Pollard, Narine, Badree, Simmons to play Pak T20s

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The Trinidad quartet of Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons and Samuel Badree has been picked by the West Indies selectors to play in the T20 segment of the limited-overs series against Pakistan. ESPNcricinfo has learned that the four players are part of a squad picked for the first two contests of the four-match series.

West Indies bowler Sunil Narine (R) celebrates with teammates after bowling out Australian cricketer Matthew Wade during the third-of-five One Day International (ODI) matches between West Indies and Australia at the Arnos Vale Ground in Kingstown on March 20, 2012. Australia won the toss and elected to bat. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

The T20 series starts on March 26 in Barbados with the following three matches to be played in Trinidad on March 30, April 1 and 2.

It is understood that all the four players were informed on their selection on Wednesday, by WICB selection committee head Courtney Browne. It is not clear whether the four will feature in the final two games of the T20 series, which will end three days before the IPL begins. All the four players are part of various franchises in the IPL.

West Indies’ last T20 series was also against Pakistan, in the UAE last September.With the exception of Simmons, the players in question all featured, although West Indies lost the three-match series 3-0. Simmons has not played for West Indies since featuring in the two-match T20 series against India last August in Fort Lauderdale.

Based on the WICB policy to pick only players who featured in the Regional Super50, none of the four players are expected to be available for selection for the ODI segment of the Pakistan series which follows the T20 series. Although the senior WICB staff comprising team director Jimmy Adams and chief selector Courtney Browne have indicated that the board is likely to review its selection policy, it is fair to assume that none between Pollard, Narine, Simmons and Badree will be picked for the three-match ODI series.

Despite his lean recent form, Carlos Brathwaite is expected to lead West Indies in the T20 series against Pakistan. It remains to be seen whether the selectors would bring back former West Indies captain Darren Sammy, whose last assignment was winning the World T20 crown in Kolkata last year. Sammy was instrumental in Peshawar Zalmi winning the PSL earlier this month and says he has not yet given up hope of making a West Indies comeback in limited-overs cricket.

“I’m only retired from Test cricket,” Sammy said after participating in the recently concluded Hong Kong T20 Blitz. “I’m not retired from limited-overs cricket. I’m available for selection. We have a series coming up against Pakistan, [I’m] available for that and wherever my services are needed.” (ESPNCricinfo)

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