Chris Gayle back in West Indies squad to face England in ODI series

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Chris Gayle has been recalled to the West Indies’ 14-man squad for the first and second one-day internationals against England later this month.

The flamboyant batsman, who is the Windies’ second leading ODI runscorer, opted out of the limited-overs tours of India and Bangladesh last October.

The 39-year-old last played for his country in an ODI against Bangladesh last July.

Wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran has also been picked.

The Windies’ squad has only been named for the first two games of the five-match series, which begins on 20 February.

Gayle, who has scored the most centuries (23) by a West Indian in the ODI format, decided to play in the Afghanistan Premier League instead of the tour to the sub-continent late last year.

And the decision to recall him comes ahead of the World Cup which will be held in England and Wales, starting on 31 May.

Batsman Marlon Samuels, 38, is also unavailable because of treatment on a knee injury.

Chairman of selectors Courtney Browne said: “We welcome the return of Chris Gayle and we are pleased to introduce Nicholas Pooran to ODI cricket for the first time.

“He is clearly a young player with undoubted talent and we believe he can add value to our middle order. Shannon Gabriel remains very much in our World Cup plans but with a heavy workload expected in the Test series, he will be considered for selection later in the ODI series.

“As we continue our Cricket World Cup preparations, the upcoming series against the top-ranked ODI side is a great opportunity for us to gauge where we are as a team.”

The first two matches will be played at Kensington Oval on 20 February and 22 February, before switching to the Grenada National Stadium for matches three and four and finishing at Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia on 2 March.

Windies squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas

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