IMAGE: Jason Mohammed will replace injured Andre Russell in the West Indies T20 squad. Photograph: WICB/Twitter
Cricket West Indies on Friday announced Jason Mohammed as a replacement of injured Andre Russell in the squad for the first two T20I against India.
Russell was named in the original 14-member squad for the first and second matches T20Is, subject to him passing a fitness assessment prior to the series.
The all-rounder experienced some discomfort while at the GT20 tournament in Canada and informed the interim selection panel of his unavailability for the upcoming series.
Mohammed is making his comeback after more than a year’s gap — he last played against Bangladesh in an ODI in July last year. The 32-year-old has played nine T20Is and also captained the side in the shortest format.
“We welcome Jason Mohammed into the squad for the first two T20 matches in Launderhill in Florida. He is a player with lots of experience in all three formats and — having done well for Trinidad & Tobago as well as Guyana Amazon Warriors,” Floyd Reifer, West Indies interim head coach said.
“It’s difficult to fill the shoes of someone like Andre Russell, who has dominated T20 cricket all over the world — and won the ICC T20 World Cup for the West Indies on two occasions, but we believed Jason is capable of good performances and we back him to perform at this level and help us win games a well,” he added.
Carlos Brathwaite said that Russell really wanted to show off his skills.
“He really wanted to play, he really wanted to come and show off his skills and show off what he does in franchise cricket for the West Indies,” ICC quoted Brathwaite as saying.
Brathwaite stated that Russell’s absence in the matches will be a ‘big loss’.
“Unfortunately, he took another knock and he doesn’t think that if he comes here, he’d be doing justice to other people who could be here and are 100%. Obviously, he’s a big loss, not only on the field but off the field,” he said.
Brathwaite also said that the team wants Russell to be fit for the forthcoming T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played next year.
“In the dressing room, in and around the team, he’s a big character, very jovial, and in my eyes, a leader in the dressing room as well. But, obviously, if we need to get him ready for the Twenty20 World Cup, we have to do without him for a couple of series, I prefer that than pushing him in this series and making a long term injury,” Brathwaite said.
West Indies will compete against India for the first T20I on Saturday.