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WICB release Test players for early CPL matches

The WICB has agreed to release captain Jason Holder, batsman Darren Bravo, allrounder Carlos Brathwaite, legspinner Devendra Bishoo, and wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin for the Caribbean Premier League, starting June 30, which is four days after the tri-series final in Barbados. They can remain with their franchises until July 11, ten days before West Indies' first Test against India in Antigua.

WICB announced a confirmation of the India tour last December, but they released the full itinerary only last week. A possible clash of dates with the CPL had been one of the main reasons for the delay.

According to the WICB policy, the head coach and the national selectors had final say in determining whether their players would be free to participate in the CPL. It is understood that head coach Phil Simmons had no objections with his men playing the tournament's initial stages, provided they returned in time to prepare for the four Tests against India, which are the only Tests in West Indies' home season.

Damien O'Donohoe, the CPL chief executive, welcomed the WICB's decision and said that the players' availability would would be a "tremendous boost".

"Our thanks to the West Indies Cricket Board, coach and chairman of selection committee for facilitating the release of the players for the opening weeks of the CPL," he said. "It's a tremendous boost for the competition and I have no doubt that each of the players will be motivated to add great value to their squads."

Ramdin, who is part of the onging tri-series against South Africa and Australia, was announced as the replacement for injured fast bowler Fidel Edwards, for St Lucia Zouks. Edwards had suffered a fractured ankle in the lead up to the final day of Hampshire's County Championship match against Yorkshire at Headingley in April.