Windies name Gayle and Russell in World Cup squad, Pollard misses out

The West Indies named star players Chris Gayle and Andre Russell in their 2019 World Cup squad on Wednesday, although allrounder Kieron Pollard was among those left out.

Big-hitting opening batsman Gayle returned to the Windies one-day international side in their 2-2 series draw against top-ranked England earlier this year, scoring two hundreds and two fifties in four innings.

Russell did not feature against England and has been struggling with injuries, playing a limited role with the ball in the ongoing Indian Premier League for Kolkata Knight Riders.

But he has been in fine form with the bat, and will bring vital power hitting to the middle order for the two-time world champions in England and Wales.

“I spoke with Andre about four days ago and he assured me that he’ll be OK for the World Cup,” said West Indies chief selector Robert Haynes. “He just has a couple of niggling injuries.”

Interim coach Floyd Reifer, who replaced the sacked Richard Pybus earlier this month, said Russell was in the squad mainly as a batsman for a team who had to come through qualifying.

“Looking at the IPL, he’s been scoring a lot of runs, so we’re going to use him as a batting allrounder,” said Reifer.

“We’ll have to manage his injuries between games.”

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