West Indies to name squads for Sri Lanka series next week

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By Akeem Greene

Cricket West Indies (CWI) is set to announce the three squads next week for the full tour by Sri Lanka, which gets underway on March 3. West Indies and Sri Lanka are set to square off in three T20 Internationals, three One-Day Internationals and two Test matches.

News Room Sport was reliably informed on Wednesday that the three squads will be made public mid next week and there is a high probability it will be 14-member squads for the three formats.

Roger Harper chairs the current selection panel, which also includes Head Coach Phil Simmons and Miles Bascombe.

It is understood that the regular white-ball players are set to return to the fold, but the dilemma is in the longer format after the success of the ‘new’ faces on the Test team in Bangladesh.

An understrength West Indies pulled off a historic series win in the two Tests in Bangladesh after losing all three matches in the One-Day International series.

While the source did not reveal whether any player has opted not to participate in the series, based on information reaching News Room Sport, it is highly likely all senior players will be available since most are currently in Antigua for the Regional Super50. Antigua will host all the matches in the Sri Lanka series.

Fans and former international players have called for the inclusion of the likes of Nkrumah Bonner, who was voted Man-of-the-Series on the Test tour, and first Test hero Kyle Mayers for the first Test against Sri Lanka on March 21 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

On that narrative, it would mean the positions of Test regulars such as Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, who is the appointed Vice-Captain, and Shimron Hetmyer would be in limbo.

Joshua Da Silva is a strong candidate to retain the wicketkeeping duties ahead of Shane Dowrich, while Jason Holder is set to resume his role as Test captain.

Prior to the Bangladesh tour, which had 13 senior players absent for reasons ranging from COVID-19 concerns to injury, majority of the senior players toured New Zealand, where they lost both the Test and T20I series.

The presence of several of the globetrotting T20 players for their home franchise in the ongoing Super50 is understood to be another indication of their willingness to play for West Indies in the upcoming series before heading off to the Indian Premier League.

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