylish Barbados batsman Shai Hope will skipper the team, with Antiguan fast-bowler Alzarri Joseph being upgraded to the post of vice-captain for the series. Jamaica's Rovman Powell, the former ODI vice-captain, was not included in the squad. Haynes says he still owes Powell a call to explain the selectors' thought process.
The uncapped pair of hard-hitting Guyana batsman Sherfane Rutherford and swing bowler Matthew Forde have been picked in the 15-man squad. Fast-bowler Oshane Thomas, who took two wickets in the Super50, has also been included in the squad. His last ODI for the Windies came in January 2020 against Ireland.
West Indies ODI squad: Shai Hope (captain), Alzarri Joseph (vice captain), Alick Athanaze, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Matthew Forde, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Kjorn Ottley, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd and Oshane Thomas.