The Selection Panel of the West Indies Cricket Board has announced a 13-member squad for the historic first Test of the Brighto Paints presents the Q Mobile Cup Series against Pakistan, starting on Friday at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, which will be hosting its 50th Test.
The squad reads: Jason Holder (Captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell and Vishal Singh.
Team Management Unit: Stuart Law (Head Coach), Joel Garner (Team Operations Manager), Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach), Toby Radford (Assistant Coach), Andre Coley (Assistant Coach), Rajindra Dhanraj (Spin Bowling Mentor), C.J. Clark (Physiotherapist), Ronald Rogers (Strength & Conditioning Coordinator), Jeffrey Gay (Massage Therapist), Dexter Augustus (Video Data Analyst) and Philip Spooner (Media Relations Manager).
On the composition of the squad, Courtney Browne, chairman of the selection panel, said: “After winning our previous Test which was against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, the panel felt that we should stick as close as we possibly can to that squad. We have a young Test squad which was admirably led by Jason Holder during the last series and, though there are some noticeable absentees, we believe that the players will give a good account of themselves especially in their own backyard.
We are happy to be able to give a recall to Kieran Powell for one of the opening slots, although he did not have the best regional first-class season. He showed for the President’s XI that his experience can add value to our team. In addition, we have included two uncapped players, Shimron Hetmyer and Vishal Singh, with a view to exposing players that we believe have earned an opportunity to play for West Indies.
We also recognised the performance of a number of other players whose names came on the table, largely because of noticeable performances in the Digicel Regional 4-Day Tournament. We encourage them hwoever, to continue to work hard and keep selection pressure on the incumbents as the R4Day and our A-Team programme remain the feeding ground for our Test team.”
On the selection of Hetmyer: “Shimron has shown a lot of maturity during this season of regional games and also within our A team. It is really satisfying to see someone that only a year ago was leading our Under-19 squad to the ICC Youth World Cup title progress so quickly to be considered for a place in the squad. We want to wish the young man well and hope that he like all the others can grasp the opportunity when it presents itself.”
On the selection of Powell: “We are happy that Kieran is once again available as an option for us to open the batting. West Indies cricket has invested heavily in him over the years and with the void of openers within the Caribbean, the panel felt a need to fast track him through our A-Team programme last year with a view in helping him to bridge that gap.”
On the selection of Singh: “Vishal has been one of the more consistent batsmen in the Regional 4-Day Tournament over the last few seasons and had a very good A-Team series against Sri Lanka last year. His hundred over the weekend for the WICB President’s XI against the Pakistanis helped to fortify in our minds that he has a place in our squad. He gives us the option of a solid middle-order batsman around whom our more free-scoring players can bat.”