The West Indies have started the ball rolling for their second Test tour this year, aiming to put the disappointment of their 2-1 series defeat to England in July behind them and get their fans en masse behind them once more.
Caribbean-based members of the West Indies squads for the forthcoming tour of New Zealand departed from the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados last night (27 October) in fine fettle.
These squad members for the five-match tour (27 November-15 December), comprising a trio of Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) followed by a pair of Test matches, sailed through their coronavirus tests. The remaining members of the overall squad are busy competing in the professional T20 competition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which concludes on 10 November.
Those who flew from Barbados will be based in Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, to enter quarantine prior to training and warm-up matches.
The Windies have named two separate squads. Barbados all rounder Jason Holder will captain the Test matches, and has been given half-a-dozen reserve players that includes Jamaica’s leg spinner Nkrumah Bonner. Trinidad’s Kieron Pollard remains as skipper of the T20I squad.
Andre Russell, the Jamaican all rounder who opted out of the tour of New Zealand, has withdrawn from the T20 Lanka Premier League less than a week after he was drafted into the franchise team of Colombo Kings because of a knee injury. The 32-year-old batsman last played for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL on October 18.
The West Indies are embarking on their second tour this year, with Holder and his troops having been recognised by the Cricket Writers’ Club by scooping the Peter Smith Award this month for their outstanding contribution of the presentation of cricket to the public. The West Indies proudly became the first touring international squad to commit to a recognised series following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the WI have won just seven of their past 20 Tests, their last triumph was in July’s 1st Test in England, so languish at world no.8 in the ICC Test rankings. With New Zealand having been inactive since March, when they played host to Australia in a behind closed doors one-day international in Sydney, they will be raring to go and could pose as tricky opposition.
Windies Test squad
Jason Holder (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.
Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales.
Windies T20I squad
Kieron Pollard (captain), Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.
New Zealand v West Indies tour schedule
Eden Park, Auckland
Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
Seddon Park, Hamilton
Basin Reserve, Wellington
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