West Indies captain Kieron Pollard believes Fabian Allen missing out on the T20 World Cup because of injury is a major blow to the West Indies ahead of the campaign to defend the title they won in 2016.

Andre Russell could be a game-time decision for the West Indies as they get ready for their opening match in the ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai on Saturday.

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel today announced that left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein has been named as the replacement for spinner all-rounder Fabian Allen in the 15-member squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Allen was ruled out of the ICC tournament due to an unhealed right ankle injury which he sustained during the recently concluded IPL. 

The change to the West Indies squad has been approved by the ICC tournament’s technical committee.

Hosein, who was originally named as a travelling reserve, now joins the official squad. Another exciting young left-arm spinner, Gudakesh Motie, has been called up by the West Indies selectors as a reserve player. Motie is due to fly to the UAE where he will be able to join the West Indies squad as a reserve, once he has completed the six days of mandatory quarantine with the required negative COVID-19 test results.

“I know Fabian was really looking forward to playing in this World Cup, so it is very disappointing that he is forced to miss out. His all-round capabilities will be missed by the team. I would like to wish him a full and speedy recovery and look forward to him being available for squad selection in the near future,” said CWI Chief Selector Roger Harper.

“I take the opportunity to congratulate Akeal on being drafted into the 15-member squad and look forward to him continuing the good form he displayed throughout the year. I also congratulate Gudakesh Motie whose performances in CG Insurance Super50 and CPL have resulted in him being added to the reserves as spin bowling cover.”

CWI selectors have also requested that Dominic Drakes and Odean Smith stay back in the UAE following their recent IPL engagements. The two young fast bowlers will train with the West Indies squad as net bowlers during the squad’s preparations this week.

West Indies are two-time and defending ICC T20 World Cup Champions and will be going in search of an unprecedented third title and back-to-back T20 World Cup Tournament wins. West Indies first match is on Saturday, October 23 against England at the Dubai International Stadium in the first of West Indies’ Group games in the Super12 stage of the tournament.

FULL SQUAD: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran (Vice-Captain), Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas and Hayden Walsh Jr.

Travelling Reserves: Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder and Gudakesh Motie.

 

 

Babar Azam’s half-century for Pakistan helped condemn West Indies to a seven-wicket loss in their first warm-up match in Dubai on Monday.

Marlon Samuels was an instrumental player in the West Indies ICC T20 World Cup triumphs in 2012 and 2016. In 2012, Samuels scored a 56-ball 78 that proved to be the foundation for the West Indies 137 for 6 that was good enough to defeat Sri Lanka by 36 runs.

Then in 2016, the outspoken Jamaican scored an unbeaten 85 from 66 balls to help the West Indies pull off a remarkable victory chasing down England’s 155 for 9.

Carlos Brathwaite stole the show at the end with his unbeaten 34 from just 10 balls and which included four consecutive sixes in the final over bowled by Ben Stokes, but it was Samuels who kept the West Indies in the game after they had stumbled to 107-6 and needing 49 from just 27 balls.

Samuels has since retired, but the West Indies might already have a replacement in their camp in the form of Roston Chase.

The lanky Barbadian believes he is the man to take over that very important role as the West Indies go in search of a third consecutive title.

“I see myself playing a similar role,” Chase said while speaking with the media from the West Indies training base in Dubai on Thursday.

“I played for the St Lucia franchise for the past two years where I come in mostly after the Powerplay and knock it around and pick up the ones and twos and the occasional boundary when the ball is in my area to score so it’s an easy role for me.

“I like that role and with the power-hitting guys that we have, my role is just to give them the strike and let them do their thing but if the ball is in my area I will put it away.”

Chase demonstrated as much during the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League in the summer when, after a slow start to the season, he was among the league's leading run-scorers with 446 runs. Those runs came at a remarkable average of 49.55 and strike rate of 144.33.

That success, he revealed, came as the result of an adjustment he made to the way he was playing.

“Early on in this year’s CPL, the pitches were a bit difficult. They had a lot of grass but the grass was kind of spongy. It wasn’t like even grass for the ball to slide on. The ball was bouncing a bit; that was a bit hard so I just thought that after the first couple of matches I was trying to go at the ball a bit too hard. It was a wicket that you needed time to get in first and then it became easier,” he explained.

“So that is what I told myself after the first couple of games, just give myself a bit of time at the crease and then let my stroke play take over from there.”

He might have to make another adjustment for the pitch in Dubai where the West Indies will open the defence of their title on October 23 against England.

“We’ve had three training sessions so far and basically, the pitches have been coming on pretty good. The only issue I see with the pitches is that they’re keeping low, so you probably have to stay low when you’re executing your shots and that should work but the pitches are coming on a lot nicer than the ones we usually get in the CPL, so it should be a bit easier to get some runs,” he said.

 

 

Nicholas Pooran said he is not worried about his form and expects to be back to scoring runs once the T20 World Cup begins later this month.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has revealed that Chris Gayle will be entrusted with specific roles for the West Indies once the ICC T20 World Cup begins later this month.

 Gayle, 42, was a controversial pick for the West Indies selectors with detractors citing his prolonged poor form and age as factors why he should not have been selected. However, Windies selector said Gayle’s experience and leadership were intrinsic factors that made him an asset for the Caribbean side looking to win their third T20 world title on the trot, having won in 2012 and 2016.

During a media session from the United Arab Emirates on Monday, Simmons indicated that more will be asked of the Universe Boss in his final World Cup campaign.

“We have specific roles we have put on Chris and we trust that he is going to be ready and in form and having had a short rest from the game and from the bubble he is going to come back fresh and ready to do what we ask him to do,” Simmons said of Gayle, who left the IPL bubble last month citing bubble fatigue and the need to refresh himself for the world cup.

"Over the last few months, I have been a part of the CWI bubble, CPL bubble followed by the IPL bubble, and I wish to mentally recharge and refresh myself," Gayle said in a statement last month. "I want to refocus on helping the West Indies in the T20 World Cup and would like to take a break in Dubai. My thanks to the Punjab Kings for giving me the time off. My wishes and hopes are with the squad always. All the very best for the games coming up."

Over the past weekend, Gayle posted pictures on Instagram of him enjoying his time off, refreshing himself before returning to action in the world cup.

Gayle had a lukewarm turnout for the Punjab Kings in the 2021 IPL. In 10 matches, the Jamaican star scored 193 runs at an average of 21.85 and strike rate of 125.32. His best score for the Kings was 46.

Playing in his 100th match for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Dwayne Bravo scored a crucial 23 and took three wickets to lead the team to a 20-run victory over defending champions Mumbai Indians as action resumed in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Dubai on Sunday.

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