Narine, Pollard in WI squad for first four tri-series matches
Offspinner Sunil Narine and allrounder Kieron Pollard, who have not played international cricket since November 2015, have been picked in the West Indies ODI squad for the first four matches of the upcoming tri-series against Australia and South Africa, which starts from June 3.
Allrounder Carlos Brathwaite and batsman Marlon Samuels, who played key roles in West Indies' World T20 triumph in India earlier this year, were also selected. The squad, however, did not include allrounders Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, and Dwayne Bravo, and batsman Chris Gayle, all of whom were not contracted by WICB earlier this year.
Narine had been reported for a suspect action during West Indies' tour of Sri Lanka in November last year and was subsequently suspended from bowling in international cricket after his action was found to be illegal. The offspinner was picked in the World T20 squad but pulled out citing "insufficient progress in the rehabilitative work" on his action. The ICC cleared Narine to bowl in April, days before the start of IPL 2016. He has taken seven wickets in eight matches for Kolkata Knight Riders so far in this season at an economy rate of 6.94.
Pollard, on the other hand, missed international cricket due to a knee injury he suffered while playing the Ram Slam T20 Challenge in South Africa last November. The injury forced his withdrawal from the World T20, after he was initially named in the squad. Pollard made his return to competitive cricket in IPL 2016, and has scored 198 runs in 12 matches for Mumbai Indians so far with one fifty. He has also bowled six overs in the tournament.
The squad for the tri-series also included offspinner Ashley Nurse and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who are uncapped in the ODI format. Nurse has played four T20Is and was a member of the World T20 squad this year, while Gabriel has played 16 Tests and two T20Is since his debut in May 2012.
The tri-series will be West Indies' first ODI assignment since their tour of Sri Lanka last year. West Indies play their first match against South Africa on June 3, followed by a game against Australia on June 5. Both matches will be held in Guyana. Their second round of matches is scheduled for June 13 and 15 in St Kitts.
West Indies squad: Jason Holder (capt), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Shannon Gabriel, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor