Mark Deyal in Windies 'A' squad for Nepal T20s, Evin Lewis 'unavailable'

TT’s Mark Deyal. - via TKR
TT’s Mark Deyal. - via TKR

TRINIDAD and Tobago Red Force and Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) batsman Mark Deyal has been included in a 15-man West Indies “A” team squad that will tour Nepal for a five-match Twenty/20 series from April 25 to May 15.

This will be West Indies’ first tour to Nepal, and the games will serve as preparation for the regional team’s campaign at the June 1-29 International Cricket Council (ICC) men’s T20 World Cup. The squad will be skippered by experienced Barbados allrounder Roston Chase, while exciting Dominican batsman Alick Athanaze will serve as the vice-captain.

Deyal, 31, has played 44 matches in his T20 career since making his debut for the TT franchise – then named TT Red Steel – in 2015. The left-hander has played 39 matches in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and he has an average of 19.14 with two half-centuries. Deyal’s career-best T20 score of 78 came against TKR in the 2021 CPL semi-final, while he was playing with the St Lucia Kings.

Last year, Deyal returned to the TKR franchise in a swap deal with left-arm spinner Khary Pierre, after spending a few seasons with the St Lucia franchise.

The West Indies “A” team also features the veteran opening pair of Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher, and exciting Jamaican allrounder Fabian Allen, who last represented the Windies against India in February 2022.

Middle-order batsman Keacy Carty, who has so far played 22 One-day internationals (ODIs) for WI, has also been included in the squad, along with out-of-favour 2019 CPL MVP Hayden Walsh Jr and the Guyana Amazon Warriors pair of Gudakesh Motie and allrounder Keemo Paul.

West Indies white-ball coach Daren Sammy says the Nepal tour has arrived at the perfect time and it gives the coaching staff the opportunity to explore the talent at its disposal across the region.

“From a coaching perspective, the Nepal tour couldn’t have come at a more opportune time,” the two-time T20 World Cup winner said, via a Cricket West Indies (CWI) press release.

“It offers us a chance to refine our World Cup squad, defining roles and personnel more clearly. Additionally, with nine players in the IPL, we can truly gauge and push the limits of our T20 team’s depth.”

Lead selector Desmond Haynes echoed Sammy’s statements on the exposure that will be afforded to “emerging prospects.”

Haynes said, “I am confident this Nepal tour marks a crucial step forward in our preparatory phase for the ICC men’s T20 World Cup.”

He also backed Chase to excel as a leader.

“Chase has exhibited over the past few years an impressive work ethic and proven leadership qualities,” the lead selector said

“No doubt, since Chase made his T20I debut in October 2021, he has continued to make considerable strides.”

The tour will bowl off with the first T20 at Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur on April 27.

The CWI release said regular Windies T20 international opener Brandon King is currently rehabilitating from an injury he picked up in the West Indies Four-day Championship, while out-of-favour TT opener Evin Lewis “advised that he was unavailable for selection.”

The 32-year-old Lewis, who was a member of West Indies’ 2016 T20 World Cup-winning team, is currently playing for Bess Motors Marchin Patriots in the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) Premiership I.

On the cusp of the T20 World Cup, the two-time T20 World Cup winners West Indies will host South Africa in a three-match T20 international series from May 22-26.

Before that, though, Sammy will have the difficult choice of finalising his World Cup squad as the deadline for squad submissions is May 1.

The West Indies have been drawn alongside Afghanistan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and newcomers Uganda for the World Cup.

Windies “A” squad for Nepal tour

Roston Chase (captain), Alick Athanaze (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Kadeem Alleyne, Joshua Bishop, Keacy Carty, Johnson Charles, Mark Deyal, Andre Fletcher, Matthew Forde, Obed McCoy, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.


"Mark Deyal in Windies ‘A’ squad for Nepal T20s, Evin Lewis ‘unavailable’"

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