West Indies cricket selectors have unveiled the squad for the upcoming One Day International (ODI) series against England, bringing in two promising uncapped all-rounders, Sherfane Rutherford and Matthew Forde. Additionally, the squad includes the return of wicketkeeper-batter Shane Dowrich, who last played an ODI in 2019, and the inclusion of opener Kjorn Ottley, absent from the ODI scene since January 2021. The 15-member squad has been carefully crafted with a mix of experienced players and exciting prospects.
Justin Greaves, unfortunately, will not be available for selection due to a recent injury setback. Meanwhile, the notable absence of Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder is due to their prioritization of T20I preparations, with Holder also focusing on Test cricket commitments.
A significant announcement from the selection panel is the appointment of Alzarri Joseph as the vice-captain of the West Indies side. Chief selector Desmond Haynes explained this decision, stating, “We named Alzarri Joseph as vice captain as he demonstrated maturity and good leadership qualities for the Leeward Islands Hurricanes during the recent CG United Super50 Cup. We believe with exposure and opportunities he could be a future leader in West Indies cricket.”
Matthew Forde, one of the new faces in the squad, has been highlighted by Haynes as a “whole-hearted cricketer who has been impressive” and is seen as part of the developmental pipeline emerging from the West Indies Academy program.
Haynes also shed light on the strategic vision behind this squad announcement, emphasizing the focus on building a competitive team for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2027. West Indies faced disappointment in failing to qualify for the 2023 World Cup, and the selectors are keen on nurturing a squad that can make a strong impact in the next edition.
Preparations for the series commenced on November 20 with a training camp in Antigua. The emphasis during the camp has been on intensive net sessions and targeted strength and conditioning programs. Head coach Daren Sammy, expressing his philosophy on preparation, stated, “I believe in preparation. I believe when you prepare well you give yourself the best chance of winning. When you do the hard work, the right kind of work, when you finetune your skills, that will add value to your game.”
The upcoming ODI series against England is scheduled to kick off on December 3 with the first two matches taking place in Antigua. The third ODI will be hosted in Barbados on December 9, with the last two matches set to be day-night encounters, promising an exciting and competitive series. The West Indies team, under the leadership of Alzarri Joseph and guided by Daren Sammy, aims to rebuild and refocus, keeping an eye on future successes on the global cricketing stage.