Pollard and Samuels for WC

Teenager Kieron Pollard will get a chance to showcase his talent on the world stage, as he has been included in the West Indies squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup. The other notable inclusion is that of Marlon Samuels, who makes the 15 despite recent controversy pertaining to his involvement with a suspected bookmaker in India.

Pollard splashed onto the scene in the inaugural Stanford Twenty20 competition last year, most notably lashing 83 from 38 balls in the semi-final of the tournament. The 19-year-old then debuted in first-class and List-A cricket for Trinidad and Tobago this season, and did so with immediate impact.

A clean striker of the ball and a useful bowler, the inclusion of Pollard leaves no room for the likes of Darren Sammy and Runako Morton. Lendl Simmons has also been included in the squad, despite a moderate showing in limited opportunities for the West Indies in recent times. Also sneaking into the squad is Devon Smith. The left-handed opener has played just three ODI matches in almost three years.

The bowling attack comprises centrally of Ian Bradshaw, Jerome Taylor and Corey Collymore, with Daren Powell selected as the fourth specialist seamer. Recent performances work in Powell’s favour, as he has beaten out Fidel Edwards for selection. Dwayne Smith and Dwayne Bravo are the other seam options.

No specialist spinner has been selected, and Dave Mohammed finds himself on the sidelines once again. Instead, the spin duties will be performed largely by Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels. Samuels was recently cleared by the ICC to be selected in the party, and will now look to cast the spotlight aside in concentrating on on-field matters.

Ramnaresh Sarwan is due to return from injury, having not played for the West Indies since the tour of Pakistan late last year. As expected, Brian Lara will captain the team in his final World Cup tournament.

The five reserve players are Fidel Edwards, Sylvester Joseph, Dave Mohammed, Darren Sammy and Runako Morton.

West Indies World Cup squad:

Brian Lara (c), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith, Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Smith, Ian Bradshaw, Jerome Taylor, Daren Powell, Kieron Pollard, Corey Collymore, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Dwayne Bravo, Lendl Simmons.

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