ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Denesh Ramdin is set to captain West Indies for the first time and his Trinidadian colleague Dwayne Bravo is poised to return to international cricket in the one-off Digicel Twenty20 against England this weekend.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) confirmed yesterday that wicket-keeper/batsman Ramdin will replace injured Chris Gayle as West Indies skipper for the T20 International against the bruised English side at Queen’s Park Oval (QPO) in Trinidad on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Ramdin steps up from vice-captaincy to lead the side in the absence of Gayle, who suffered a hamstring injury during the gripping fifth Test which ended in a draw at QPO Tuesday and gave West Indies a 1-0 series win over the higher ranked opponents.
Ramdin, a former West Indies Youth (Under-19) captain, will be in charge of a squad that includes four changes from the 13-man unit for the just concluded Test in Trinidad – Gayle, Ryan Hinds, Brendan Nash and Daren Powell making way for fit-again Bravo, Andre Fletcher, Keiron Pollard, and Darren Sammy.
It is widely expected that Bravo will command a place in the side having announced his return to fitness from an ankle injury with lively appearances as substitute fielder in the fifth Test plus influential batting performances in domestic matches for his club Queen’s Park CC in the past two weeks.
The 25-year-old Bravo has been out of international cricket for the past eight months.
He last played for West Indies in a One Day International (ODI) against Australia last year June and had surgery on his ankle in New York last August.
Pollard and Sammy are coming off recent centuries in the WICB Regional Four-day tournament and the promising young batsman Fletcher is also included.
Fletcher, 21, has played five matches – Four ODIs and a Twenty20 — for West Indies and played a prominent role for the Stanford Superstars in their victory over England in their huge US$20 million winner-take-all fixture last November in Antigua when he scored 32 not out and partnered Gayle (45 not out) in a 10-wicket win for the home side.
Pacer Jerome Taylor, who did not play in the fifth Test because of injury and the spinner Sulieman Benn, retain their spots in the ODI squad.
Powell and Nash will represent Jamaica in the regional first-class competition this weekend against Barbados, who are expected to welcome Hinds into their line-up.
WEST INDIES SQUAD – Denesh Ramdin (captain), Lionel Baker, Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Keiron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Devon Smith, Jerome Taylor.