ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Four uncapped players have been called up to a new-look West Indies 14-man squad for the Twenty20 doubleheader against England next month, with selectors also including the enigmatic Dwayne Smith for the trip.
Opening batsmen Miles Bascombe and Johnson Charles along with all-rounder Nkrumah Bonner and wicketkeeper Derwin Christian, have all been picked for the first time in a squad to be led by Darren Sammy.
The side will be without international T20 stars Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard none of whom are eligible after missing the Caribbean T20 Championship.
No Trinidad and Tobago players were considered because of their participation in the Champions League next month.
Chairman of selectors, Clyde Butts said he was confident the new players in the squad would perform up to scratch.
“Bascombe is a Twenty20 player who has shown signs that he can take apart bowling attacks at the top of the order while Charles has been consistent in the past two years and has shown that he is capable of understanding the requirements of batting in the opening position in the shortest format,” Butts noted.
“We have identified Bonner as someone who, because he is exciting with the bat, ball and in the field, is a developing player we are looking to give him some exposure at the highest level.”
He added: “Nkrumah has also had excellent reports from the Sagicor HPC batting coach Carl Hooper.
“Christian impressed the selectors during the last Caribbean Twenty20 when he batted with a cool head and won games for Guyana, he is a pugnacious batsman who we believe can be a match winner down the order.”
Smith, meanwhile, will make his return to West Indies colours after being ditched following the first One-Day International against Zimbabwe in March last year.
With a strike rate of 132 in eight T20s and with 10 Tests and 77 ODIs behind him, Smith will be at the core of the side’s batting along with stylish middle order batsman Marlon Samuels.
Exciting fast bowling all-rounder Andre Russell has been included and will join speedster Fidel Edwards and leg spinner Devendra Bishoo, in spearheading the attack.
SQUAD – Darren Sammy (captain), Christopher Barnwell, Miles Bascombe, Devendra Bishoo, Nkrumah Bonner, Johnson Charles, Derwin Christian, Fidel Edwards, Danza Hyatt, Ashley Nurse, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Dwayne Smith.