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Uncapped Joseph called out to the Windies World Cup squad

Shamar Joseph of West Indies bowls during day two of the second cricket test match against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane on January 26, 2024. (Photo: AFP)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Joint hosts and two-time world champions West Indies rolled the dice and named uncapped pacer Shamar Joseph in their preliminary 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup to be held in the Caribbean next month and the United States.

The 24-year-old Guyanese fast bowler, who has played just three official Twenty20 matches in his career and is yet to take a wicket, is yet to make his international debut in the format but West Indies lead selector Desmond Haynes and white-ball Head Coach Daren Sammy thought he was worth the gamble.

“You really can’t doubt the skills of Shamar Joseph,” Haynes told reporters Friday during a news conference in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, to announce the squad. “You saw him in Australia. We looked at someone bowling at the front of the first Power Play, and he checked the boxes.

Joseph rose to prominence on his Test debut in January when he took seven wickets in one innings to pitch the West Indies to their first Test victory in Australia in 27 years against the hosts and world champions.

Sammy was in Australia at the time preparing the white-ball outfit for the subsequent One-Day and Twenty20 Internationals matches during the trip, and he spoke highly of the budding fast bowler, hinting that he would be a dark horse could be to reach the Caribbean side. for the global showpiece.

Joseph is one of several West Indian players participating in the ongoing Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament and was signed by Lucknow Super Giants as a replacement player, but he had a difficult debut, conceding 47 against Kolkata Knight Riders in his only match .

But Sammy said Joseph’s pace and control gave him an edge over other contenders such as Matthew Forde and Oshane Thomas.

“Shamar has the pace, he has skills with the new ball; I’m not saying Matthew Forde doesn’t do that, but if you look at the role, it makes it easier for us to now pick the personnel that suits that role,” Sammy said of the young fast bowler.

At the same time, Guyanese left-handed batsman Shimron Hetmyer earned a recall after being dropped during the series against England last Christmas, overlooked for the Tour of Australia in January, and modest runs in the IPL.

Haynes said it was a close call between the 27-year-old former West Indies Under-19 World Cup captain and Barbadian ambidextrous all-rounder Kyle Mayers, who had been a regular part of the line-up for the past few matches. year.

“It was a very close decision in terms of selection between Kyle and Hetty, but we wanted the extra batsman to be the one to knock down the order,” the chief selector said. “We hope that Hetty wants to play that role as a finisher.”

The rest of the squad – led by Rovman Powell with fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, his deputy – was largely straight forward and includes most of the players who played in the series against England on home soil and in Australia.

Off-spin bowling all-rounder Roston Chase, who leads West Indies ‘A’ on the tour of Nepal, holds on to a spot alongside left-arm spinners Akeal Hosein and Gudakesh Motie, offering variety to the attack, which meant there was no room for returning left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Fabian Allen.

Haynes said Chase was the “most economical bowler” in the format available, and his skill with the bat meant he could play a “similar role” to that of the now retired Marlon Samuels when the West Indies won their T20 World Cups.

Sammy added that it was always going to be a difficult side to pick as it was players like the skilful Allen and energetic leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr – both in Nepal with West Indies ‘A’ – who could be left on the sidelines .

He also revealed that although a knee injury kept Brandon King out of the tour of Nepal, there was the opportunity for the Jamaican to play in the T20 home series against South Africa before the World Cup, and if he proves unfit, a replacement . could be mentioned.

All provisional World Cup squads are subject to change until May 25. After that, any changes will require approval from the tournament technical committee.

The West Indies will play in Group C of the tournament with Afghanistan and New Zealand, and two ICC Associate teams: Papua New Guinea and Uganda.

They open their first two matches in the tournament against the Papua New Guineans on June 2 at the Guyana National Stadium, where they will take on the Ugandans six days later.

The Caribbean side will complete the group stage against New Zealand on June 12 at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad and five days later in Afghanistan at the venue named after their coach in his home country of St. Lucia.

West Indies are two-time champions of the tournament, winning in 2012 in Sri Lanka and 2016 in India under the leadership of Sammy and the guidance of coaches Ottis Gibson and Phil Simmons.

Team — Rovman Powell (captain), Alzarri Joseph (vice-captain), Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford , Romario Herder.