Russell in West Indies T20 squad to face England

Andre Russell has been named in West Indies’ T20I set-up for the first time since the 2021 T20 World Cup, as part of a 15-man squad to face England in next week’s five-match series in the Caribbean.

Russell, 35, has spent the past month in the UAE, where his Deccan Gladiators team lost to New York Strikers in the final of the Abu Dhabi T10 on Saturday.

He will link up with the squad in Barbados this week, with the first T20I getting underway at Bridgetown on Tuesday.

Matthew Forde, the uncapped 21-year-old all-rounder, has also been named in the squad after his maiden call-up to the ODI set-up this month, while Sherfane Rutherford is also back in the T20 reckoning for the first time since 2020.

Gudakesh Motie, who impressed with his left-arm spin in the second ODI against England in Antigua, has been recalled to the squad after missing the recent India tour through injury.

Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder, both of whom have been unavailable for 50-over selection in recent months, also return.

The five-match series against England, the defending T20 World Champions, is an important staging post for West Indies ahead of their co-hosting of the next T20 World Cup, alongside the USA, in June and July 2024.

Shai Hope, West Indies’ captain and stand-out batter in the just-concluded ODIs, has been named as vice-captain to Rovman Powell, while Johnson Charles, Obed McCoy, Odean Smith and Oshane Thomas all miss out on selection having featured against India in August.

“This will be the final home T20I series for the West Indies in 2023, as they prepare to be one of the two host teams for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA in June 2024,” Desmond Haynes, CWI’s lead selector, said.

“We have selected a squad that we think gives us the best chance of success in that tournament. We will continue to assess in the lead up to the competition.”

The selection panel has the opportunity for squad adjustments ahead of the final two matches of the series, in Trinidad on December 19 and 21.

West Indies squad: Rovman Powell (capt), Shai Hope (vc), Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd (ESPNcricinfo)