West Indies have announced their 14-man squad for the upcoming three-match closed door Test series against England. Newcomers Chemar Holder and Nkrumah Bonner have earned their maiden-call ups to the national side for the first tour to UK.
Middle-order Jermaine Blackwood has made a comeback to the Test squad, while Raymon Reifer has been included in the mix for the Test-match series. The visitors have included 11 reserve players for the three-match Test series that is slated to begin from 8th July.
On the other hand, experienced players like Shimron Hetymer, Darren Bravo and Keemo Paul have refused to tour England due to personal reasons. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, making a decision to play cricket wasn’t an easy one. West Indies Cricket Board clearly stated that the decision of three players will be respect and they will be included in the national setup for the next series.
Chemar Holder, who played in the U-19 World Cup 2016 for West Indies, has done consistently well for his domestic team. The pace bowler, who has yet to make his debut for West Indies, claimed 36 wickets at an average of just 18.91 in the 2019-20 first-class competition.
Nkrumah Bonner is quite experienced at the domestic level with 69 first-class matches to his name. The 31-year old Jamaican has accumulated 3321 run and showed excellent form with the bat last season. He scored 523 runs with the bat and claimed 45 wickets as a spinner in the first-class season played last year.
All-rounder Raymon Riefer, who made his Test debut in 2017 against New Zealand, makes a return into the squad. The all-rounder averaged 25.55 with bat and 30.06 with the ball respectively in the 2019-20 first class competition.
Experienced middle-order Jermaine Blackwood also did exceedingly well in the four day Championship and has been named in the Test squad. He also delivered a scintillating 248 for Jamaica against Leeward Islands. He finished the first-class season as the top runs-scorer with 768 runs at an average of 50.
Shannon Gabriel, Sunil Ambris, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican are notable players included in the reserve players list included for the Test series.
The opening game of the series will be played at The Rose Bowl in Southampton from 8th July. The second and third game will be played at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester. The three-match Test series was supposed to take place in May and June, but due to covid-19, it was pushed ahead in the cricketing calendar. Due to covid-19 pandemic, no international cricket matches have taken place since Australia only one-day game against New Zealand in March this year.
West Indies Test squad: Jason Holder (captain), Chemar Holder, Shai Hope (wk), Alzarri Joseph Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rakheem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, , Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach
Reserve players: Sunil Ambris, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Joshua da Silva, Marquino Mindley, Shane Moseley, Shannon Gabriel, Preston McSween, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican