Kieron Pollard returns to West Indies squad but no place for Chris Gayle

West Indies ICC

West Indies limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard has been named in the squad for the upcoming series against Ireland and England.

There is no place for Chris Gayle, however, after the left-hander was rumoured to be given a platform to retire from international cricket in front of the home crowd.

The Caribbean outfit will host Ireland in three one-day internationals and one T20I, before a five-match T20 series against England.

The fixtures will start on January 8 and will finish at the end of the month, on January 30.

Pollard makes a return after missing the tour of Pakistan with a hamstring injury and in his absence, Nicholas Pooran led the side in the T20Is.

Shai Hope was set to lead the side in the ODIs, but they were postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak.

No Gayle swansong

Gayle, meanwhile, was keen to dazzle his Jamaican fans one last time after being included in the West Indies’ T20 World Cup squad at the end of last year, but it seems the selectors are ready to move on from the 42-year-old.

Star all-rounder Jason Holder is also making a return in both the ODI and T20 squads, with Fabian Allen set to feature against England.

Meanwhile, Evin Lewis and Anderson Phillip are out after recent positive COVID-19 tests and Obed McCoy has not yet recovered from a shin injury.

Andre Russell has also not been included.

Head coach Phil Simmons said: “We have tried to maintain the general make-up of the squads from the Pakistan Tour before Christmas, with the captain and some senior players coming back in.

“COVID-19 has also played a part in the final make-up of the squad. The challenges in the next couple of months are getting the young players in both squads to not only improve on their skills but maintain the attitude and desire we saw in Pakistan.

“We do need to start the year on a high. And we know both Ireland and England have very good teams, so we expect a very strong challenge as we look to improve our chances of automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023 and building the T20 team for the ICC T20 World Cup in 2022.”

T20 squad vs England and Ireland: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen (England only), Darren Bravo (England only), Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr.

ODI squad against Ireland: Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Jayden Seales, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas.