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King to captain West Indies against South Africa in absence of IPL players

The three-match T20I series will feature a mix of those in the World Cup squad and others likely to be reserves

Brandon King launches another six in his forceful innings, West Indies vs England, 2nd T20I, Grenada, December 14, 2023

Brandon King fills in for Rovman Powell against South Africa  •  Associated Press

Brandon King will lead West Indies in the T20I series against South Africa which acts as preparation for the World Cup in the absence of full-time captain Rovman Powell who remains at the IPL with Rajasthan Royals.
Powell is one of a group of players who will miss the three matches on May 23, 25 and 26 due to either still being involved in the IPL or being rested following the tournament. Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders), Shimron Hetmyer (Rajasthan Royals), Alzarri Joseph (Royal Challengers Bengaluru) and Sherfane Rutherford (KKR) are with teams involved in the knockouts while Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope, who featured for Lucknow Super Giants and Delhi Capitals respectively, are rested.
Joseph and Rutherford will be added to the T20I squad if their teams do not reach the IPL final. Matthew Forde and Kyle Mayers, who were both close to selection for the T20 World Cup, are among those who will feature against South Africa with the series likely to confirm who will be the first reserves should injury strike during the tournament.
King had been in line to lead West Indies A on the recent tour of Nepal before he was ruled out through injury with Roston Chase taking over.
"These are among the last competitive T20 international matches before the start of the World Cup," lead selector Desmond Haynes said. "Players have the opportunity to fine-tune their skills and ensure they are as prepared as they can be for the World Cup, whether they are in the final squad or reserve pool."
Head coach Daren Sammy said: "We have not played together as a team since the Australia series, but we just completed a very high-intensity training camp in Antigua. Now we have the chance to integrate some of our players returning from the IPL and build some momentum as a group going into the World Cup."
The series could see a T20I debut for fast bowler Shamar Joseph who has been included in the World Cup squad. He appeared in just one during the IPL for LSG.
After facing South Africa, West Indies will play Australia in a warm-up match on May 30.

West Indies squad for T20I series vs South Africa

Brandon King (capt), Roston Chase, Alick Athanaze, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Mathew Forde, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh