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Cottrell, Hetmyer included in squad for busy Windies summer

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St John’s (Antigua), May 19 (IANS) West Indies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell, hard-hitter Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounder Andre Russell were on Wednesday included in a provisional 18-member squad ahead of three back-to-back five-match T20I series against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel said that the majority of the squad had been picked from the side that had won the T20I series against Sri Lanka in March.

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.

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The official squad will be announced ahead of each series.

CWI’s chief selector Roger Harper said in a statement, “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 (in India) and to determine our best squad and our ideal eleven.”

West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, is confident going into the busy summer season. He said, “These upcoming T20Is are crucial in terms of our preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup. We have assembled a very solid squad — with experienced world-class match-winners and some exciting young talented players, ready to explode onto the global stage and do great things for West Indies cricket.

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“We are at that point where we have identified those who we will look to be the core of the squad to defend our World Cup title, so we want to make sure the upcoming matches create that environment — the way we train, the way we plan, the way we execute and the chemistry within the group. We won five years ago, so the next few weeks and months will be major steppingstones on the road towards defending our title and being world champions for a third time.”

West Indies are the defending T20 world champions and had also lifted the title in 2012.

The Squad: Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair, Oshane Thomas and Hayden Walsh Jr.

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–IANS

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