Afy Fletcher returns as West Indies name 18-member squad for South Africa tour

Afy Fletcher returns as West Indies name 18-member squad for South Africa tour

West Indies celebrating after taking a wicket. ©ICC

Leg-spinner Afy Fletcher has been named in the 18-member squad as West Indies announced their squad for the four-match ODI tour to South Africa that’s scheduled to start from January 28, Cricket West Indies (CWI) said in release on Friday (January 14).

While Fletcher returned from maternity leave, there aren’t many surprises in the side. 34-year-old Fletcher has featured in 54 ODIs for West Indies and has taken 61 wickets at an average of 23.78. Three uncapped players are named in the squad with left-arm spinner Kaysia Schultz, batter Mandy Mangru and medium pacer Jannillea Glasgow getting a call up. They were part of the West Indies A team that played Pakistan A at home during their visit.

Left-arm spinner Qiana Joseph has been ruled out of the tour due to injury. Along with Joseph, from the squad that played in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe, Sheneta Grimmond also been omitted from the squad.

Ann Browne-John, CWI lead selector, said that South Africa series will act as a preparation for the upcoming World Cup in New Zealand that’s scheduled to start in March. She welcomed the return of Fletcher and added the squad will benefit from the experience of the leg-spinner.

“The South Africa series comes at an opportune time as the team prepares for the upcoming World Cup. The squad has been preparing and building during the past year, even with the limitations caused by the pandemic and hopefully they can put it all together. The return of the experienced Afy Fletcher brings added variety to the bowling particularly with the absence of Qiana Joseph who has been ruled out due to injury,” Browne-John said.

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Skipper Stafanie Taylor, off-spinner Anisa Mohammed, allrounders Deandra Dottin, and Hayley Matthews will continue to form the nucleus of the side. Pace bowling attack will be headlined by Shakera Selman and Shamilia Connell.

“In our drive to continue the expansion of our player pool, the panel has included three young, uncapped players. They are Kaysia Schultz, Mandy Mangru as well as teenager Jannillea Glasgow. Exposure to international cricket at this time will most certainly give them the experience and match time needed to develop and grow their individual talents. The panel believes that this blend of youth and experience will work well as we continue our preparations for the World Cup,” Browne-John added.

CWI in the release said West Indies will arrive in South Africa on January 16 and they will undergo training ahead of the warm-up match against South Africa XI on January 25. All the matches will be played in the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

West Indies Squad: Stafanie Taylor (c), Anisa Mohammed (vc), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Cherry Ann Fraser, Jannillea Glasgow, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Mandy Mangru, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Kaysia Schultz, Shakera Selman, Rashada Williams

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