West Indies have recalled batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan for the 2011 World Cup, after he had been left out of the national team's rain-marred tour of Sri Lanka last year. Sarwan last represented West Indies in the ODI series at home against South Africa in May and June last year and was subsequently dropped due to fitness issues and indifferent form on the domestic circuit. The World Cup team will be led by Darren Sammy and also includes fast-bowling allrounder Andre Russell, who is yet to make his ODI debut.
Sammy took over the reins from Chris Gayle last year. Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, three players who turned down contracts with the West Indies Cricket Board, all feature in the squad following their participation in the WICB one-day tournament last year; as per WICB regulations, participation in domestic tournaments is a criteria for selection into the national team for the corresponding format.
Nikita Miller and Sulieman Benn are the two specialist spinners, both left-arm orthodox, while Russell, Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul make up the pace options. Carlton Baugh was preferred over Denesh Ramdin as wicketkeeper. Baugh has not played an ODI for West Indies since November 2008, but impressed with a half-century in the second Test in Sri Lanka.
Sarwan hasn't played Tests in more than a year, and was not offered a WICB contract last year. In the WICB one-day tournament, he averaged 21.33 in three games with one-half-century for Guyana and his team was knocked out in the league stage. However, he has an excellent ODI record in India, where West Indies play five of their six group games. He has played 15 matches there with an average of 57.30 and five half-centuries.
"The Selection Committee deliberated extensively over the selection of this most important World Cup squad and while choosing some players was straightforward we believe that we have come up with a good mix of players who will be able to do well in the Asian conditions," Clyde Butts, the WICB's chairman of selectors, said. "We have some of the most experienced ODI cricketers on the international stage along with the effervescence and freshness of some quality young players who we are confident can not only contribute to the team but win matches."
In the lead-up to the tournament, West Indies play three ODIs in Sri Lanka - a series rescheduled after the one-day leg of the December 2010 series was cancelled due to excessive rain.
West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (capt), Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith, Sulieman Benn, Nikita Miller, Carlton Baugh (wk), Andre Rusell, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Adrian Barath.