West Indies have called up uncapped spin-bowling all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall for the two Tests against India later this month but paceman Alzarri Joseph will miss the series with injury.
Cornwall is an all-rounder from the islands of Antigua and is perhaps the heaviest cricketer ever. He stands at a towering height of 6’6” and weighs around 140 kg.
The selectors resisted the temptation to grant Chris Gayle a sentimental final Test appearance on home ground when the opener was omitted from the squad.
The 39-year-old played the last of his 103 Tests in September 2014, but had hinted during the World Cup that he was open to playing one more before bringing down the curtain on his international career
Despite the second of the two-Test series against India being played at his home ground of Sabina Park in Jamaica from August 30, it looks like Gayle’s final international appearance in the Caribbean will instead be next Wednesday in the third ODI in Port of Spain.
Cornwall’s impressive record for Leeward Islands Hurricanes and the West Indies ‘A’ team earned him his maiden call-up with Robert Haynes, head of interim selection panel, saying they had high hopes from the 26-year-old.
“Rahkeem has been performing consistently over a long period of time and has proven to be a match-winner, so we believe his elevation to the Test squad is merited at this time,” Haynes said in a statement.
Joseph was allowed to recover from an arm injury sustained during the Indian Premier League earlier this year.
“Alzarri is undergoing remedial work and we are monitoring his recovery, but we do not think he is ready yet to last five days of a gruelling test match,” Haynes said.
Along with Cornwall, regular West Indies ‘A’ captain Shamarh Brooks is the only other uncapped player in the 13-member squad. The Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Cornwall’s native Antigua hosts the first Test from August 22 while the second Test is at Jamaica’s Sabina Park from August 30.
WEST INDIES SQUAD: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.