It’s a tale of two West Indies batsmen.
One, Kieran Powell, is back with the West Indies team after a two-year hiatus, while the other, Marlon Samuels, finds himself left at home and will have to watch the action from the stands as the West Indies embark on a three match limited overs series against England starting March 3 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
Powell, who had taken a break from cricket, and even tried his hand at playing Major League Baseball in the United States, last played for the West Indies in June of 2014. Now he has earned himself a recall.
He re-entered the fold largely due to an outstanding batting performance in the Regional Super50 for the Leeward Islands. Powell amassed 513 runs at an average of 64, to claim the Batsman of the Tournament award. His knocks included three tons and two half-centuries and propelled his team that had started the tournament as underdogs, to the semi-finals.
Powell’s return to first class cricket was stymied by an altercation with then Director of Cricket, Richard Pybus in 2015, but that is now water under the bridge and Powell is part of a 15-man squad that has begun training in Antigua ahead of the much anticipated clash with England.
Meanwhile, prolific batsman Marlon Samuels, has been omitted from the West Indies’ line up. Samuels was cleared to return to bowl in international cricket by the ICC last week.
His last appearances were in October before being dropped for a tri-series in Zimbabwe. Samuels had clashed with England bowler Ben Stokes at the World T20 final in India last year and his absence means the two will not get a chance to mend fences.
Samuels’ batting heroics in that match earned him the man of the finalaward and his team an historic victory.
The West Indies selectors have also left out the experienced trio of Suleman Benn, Johnson Charles and Sunil Narine.
The West Indies training squad reads: Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell.