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Hetmyer, Shamar Joseph in West Indies squad for 2024 T20 World Cup

Rovman Powell will lead the team, with Alzarri Joseph named vice captain

Nagraj Gollapudi
03-May-2024
Shimron Hetmyer took 18 balls to make 14, West Indies vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I, Kingston, August 12, 2022

Shimron Hetmyer missed his flight to the 2022 T20 World Cup  •  Getty Images

Shimron Hetmyer has been named in West Indies' 15-man squad for the 2024 T20 World Cup. Shamar Joseph, the 24-year-old fast bowler who has played only three T20s and is yet to make his international debut in the format, has also been called up.
Alzarri Joseph has been named deputy to captain Rovman Powell, while Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell and Jason Holder have all made the squad.
Hetmyer was dropped from the 2022 T20 World Cup squad after he missed his flight. He played in the series against India and England last year before he was dropped for the final two T20Is of the England series and was subsequently left out of the white-ball squads for the Australia tour.
West Indies, who have won the T20 World Cup twice (2012 and 2016), have had an underwhelming run in the last two editions of the tournament. In 2021, led by Kieron Pollard, they failed to make the knockouts after winning just one match in the group phase. A year later in Australia, they failed to make the main round under Nicholas Pooran's captaincy. They also missed out on qualifying for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India after failing to progress through the Qualifier.
"I'm making it very clear to everybody that whatever team that you hear us put out today, that team we feel is going to win the World Cup," Desmond Haynes, West Indies' chairman of selectors, said after the squad announcement.
Hayes pointed out that while the selectors had jotted down names for the reserves, a final list would be worked out post West Indies A's tour of Nepal and the home T20I series against South Africa. A preparatory camp is set to be held in Antigua from next weekend for the South Africa series. White-ball head coach Sammy also said CWI has requested the BCCI to release West Indies players from the ongoing IPL as soon as possible.

Why was Shamar Joseph included?

Haynes said that the inclusion of Shamar and Hetmyer was role-specific, something Daren Sammy had stressed upon.
"You really can't question Shamar Joseph's skills," Haynes said. "You saw him in Australia. We were looking at someone up front bowling the first powerplay and he ticks the boxes."
Shamar, who made his name with a stunning seven-wicket haul that helped West Indies seal a historic Test win at the Gabba, is one of several West Indies players at the IPL. He was signed by Lucknow Super Giants as a replacement player, but had a difficult debut, where he conceded 47 runs against Kolkata Knight Riders. In his three T20s, he has conceded 9.91 runs an over and is yet to take a wicket.
Sammy said that picking the squad was "difficult" as they had several contenders to parse through. One of them was fast bowler Matthew Forde, who made his West Indies debut against England in the home white-ball series following a successful 2023 CPL. However, Sammy echoed Haynes' comments on how Shamar had pipped other new ball contenders including Forde.
"Shamar Joseph has the pace, he has skills with the new ball," Sammy said. "Not saying Matthew Forde doesn't, but when you look at the role, it makes it easier for us to now pick the personnel to fit that role."

Haynes: 'Very close decision between Hetmyer and Kyle Mayers'

Haynes admitted that it was a "very close decision" picking Hetmyer over Kyle Mayers, who has been a regular opener in the past while doubling up as a handy medium-pace bowler. The selectors felt having a finisher was more important than a top-order batter like Mayers, who is currently in IPL as part of LSG.
Left-arm spinner Fabian Allen, who is playing in Nepal with the West Indies A team, is another player West Indies selectors have their eye on.
Sammy also said that Brandon King, who missed West Indies A's ongoing tour of Nepal due to knee injury, will be playing the T20 series at home against South Africa which will serve as preparation for both teams ahead of the T20 World Cup starting from June 1. In case King remains unfit, West Indies have until May 25 to make changes to their provisional 15.
As for the inclusion of Roson Chase, the lone offspinner in the squad, Haynes highlighted that numbers proved he was the "most economical bowler" in addition to being a capable allrounder and can play a "similar role" to Marlon Samuels when West Indies won the T20 World Cups.

Sammy had 'conversations with Narine'

When asked whether Sunil Narine was in the running considering his outstanding all-round form in the ongoing IPL, West Indies head coach Sammy said: "Ever since I became coach I have had conversations with all players who took part in (2023) CPL that I thought that could have an impact for us this World Cup. So yes, I had conversations with Narine. (But) as the news clearly stated, Narine is retired."

Sammy: 'Have 15 X-factors'

Sammy was the captain when West Indies won the T20 World Cup, first in Sri Lanka in 2012 and then in India in 2016. Johnson Charles and Russell, who returned to play for West Indies during the Australia series in January after a long hiatus, were both part of those wins. Sammy admitted he was motivated by the prospect of becoming the first team to win a T20 World Cup at home.
Asked who he would single out as an X-factor player in the West Indies squad, Sammy said: "This period here reminds me of when I was captain, Ottis Gibson or Phil Simmons was coach, sitting down in selection, having a healthy performance squad to pick from and you look at all angles, which 15 men you put on the park, and what every single angle could give you an advantage. I have 15 X-factors there. Dessie [Desmond Haynes] reminded me in the meeting we have matchwinners, And the world knows it."

West Indies schedule for group phase

West Indies are in Group C along with Papua New Guinea (PNG), Uganda, New Zealand and Afghanistan. Their first two games are in Providence, Guyana, against PNG on June 2 and against Uganda on June 8. They then play New Zealand at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad on June 12, before their last group game against Afghanistan on June 17 in St Lucia.

West Indies squad for T20 World Cup

Rovman Powell (capt), Alzarri Joseph (vc), Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamar Joseph, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Gudakesh Motie, Sherfane Rutherford

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo