‘Hetmyer part of West Indies plans’, assures new Lead Selector

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After being a constant in West Indies teams since his debut in 2017, Shimron Hetmyer’s international appearances have become staggered of late, mainly owing to fitness issues.

Desmond Haynes and Ramnaresh Sarwan lead the new Selection Panel for Cricket West Indies, and despite Hetmyer being omitted for the tour to India in February, Haynes assured, in his first briefing since taking the job, the talented batsman is still part of their future plans.

The last time the 25-year-old was part of the team was at the World T20 in the United Arab Emirates, where the West Indies had a horrible time, failing to defend the title.

In fact, his 127 runs in five innings led the team’s run charts as Evin Lewis (105) and Nicholas Pooran (103) were the only other batsmen to surpass 100 runs.

Ramnaresh Sarwan (left) and Desmond Haynes

However, he has since missed the two Tests in Sri Lanka – he last played a Test in December 2019; the T20Is in Pakistan; the One-Day Internationals against Ireland; the five T20Is against England, and will now miss the white-ball tour to India in February.

He is named in the Guyana Harpy Eagles squad for the first two Regional Four-Day matches, the first of which starts on February 9 in Trinidad.

The tour to India presented Haynes, Sarwan, and Head Coach Phil Simmons their first combined role as selectors, and a notable absentee was Hetmyer.

“What we need to do is put our arm around these guys and let them know we are interested in their development and also to let them understand there is a level of fitness that is required to play at the international level,” Haynes stated.

“Hetmyer is in our plans, there is no question about it. Hetmyer was ill this month, at the beginning of the year, and obviously we got a squad of people who are doing well at present in the team, and we decided we will keep them for the tour to India,” the Lead Selector added.

As talented as he is, Hetmyer’s road back might not be as smooth as the initial entry into the side, as Haynes indicated that they are keen on giving the current batch more opportunities.

And with fitness continuing to be his main bugbear, Hetmyer, who many pundits feel can carry the load of West Indies batting in the future, may have a long road back to cement his spot.

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