West Indies have named explosive Jamaican opener Chris Gayle in their 15-member squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in October-November.
There are three other Jamaicans in the squad. They are fast bowler Oshane Thomas along with all-rounders Andre Russell and Fabian Allen.
The defending champions, which are looking to deliver an unprecedented third title for a single team, have recalled experienced pace bowler Ravi Rampaul to the team for the first time in six years.
Rampaul, a member of the 2012 World Cup-winning squad, played his last T20 match against Sri Lanka in 2015.
He has emerged as the best seamer on the spin-friendly St Kitts tracks in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with 17 wickets in eight matches at an average of 13 and an economy rate of 7.20.
Offspin-bowling allrounder Roston Chase, who is uncapped in T20Is, is also in the squad after impressing in both CPL 2020 and 2021 for the St Lucia franchise. He is the top scorer in the CPL with 281 runs in seven innings at an average of over 70 and a strike rate of over 150.
There was no place for Sunil Narine and Jason Holder was only part of the reserves.
Jamaican fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell is also named among the four reserves.
“Ravi Rampaul is a highly experienced bowler who performed well in the last CG Insurance Super50 Cup and the current Hero CPL to date,” lead selector Roger Harper said in a media release. “He will boost the team’s wicket-taking options in the powerplay and the middle phase and will provide another option for the death overs.
“Roston Chase has shown that he is a very capable T20 player. He performed well in the CPL in 2020 and has been outstanding in the 2021 edition so far. He has shown the ability to knit the innings together while still scoring at a fast rate with a low dot-ball percentage. He will be an excellent foil for the explosive players in the team.”
West Indies, who are in Group 1, which also includes Australia and South Africa, take on England in their opening match of the tournament on October 23 in Dubai.
The squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.
Reserves: Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Sheldon Cottrell, Darren Bravo
Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Namibia
Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, and Oman
(Top two teams from each group advance to Super 12s)
Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1 and B2.
Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, A2 and B1.
(Top two teams from each group advance to the semi-finals)
WEST INDIES MATCH SCHEDULE:
October 23: v England in Dubai (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica)
October 26: v South Africa in Dubai (2pm UAE time, 6am Eastern Caribbean/5am Jamaica)
October 29: v B2 in Sharjah (2pm UAE time, 8am Eastern Caribbean/7am Jamaica)
November 4: v A1, in Abu Dhabi (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica)
November 6: v Australia in Abu Dhabi (2pm UAE time, 6am Eastern Caribbean/5am Jamaica)
November 10: Group 1 winner v Group 1 second in Abu Dhabi (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica)
November 11: Group B winner v Group A second in Dubai (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica)
November14: Final in Dubai (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica)