Antigua: Andre Russell, the all-rounder was included in the Jason Holder-led West Indies squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, announced on Wednesday.
Russell, last played ODI cricket in July 2018. He was recalled into the team for last two ODI matches against England earlier this year, but injury ruled him out of the series.
The 30-year old is currently playing in the ongoing edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) and has shown fine form in the tournament, averaging 65.33 with a strike-rate of 217.77.
Apart from Russell, fast-bowlers Sheldon Cottrell and Shannon Gabriel were also added to the fifteen-member West Indies team. Addition of these two bowlers will strengthen the fast-bowling department which also includes Kemar Roach and Oshane Thomas.
Nicholas Pooran will do the wicket-keeping duties whereas Shai Hope will act as backup wicket-keeper.
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo failed to make the West Indies team. Fabian Allen and Ashley Nurse have been included in the squad to bolster the spin-bowling department.
Chris Gayle will once again the be the key player for the team in the upcoming World Cup. The left-handed batsman was in fine form in the recently concluded ODI series against England and the player will hold the key for the team to get off to good starts.
“Looking at the condition of pitches in ODIs over the last few years in England and Wales, it appears that big totals will be the order of the day, so we believe we have a line-up that can put big totals on the board or chase them,” Robert Haynes, interim chairman of the selection panel said in an official statement.
“We believe we have good depth to our batting which will allow us to play the brand of cricket that will give us the best chance of winning the World Cup,” he added.
West Indies full 15-member team for the World Cup: Jason Holder (c), Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Ashley Nurse, Fabian Allen, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Oshane Thomas, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis.
The team takes on South Africa and New Zealand in the warm-up matches before the World Cup on May 26 and 28.
The 50-over tournament will take place in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14. West Indies will open its World Cup campaign against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on June 1.