Flamboyant opener Chris Gayle has been rested but Kieron Pollard has returned to the West Indies Twenty20 squad for the two-match series against New Zealand next weekend in Dominica. The 34-year-old Gayle has struggled with injury in recent months but still managed to score two half-centuries in the ongoing three-match Test series.
He sought medical treatment in Germany prior to the current series but has not yet returned to full fitness. In his absence, West Indies will have available Kieron Pollard, who is now set for his first taste of international cricket in nearly a year.
Pollard, too, has been plagued by injury and only returned to action in the domestic tournament for Trinidad and Tobago in April this year, before turning out for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
However, the Windies will have to do without all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, the one-day captain, who is yet to recover from the injury that made him unavailable for selection for the current Test series. He injured his shoulder during the IPL and was limited to just one game but then picked up a hamstring injury which is yet to heal.
Stylish left-hander Darren Bravo and all-rounder Christopher Barnwell, neither of whom have played T20s for West Indies in over a year, have both been recalled to the squad. There is no room, however, for batsmen Marlon Samuels and Johnson Charles, and fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, all of whom were part of the Windies failed campaign in the Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh this year.
Samuels managed just 86 runs in five innings during the tournament and was subsequently dropped from the Test squad after a poor first Test against New Zealand at Sabina Park three weeks ago. Darren Sammy, axed as Test captain ahead of the New Zealand series, returns to take charge of the unit. Both T20s will be played at Windsor Park on July 5th and 6th.
SQUAD: Darren Sammy (captain), Samuel Badree, Christopher Barnwell, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.