St John's [Antigua], May 18 (ANI): The Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel on Tuesday announced a provisional 18-man squad ahead of the three back-to-back five-match T20I series against South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan.
Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, and Hayden Walsh Jr. return alongside the majority of the squad who featured in the 2-1 T20I series victory against Sri Lanka in March.
"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," said Phil Simmons, West Indies head coach in an official statement.
"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," he added.
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. The official squad will subsequently be selected and announced ahead of each series.
"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 and to determine our best squad and our ideal eleven," said Roger Harper, CWI's lead selector.
West Indies are the defending T20I World Cup champions and had also lifted the title in 2012.
West Indies T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran (wk), 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, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jnr (ANI)