ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar 18, CMC — Batting superstar Chris Gayle will take no part in the four-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan starting later this month, after being left out of 16-man squad announced Saturday.
The left-handed Gayle also did not play in the three-match series against the Pakistanis last September in the United Arab Emirates, after advising selectors he was unavailable for selection.
However, the West Indies Cricket Board release on Saturday offered no explanation for Gayle’s omission from the squad which will be led again by all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite.
Jamaican Gayle has been a key member of the West Indies T20 set-up and remains one of the world’s premier batsmen in the shortest format.
He averages 35 from 50 T20 Internationals with two hundreds and has already plundered nearly 10 000 runs in T20s overall.
Gayle last appeared for West Indies in the Twenty20 World Cup in India last April when he helped the Caribbean side win an unprecedented second title.
Also missing from the squad is experienced all-rounder Dwayne Bravo who played in the last series in the UAE.
He was extremely critical of the WICB following the Windies’ 3-0 whitewash in the UAE, contending their abrupt firing of head coach Phil Simmons had demoralised the unit.
The 33-year-old underwent surgery last January for a hamstring injury sustained in the Australia Big Bash and has been recovering since.
Also missing from the Windies’ last outing are batsman Nicholas Pooran and Johnson Charles, while marquee all-rounder Andre Russell is unavailable due to a doping whereabouts suspension.
Batsman Lendl Simmons, who missed the last series through medical reasons, has returned and joins other seasoned campaigners in off-spinner Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Carter and Jason Mohammed have forced their way into the squad, presumably based on their form in the recent one-day series against England.
They are two of three new faces with left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul a surprise inclusion after having not suited up for West Indies in two years.
He oddly makes it into the squad ahead of fellow left-armer Sulieman Benn who snatched 18 wickets in the recent Regional Super50 but has once again been ignored by selectors.
Impressive all-rounder Rovman Powell, yet to make his T20 debut, has retained his place in the squad.
Test and one-day captain Jason Holder has also kept his place in the squad despite having not played a T20 in 16 months.
West Indies face Pakistan in the first T20 on March 26 at Kensington Oval before clashing in the remaining games at Queen’s Park Oval from March 30 to April 2.
SQUAD — Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Samuel Badree, Jonathan Carter, André Fletcher, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton, Keswick Williams.