Evin Lewis replaces Lendl Simmons in WI WT20 squad
Lewis, 24, has been in good form recently, in domestic matches for Trinidad & Tobago. He scored 221 runs in six matches for T&T in the Nagico Super 50 tournament, including one century and a fifty. In five matches of the WICB Regional 4-day Tournament, he has scored 442 runs at an average of 49.11, including a century and three fifties. His overall T20 record stands at 1044 runs in 34 innings at an average of 31.63.
"It's a great feeling and dream come true, to know that my hard work in recent months is paying off and has been recognized by selectors," Lewis told cricbuzz.com. "I was surprised at the call-up, but at the same time very happy.
"If I get the chance to play I would be thankful, but at the same time I could learn a lot from just being at this tournament and in the presence of some of the top West Indies and international players," he said.
Simmons was the fourth player to be ruled out of the West Indies T20 squad, after Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo had also withdrawn from the team. It was speculated that Dwayne Smith, who won the Man-of-the-Match award in the final of the Pakistan Super League, was a favourite to replace Simmons, while Jonathan Carter was also reportedly in contention.
Clive Lloyd, WICB's chairman of selectors, said Lewis had been picked in keeping with West Indies' policy to give younger players more exposure.
"Evin Lewis is a young and exciting batsman who we believe will fit into the team set-up very well. He has the ability to perform at this level of the game," Lloyd said. "His selection is in keeping with our policy to give exposure to young, talented players we believe will help to carry West Indies cricket forward."
The West Indies team, which arrived in Kolkata on Monday after a two-week camp in the UAE, are scheduled to play warm-up matches against India and Australia on March 10 and March 13. They are in Group 1 of the Super 10s stage with England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and one of the teams from the first round. They will play their first match of the World T20 against England in Mumbai on March 16.