St. John’s Antigua – Cricket West Indies (CWI) today announced the two squads for the proposed tour of New Zealand which will feature three T20 Internationals and two Test matches from November 27 to December 15.
Details of the tour were ratified by CWI’s Board of Directors during a teleconference on Thursday. The Board agreed to the tour in principle, subject to final details on medical and logistical protocols of CWI, New Zealand Cricket and Government of New Zealand.
In the Test squad, there is a return for left-handed batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer, as well as all-rounder Keemo Paul. Bravo’s highest Test score of 218 came at the University Oval in Dunedin in 2013. A group of reserves will also travel to help prepare the Test Squad during the quarantine period and training camp as well as cover for injuries.
Andre Fletcher, the experienced wicket-keeper/batsman, has been named in the T20I squad for the first time since 2018. There is a maiden call-up in this format for Kyle Mayers, the all-rounder, who performed well in last month’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL). All-rounder Andre Russell and top-order batsmen Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis have opted not to participate in the tour. CWI fully respects their decision to choose to do so and states that this will not impact consideration for future selection.
The CWI Selection Panel indicated this upcoming series will form part of the overall planning towards defending the ICC World T20 title. The panel outlined that they will continue to monitor closely the progress of spin bowler Sunil Narine and all other players in the lead-up to the global event.
Jason Holder (captain)
T20 International Squad
Kieron Pollard (captain)
Hayden Walsh Jr
Roger Harper, CWI’s Lead Selector, said, “The return of Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul will bolster the team, I expect that Darren will solidify the top-order, hopefully making it more productive, while Shimron gives the squad more options in the middle-order and it is another opportunity for him to show how good a player he is. Keemo provides another wicket-taking seam option.
“The Test team has an opportunity to put into practice the learnings from the tour of England earlier this year. The team has good all-round depth and I expect them be very competitive. New Zealand is a very good team especially in New Zealand, so we need to be on the top of our game.”
Harper also spoke on the omission of Shai Hope from the Test squad and teenage fast bowler Jayden Seales among the reserves. “Shai is a player who I think has a tremendous future in Test cricket but at the moment he needs to reorganize his Test match game and get his batting in the longest version, back to its best.”
“Jayden is a very talented young fast bowler, who is being given some exposure to the West Indies team environment on tour in an effort to fast track his development. He will have a tremendous opportunity to learn and grow as a player as he trains and practices with the West Indies Test players under the guidance of Phil Simmons, the Head Coach, and his coaching staff.”
Speaking on the T20 squad, Harper said, “Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell are two very experienced T20 players who performed very well on the last tour of Sri Lanka and their absence will surely be noted. However, Andre Fletcher has another opportunity to show us what he can do and what he brings to the table.”
Harper added: “The T20I Team is now getting back into the groove after a nine-month absence from international competition. Fortunately, a number of players have been involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and before that the CPL, so they have had some competitive cricket leading up to this tour. The structure of the tour with the COVID-19 quarantine period does not give the team any real opportunity for match practice as a team but there are a number of experienced players in the team so, hopefully, they can adapt quickly.”
“In the build-up to the ICC T20 World Cup, every T20I series is an important opportunity to fine tune the team, to get our personnel, our compositions and combinations right. For our players to become more attuned to their roles and the team to have a greater understanding of what works best in each situation. So, this is a very important series for us from that perspective and also in an effort to improve our rankings.”
The T20Is will be the start of an 11-month schedule of matches building up to the ICC T20 World Cup, rescheduled for October 2021 in India. The proposed schedule for this tour of New Zealand has the defending T20 World Cup champions starting at Eden Park in Auckland under lights.
The series then moves to Mount Maunganui for two matches at the picturesque Bay Oval – the first a day match and the second under lights. West Indies will then travel to Hamilton at the start of December for their next Test Series in the ICC World Test Championship. The first Test starts on December 3 at Seddon Park and then moves south to Wellington for the second Test at the historic Basin Reserve.
Proposed Match Schedule
November 27: 1st T20I at Eden Park, Auckland
November 29: 2nd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
November 30: 3rd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
December 3-7: 1st Test at Seddon Park, Hamilton
December 11-15: 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington
Edited by Jesus Chan
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