Pollard, Narine, Bravo, Russell ditch Windies bid for World Cup berth

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(Sportsmax)- Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Darren Bravo, and Andre Russell have all decided against joining the Windies in their fight for a place in the next ICC Cricket World Cup ahead of qualifiers in March.

The Windies fall from grace in the One Day International format of the game saw them forced into qualifiers for the qualification tournament scheduled for March in Zimbabwe, but according to Chief Selector, Courtney Browne, some of the more senior players have decided they would rather fulfil commitments in the Pakistan Super League.

“We contacted some of our well-known senior cricketers to ascertain their availability for the tournament and we are pleased that Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels have indicated their full support and commitment to the cause. Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Darren Bravo and Andre Russell, however, indicated that they were unavailable to help us qualify as their priority was playing in the Pakistan Super League,” said Browne in a release from Cricket West Indies announcing a 15-man squad for the tournament.

Gayle and Samuels will be led by regular Windies ODI skipper Jason Holder, with stock Test leg-spinner, Devendra Bishoo, also getting a nod.

Carlos Brathwaite, who has spent some time away from the ODI set up has been recalled along with Barbadian pacer, Kemar Roach.

The Full Squad reads Jason Holder (captain), Jason Mohammed (vice-captain), Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cotterell, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Nikita Miller, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, and Kesrick Williams.

Despite the disappointment of missing some of the more senior members in the squad, Browne believes the team has a balance of youth and experience that will prove hard to beat.

“We are pleased to announce a squad that has a combination of experience and youth.  Given the importance of the West Indies qualifying for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, we thought it was important that we chose players who brought not only skills but experience to the table, combined with younger players who had performed creditably on the international scene,” said Browne.

Another notable absentee is Dwayne Bravo, who Browne says, CWI did not contact because he had indicated he was no longer available to play for the Windies.

The Windies are in Group A of the qualifiers along Ireland, The Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, and the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 winners.

The Caribbean side will begin their bid for World Cup berth on March 6 with a game against the Division 2 winners.

WINDIES ICC World Cup Qualifiers Schedule:

Tuesday, March 6: v WCL Division 2 winners at Old Hararians

Thursday, 8 March – v Papua New Guinea at Old Hararians

Saturday, 10 March – v Ireland at Harare Sports Club

Monday, 12 March – v Netherlands at Harare Sports Club

Thursday, March 15 to Friday, March 23: Super Six stage

Sunday, March 25: FINAL at Harare Sports Club

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