Star players Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, and Shimron Hetmyer were on Tuesday named in West Indies' provisional 18-man squad for the back-to-back five-match T20 International home series against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan. (More Cricket News)
Russell and Hetmyer last played in 2020 while Gayle was part of the series against Sri Lanka in March.
The expanded squad maintains the blend of experienced players with exciting young talent as the West Indies continue preparations in the build-up to the defence of their ICC T20 World Cup title, to be held in India in October-November.
Sheldon Cottrell, Hetmyer, Russell, Oshane Thomas and Hayden Walsh Jr. return alongside the majority of the squad who featured in the 2-1 T20I series victory against Sri Lanka. Kieron Pollard will lead the side.
The provisional squad will quarantine and train in St. Lucia ahead of the first T20I series against South Africa starting on June 26 at the Grenada National Cricket Stadium. The official squad will subsequently be selected and announced ahead of each Series.
CWI's lead selector, Roger Harper, explained the thinking behind naming this squad.
"The provisional T20I squad was put together with all T20I home series matches against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan in mind. This gives us the opportunity to continue to build towards the upcoming World Cup and to determine our best squad and our ideal eleven."
West Indies are the defending T20 World Cup champions and also lifted the title in 2012.
"CWI has been working closely with regional governments, their ministries of health and CARPHA to ensure the training camps and matches can proceed within a bio-secure environment. All players and support staff will undergo rigorous COVID-19 testing prior to and during each of these engagements," it said in a statement.
Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obec McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.