Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels are set to play ODI cricket for West Indies after a prolonged absence due to an impasse with the board. Gayle last played an ODI in March 2015, and Samuels in October 2016; both players were selected in West Indies’ squad for the ODI series in England.
Gayle’s call-up follows a relaxation in Cricket West Indies’ criteria in order to be eligible for selection. Previously, in order to play a particular international format for West Indies, players needed to be available for the corresponding domestic tournament. CWI climbed down from that policy in July and offered an amnesty to its players.
Darren Bravo was suspended in November 2016 and sent home from the tour of Zimbabwe following a Twitter condemnation of board president, Dave Cameron. Subsequently, both parties released statements of apology but he is yet to return for West Indies. Dwayne Bravo has spent all of 2017 till date recovering from a hamstring injury – for which he needed surgery – that he picked up during the Big Bash League in December last year.
“With regards to the selection of the ODI squad, the panel welcomes back Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, who will both add value to our batting and help with the nurturing of the young batsmen in the team,” chairman of selectors Courtney Browne said. “Both Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo have declined to be considered for ODIs in England. Narine has however confirmed his desire to play 50-over cricket again but has asked to play in our Regional Super50 before he is considered and Darren said he was not available for selection. Dwayne Bravo said he is still not 100% fit, but is looking at a possible return to international cricket next year.”
Roston Chase was excluded from the squad that played the ODIs against India in June and July – West Indies’ previous 50-over assignment. Fast bowler Jerome Taylor, who last played an ODI in June 2016, was also picked in the squad, having played the one-off T20 international against India.
West Indies begin the ODI leg of their tour after the third Test against England at Lord’s from September 7. They play an ODI against Ireland in Stormont on September 13, followed by five matches against England between September 19 and 29.