The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Men’s Selection Panel has unveiled the squads for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifiers, scheduled to take place in Zimbabwe from 18 June. The two-time champions team aims to secure one of the final two spots for the prestigious tournament set to be held in India later this year.
Before the qualifiers, the West Indies will engage in a three-match One Day International (ODI) series against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Sharjah. The Selection Panel has also named the squad for these matches, which will serve as crucial preparation for the qualifiers and are slated for the 5th, 7th, and 9th of June.
The West Indies squad for the 2023 ODI World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe and the UAE series includes the return of allrounder Keemo Paul and left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie. Both players last featured in an ODI in July 2022 but were forced to miss subsequent matches against New Zealand due to injuries. Notably, Shimron Hetmyer has not been included in either squad.
Four uncapped players have earned their spots in the squad for the UAE series, further strengthening the team’s preparations. The newcomers are left-hand batter Alick Athanaze, along with all-rounders Kavem Hodge, Dominic Drakes, and Akeem Jordan.
Lead selector Desmond Haynes spoke highly of Keemo Paul, highlighting his versatility with both bat and ball and described him as a potential match-winner. Gudakesh Motie’s excellent performance in the Test matches in Zimbabwe earlier this year, where he claimed 19 wickets, played a significant role in his selection. Haynes expects similar conditions during the qualifiers and believes Motie will excel in those conditions.
Shai Hope will lead the West Indies side in both the UAE series and the qualifiers, with Brandon King serving as his deputy for the UAE matches. Rovman Powell, currently playing in the IPL for Delhi Capitals, will take over as captain for the World Cup Qualifier.
Other members of the West Indies’ IPL contingent, including Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran, and Romario Shepherd, are also part of the World Cup Qualifier squad. They have been granted permission to return to the Caribbean for a short break before joining the team in Zimbabwe.