Kemar Roach was recalled and two uncapped players in Kyle Hope and Raymon Reifer were included in the Windies squad for a three-Test tour of England.
Vishaul Singh, the batsman, was the only player to be dropped from the Windies squad that played against Pakistan in April and May. Cricket West Indies added that Darren Bravo, who is now eligible for selection, was not considered as the squad was chosen before he issued an apology for his Twitter outburst.
Roach, the pacer, last played for Windies in early 2016 in a Test series in Australia. The 29-year-old has played 37 Tests and picked up 122 wickets at 30.23.
“Kemar’s return is welcomed as he was one of the best fast bowlers in Tests in the recent past for us,” said Courtney Browne, Windies’ chairman of selectors. “We have seen him during the last Digicel R4Day season show signs of his return to form. He may not be bowling as quickly as before, but still possesses that skill we all knew he had, plus his experience adds greater depth to the attack.”
Hope, the 28-year-old batsman, has played three One-Day Internationals for Windies, all against India last month. Reifer, a pace-bowling allrounder, is yet to play international cricket.
“We have two players who will be new to Tests, but they have experience at first-class level having played in the expanded Digicel Regional 4-Day Tournament,” said Browne. “Kyle will be our third option as opener and he can also be a possible No. 3. Raymon adds variety to our attack with his left-arm swing bowling and has proven to be very useful with the bat in the lower order. He, therefore, adds value to our team and could be very useful in English conditions. The reformatted Digicel R4Day has borne fruit over the last few years and the CWI is pushing ahead to continuously improve the competition.”
Browne remained hopeful that Windies could stand up to the English challenge, which begins with a day-night Test in Birmingham on August 17. The teams will then play two more Tests, in Leeds and Lord’s.
“The core group of this squad has been playing together from the Test series against India last year in the Caribbean,” said Browne. “The group is developing nicely and we are already seeing some good signs from some individual players and the team as a whole. Our bowling again has shown that hard work and consistency will bring success. This bowling group has played around 10 Test matches consecutively and quite a number of ODIs together over the last year, and they had success which augurs well for their continued development.
“We have three matches against county teams before the first Test. These warm-up matches will not only allow the team to acclimatise, but also give players a chance to challenge for the few spots that have opened up in the final XI. All of our players are accustomed to the pink ball. They have been exposed to it during the Digicel R4Day. Our team also played a pink-ball Test match against Pakistan last year in Dubai, so this will not be a new experience for them. Overall, it will be a tough series, but we all have seen this young team fight before and I am sure they will continue to show similar qualities on this upcoming trip.”
Squad: Jason Holder (capt), Kraigg Braithwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.