Windies vs England: The hosts announce their squad for the first Test
There were a few surprise inclusions and exclusions in the squad.
Updated - Jan 16, 2019 8:28 am
England cricket team begin 2019 with their tour to West Indies. The first Test will be played on 23 January 2019 at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown. This will be followed by two more games in the longest format. Then, a five-match ODI series will be played against the Windies. The tour will end on 11 March 2019 when the last of three T20Is will be played.
Prior to the Tests, England opted for two two-day practice matches and they will also play a one-day practice game after the completion of the Test series. Post the West Indies tour, the English stars will be busy playing the IPL and the ODI games against Ireland and Pakistan to follow. The Windies, after the Indian T20 league, will play a tri-nation ODI series in Ireland against Bangladesh and Ireland.
A strong squad announced by the home team
About a week prior to the first Test, Windies named a strong 13-man squad for the series opener. The side will be playing Tests after about two months. While Kraigg Brathwaite retained his spot, the selectors axed Kieran Powell from the side that toured Bangladesh.
Also, middle-order batsman Sunil Ambris was axed from the side after a string of inconsistent performances. The selectors also decided to sideline leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo along with young players like Sherman Lewis and Oshane Thomas. Darren Bravo, who last played a Test in 2016, is a surprise inclusion in the squad. Shamarh Brooks found himself a spot in the thirteen. The 30-year-old is yet to make his Test debut but is an experienced first-class cricketer.
Windies Squad for the 1st Test: Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican.