KINGSTON: The selection committee of the West Indies Cricket Board on Tuesday announced a 13-member squad for the first Test against Pakistan, starting on April 21 at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
Chairman of Selection Committee Courtney Browne said after winning previous Test 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,” he said.
“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,” said the chairman.
Jason Holder (captain)
On the selection of Powell, he said, 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.
He said, in addition, West Indies have included two uncapped players, Shimron Hetmyer and Vishal Singh, with a view to exposing players who are believed to have earned an opportunity to play for West Indies.
On the selection of Hetmyer, Courtney Browne said 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 Singh, the chairman selection panel said 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,” he said.