Jermaine Blackwood and Nkrumah Bonner, the Jamaican duo, are included in the 17-strong squad for the back-to-back Test series against South Africa that starts this week in St. Lucia.
The squad was expected to be further cut down to an official 13 members earlier this week, but nothing has been announced by Cricket West Indies (CWI).
Jamaican seamer Marquino Mindley, who has only recently recovered from having COVID-19, is in St. Lucia as a reserve Test player along with fellow bowlers Keon Harding (Barbados), Preston McSween (Grenada) and Nial Smith (Guyana).
But John Campbell, Kingston’s left-hander who opens for Jamaica and notched just 68 runs in his four innings against Sri Lanka, has been dropped from the squad after returning a disappointingly poor average of just 17.
Blackwood, who will serve as deputy to skipper Kraigg Brathwaite (Barbados) for the Test series, retained his place despite failing to impress against Sri Lanka. However, he scored 85 and 24 respectively in the recent four-day intra-squad match.
All rounder Bonner was last month rewarded with his maiden red-ball central contract with CWI, who impressed in March’s drawn Test Series against Sri Lanka.
Bonner hit his maiden Test century, an unbeaten knock of 113, and batted throughout the final day to help guide the Windies to an unlikely draw in the opening Test against Sri Lanka inside the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
And the 32-year-old, who appears as a middle order batsman, helped a depleted West Indies team register the fifth-highest successful run chase in Test history against hosts Bangladesh in February.
Fast bowler Chemar Holder (Barbados) is unavailable because of injury with exciting teenage fast bowler Jayden Seales (Trinidad) included in the squad for the first time inclusion in the West Indies provisional squad for a Test Series.
The 19-year-old has only played only 10 professional games at senior level and competed in just one first-class match to date, when he represented West Indies A in New Zealand last December. In the intra-squad game he finished with impressive second innings figures of 4-40, which included wickets of the experienced pair Darren Bravo (Trinidad & Tobago) and Shai Hope (Barbados).
The trio of Roston Chase (Barbados), Hope and Kieran Powell (St. Kitts & Nevis), who all missed the Test series against Sri Lanka, are included in the latest squad.
The Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium at Gros Islet in St. Lucia plays host to the pair of Test matches, with the National Cricket Stadium at St George’s in Grenada the venue for five Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).
The coveted Sir Vivian Richards Trophy is up for grabs from the two-match Test Series, which are the final matches in the current cycle of the ICC World Test Championship. Both teams will be seeking to record victories rather than play out for a draw as they attempt to finish higher in the final Championship table.
With 13 members of the Windies squad having received their vaccination for COVID-19 last month, more members of the Caribbean squad were vaccinated today (8 June) with the CWI making the announcement through their social media account of Twitter (@westindies).
PROVISIONAL TEST SQUAD: Jermaine Blackwood (Jamaica), Nkrumah Bonner (Jamaica), Kraigg Brathwaite (Barbados), Darren Bravo (Trinidad & Tobago), Roston Chase (Barbados), Rahkeem Cornwall (Antigua), Joshua Da Silva (Trinidad & Tobago), Shannon Gabriel (Trinidad & Tobago), Jahmar Hamilton (Anguilla), Jason Holder (Barbados), Shai Hope (Barbados), Alzarri Joseph (Antigua), Kyle Mayers (Barbados), Kieran Powell St. Kitts & Nevis), Kemar Roach (Barbados), Jayden Seales (Trinidad), Jomel Warrican (St. Vincent)
WEST INDIES v SOUTH AFRICA SERIES
10 June | 1st Test (Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St. Lucia)
18 June | 2nd Test (Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St. Lucia)
26 June | 1st T20I (National Cricket Stadium, Grenada)
27 June | 2nd T20I (National Cricket Stadium, Grenada)
29 June | 3rd T20I (National Cricket Stadium, Grenada)
1 July | 4th T20I (National Cricket Stadium, Grenada)
3 July | 5th T20I (National Cricket Stadium, Grenada)
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