“You really can’t question Shamar Joseph’s skills,” – Desmond Haynes on Shamar Joseph’ inclusion

Shimron Hetmyer has been named in West Indies’ 15-man squad for the 2024 T20 World Cup. Shamar Joseph, the 24-year-old fast bowler who has played only three T20s and is yet to make his international debut in the format, has also been called up.

Alzarri Joseph has been named deputy to captain Rovman Powell, while Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell and Jason Holder have all made the squad.

Hetmyer was dropped from the 2022 T20 World Cup squad after he missed his flight. He played in the series against India and England last year before he was dropped for the final two T20Is of the England series and was subsequently left out of the white-ball squads for the Australia tour.

West Indies, who have won the T20 World Cup twice (2012 and 2016), have had an underwhelming run in the last two editions of the tournament.

In 2021, led by Kieron Pollard, they failed to make the knockouts after winning just one match in the group phase. A year later in Australia, they failed to make the main round under Nicholas Pooran’s captaincy. They also missed out on qualifying for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India after failing to progress through the Qualifier.

“I’m making it very clear to everybody that whatever team that you hear us put out today, that team we feel is going to win the World Cup,” Desmond Haynes, West Indies’ chairman of selectors, said after the squad announcement.

Hayes pointed out that while the selectors had jotted down names for the reserves, a final list would be worked out post West Indies A’s tour of Nepal and the home T20I series against South Africa.

A preparatory camp is set to be held in Antigua from next weekend for the South Africa series. White-ball head coach Sammy also said CWI has requested the BCCI to release West Indies players from the ongoing IPL as soon as possible.

Why was Shamar Joseph included?

Haynes said that the inclusion of Shamar and Hetmyer was role-specific, something Daren Sammy had stressed upon.

“You really can’t question Shamar Joseph’s skills,” Haynes said. “You saw him in Australia. We were looking at someone up front bowling the first powerplay and he ticks the boxes.”

West Indies schedule for group phase

West Indies are in Group C along with Papua New Guinea (PNG), Uganda, New Zealand and Afghanistan. Their first two games are in Providence, Guyana, against PNG on June 2 and against Uganda on June 8. They then play New Zealand at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad on June 12, before their last group game against Afghanistan on June 17 in St Lucia.

West Indies squad for T20 World Cup

Rovman Powell (capt), Alzarri Joseph (vc), Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamar Joseph, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Gudakesh Motie, Sherfane Rutherford

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