Powell, Hope recalled in provisional WI squad, Campbell axed


Kieran Powell

GROS ISLET, St Lucia — Left-hander Kieran Powell has been recalled to the West Indies Test setup for the first time in nearly three years, after being named in a provisional 17-man squad for the two-Test series against South Africa starting next week.

The 31-year-old has been joined, as expected, by Shai Hope who is also making a return to the Test side after being axed following the tour of England last July but John Campbell, who has occupied the opening position for the last two years, has been dropped.

Nineteen-year-old fast bowler Jayden Seales is the only uncapped player in the squad, which was chosen from a 30-man training squad following a four-day inter-squad match which ended Thursday.

However, the unit will be further trimmed to 13 in preparation for the opening Test which gets underway  today at the Daren Sammy National Stadium here.

Shai Hope

Batsman Shai Hope has been recalled to the Test setup.

Powell, who has not featured for West Indies in the last two-and-a-half years, struck 22 and 95 during the inter-squad contest, to follow up his 429 runs in the last first class season for Leeward Islands Hurricanes.

Hope, meanwhile, has regained the selectors trust by his continued heavy scoring in the One-Day International format where he averaged 86 in the three-match series against Sri Lanka last March, and boasts a career average of 53.

His 79 and 106 in the inter-squad game only further augmented an already solid case for his return.

Campbell, however, has paid the price for his weak form internationally and his failure to notch any performance of merit in the inter-squad contest.

He averages 23 from 15 Tests and his 68 runs from four innings against Sri Lanka recently did little to enhance his prospects. Needing to really impress selectors in the inter-squad game, the Jamaican left-hander struggled with scores of 20 and two.

Trinidadian Seales, who represented West Indies at the last Under-19 World Cup, was part of six reserves which accompanied the Test squad on last December’s tour of New Zealand.

He was also a part of the setup for the Sri Lanka series as a developmental player.

The right-armer was impressive in the inter-squad game, especially in the second innings when he picked up a four-wicket haul.

Speedster Shannon Gabriel, who struggled with a right hamstring in the game and bowled ten balls in the second innings, has also been included along with veteran left-hander Darren Bravo, who failed twice in the game and has averaged 11 from his last seven Tests.

SQUAD – Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jahmar Hamilton, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Jomel Warrican.