Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

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Windies name squad for T20s vs South Africa

May 20, 2024

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – West Indies will be without their ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup captain Rovman Powell and deputy Alzarri Joseph when they play against South Africa in three Twenty20 Internationals this coming week in Jamaica.

Instead, Brandon King has been named interim captain and Roston Chase will be his deputy for the matches against the South Africans this coming Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday to herald the return of internationals to Sabina Park in the Jamaica capital of Kingston.

The matches will be the final, proper dress rehearsal for West Indies before they start their quest to win a third T20I World Cup when the tournament starts on June 1 in the Caribbean and the United States, and it is hardly ideal for Powell and Joseph to miss the matches.

But they became unavailable for selection when their respective sides reached the knockout stages of the Indian Premier League taking place this week, and a chance to play in the final of the highly lucrative T20 tournament.

Powell and left-hander Shimron Hetmyer, another West Indies World Cup selectee, are part of the Rajasthan Royals that will play against Royal Challengers Bangalore – whose roster includes Joseph – in the elimination final of the IPL on Wednesday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Two other members of the West Indies World Cup squad – all-rounders Andre Russell and Sherfane Rutherford – are part of the Kolkata Knight Riders that will play against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the qualification final of the IPL on Tuesday at the same venue.

CWI indicated in a news release that Joseph and Rutherford will be added to the squad if their respective franchises fail to reach the final of the IPL, and World Cup selectees Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran are both being rested for the series and will join the squad on May 27 in Trinidad, where the squad will officially be in World Cup mode.

As fate has it, the Proteas too, will be missing critical players, including their World Cup captain Aidan Markram, beanpole left-arm pacer Marco Jansen, and wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen, all members of the Sunrisers Hyderabad team in the IPL.

Players from West Indies and South Africa are among a small group of World Cup-bound, foreign internationals taking part in the knockout stages of the IPL, including the Australia trio of fast bowlers Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, as well as left-handed batsman Travis Head, and England opener Phil Salt, although several others from the competing teams made an early exit.

West Indies lead selector Desmond Haynes said the matches against South Africa will give the players selected a last chance to get in the right frame of mind for the World Cup.

“These are among the last competitive T20 International matches before the start of the World Cup,” he said. “Players have the opportunity to fine-tune their skills and ensure they are as prepared as they can be for the World Cup, whether they are in the final squad or reserve pool.”

Head coach Daren Sammy added West Indies will try to make the best of the situation during the matches against the South Africans.

“We have not played together as a team since the Australia series, but we just completed a very high-intensity training camp in Antigua,” he said. “Now we have the chance to integrate some of our players returning from the IPL and build some momentum as a group going into the World Cup.”

King has T20 leadership credentials, having led the now defunct Jamaica Tallawahs during the Caribbean Premier League last season, and this will be another opportunity to advertise his captaincy potential.

He was set to lead West Indies “A” on their recent T20 Tour of Nepal before he was withdrawn due to a knee injury, and he will be keen to answer any questions about his fitness going into the World Cup because of his importance to batting.

Chase instead led West Indies “A” to a landmark series victory against the World Cup-bound Nepalese senior national team, and he too, will look to settle arguments about his place in the squad for the coming global showpiece.

The three matches against the Proteas will give players left out of the World Cup squad, namely left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Fabian Allen, left-handed batsman Alick Athanaze, pacer Matthew Forde, ambidextrous all-rounder Kyle Mayers, left-arm pacer Obed McCoy, and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr – a final chance to impress Haynes and Sammy.

All teams are allowed until May 25 to make changes to their provisional World Cup squads that were previously named, after which any alteration will require approval from the event’s technical committee, so there is still time for players omitted to shine.


Brandon King (captain), Roston Chase (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Alick Athanaze, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Mathew Forde, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr.

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