Allrounder Andre Russell is set to play his first ODIs for the West Indies since November 2015 after being named in a 13-man squad for the three-match series against Bangladesh beginning on Sunday July 22 in Guyana.
Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph and batsman Kieran Powell also earned recalls while Marlon Samuels, Carlos Brathwaite, Nikita Miller, Sheldon Cottrell and Kesrick Williams have been dropped from the World Cup Qualifier squad in Zimbabwe that clinched a spot for West Indies at next year’s World Cup.
Russell’s last 50-over match for the West Indies came nearly three years ago against Sri Lanka in the first ODI at Colombo, a match in which he suffered a leg injury that kept him out of the following two matches in the series. That match is the only ODI Russell has played since the 2015 World Cup.
The Jamaican had been suspended for a year from January 2017 to 2018 after he was found guilty of an anti-doping violation. Russell was charged with failing to file his whereabouts paperwork three times within a year, which amounts to a failed doping test under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules.
After the ban was lifted, he returned to 50-over cricket for Jamaica in the Regional Super50 tournament in but withdrew himself from consideration for the West Indies squad sent to the World Cup Qualifier in March, allegedly because he wanted to regain his confidence in the format before making himself available for international selection. Instead, he made himself available to play in the Pakistan Super League during the same time frame.
“Great to have Dre Russ back as well,” West Indies coach Stuart Law said in a CWI press release announcing the squad for the Bangladesh series. “His explosive power and energy will breathe life into an already motivated squad.”
Aside from the five players dropped, Kemar Roach has been rested for the series in what selectors have described as managing player workloads in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup. Roach was also rested for the second Test against Bangladesh after picking up a hamstring strain in the first Test and was replaced in the squad by Joseph.