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Haynes: Hetmyer available but 'fair to stick with the guys' who did well in South Africa

Haynes, however, made it clear that "no player ruled out of selection" as West Indies' small player pool won't allow such luxuries

Shimron Hetmyer has not played international cricket since August last year  •  Associated Press

Shimron Hetmyer has not played international cricket since August last year  •  Associated Press

Desmond Haynes, the West Indies men's lead selector, has confirmed that Shimron Hetmyer did make himself available for the 2023 ODI World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe but has not been picked. He said that the team management wanted to stick with a unit similar to the one that did well in the limited-overs series in South Africa earlier this year.
Hetmyer's name was absent from the World Cup qualifier squad as well as the three-match ODI series against UAE in Sharjah. Haynes felt it was "fair to stick with the guys" who had done well in South Africa, where West Indies drew the ODI series 1-1 and took the T20I series 2-1.
"Yes, Hetmyer was available. He did send through an email or correspondence to Jimmy [Adams], our director of cricket, stating that he was available for the tour," Haynes told reporters at a virtual press conference. "What we selectors decided to do was that we've just had a new [ODI] captain in Shai Hope and he was very happy to express his views about the type of camaraderie we had in the team in South Africa.
"We as selectors saw commitment, we saw a real change in our approach to one-day cricket, and we thought it was only fair to stick with these guys."
Hetmyer has not played an ODI since July 2021 and last turned out for West Indies in a T20I in August 2022. He was then left out of the T20 World Cup squad last year after he failed to board a rescheduled flight to Australia.
Haynes, however, made it clear that "no player was ruled out of selection". "I must say, though, that I just want the public to know that nobody has been ruled out of selection for West Indies. We do not have the depth of players to rule out anybody for selection," he said.
Evin Lewis, meanwhile, has made himself unavailable for selection till after this year's CPL. Lewis returned to the national squad at the T20 World Cup last year and had modest returns of 42 runs in three games as West Indies failed to qualify for the main draw.
"The last time we contacted Evin, he said that he was rather busy, he was doing some work at home, and he said that he would not be available till after the CPL. I hope I am right there and not misquoting him," Haynes said. "As I said before, we really cannot afford to sideline anyone. We are interested in selecting the best team for West Indies and to make sure that we appreciate where we are standing in world cricket and we want to improve that and we want pick the best players, who are committed, who we feel can play the roles for us in order to get us from the bottom of the pack."

King, Athanaze, Da Silva being groomed as future leaders

West Indies are looking to create a future leadership group with players such as Joshua Da Silva, Alick Athanaze and Brandon King, apart from the senior pros, Haynes said. Da Silva is currently leading West Indies A in Bangladesh, where the two 'A' sides will play three four-day games.
"What we are trying to do is to encourage to get a group of players who we can have that can play leadership roles, and we have got our eye on people like Brandon King, Alick Athanaze, who has captained the Winward Islands this year and we were very impressed with him leadership. Also it did not affect his batting, which we thought was very important," Haynes said. "We had to be consistent as well. Going forward, what we plan to do is to make some recommendations to Cricket West Indies where they will look at a list of players that we can start moving for leadership.
"I think Joshua would be one of them, and then we have Shai Hope who is captain in the 50-over and there would be plenty more that we would be looking at in the future."