Gayle back in Jamaica squad for 4-day
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Off-spinner Jamie Merchant is the only new face in an experienced Jamaica 13-man squad for their opening match of the Regional Four-Day Championship starting here on Friday.
The 22-year-old, overlooked for last October's Super50 limited overs tournament in Guyana, has finally earned a call up to the senior team which also includes discarded West Indies opener Chris Gayle.
Merchant can also bat and is expected to boost Jamaica's lower order.
Gayle has been included but is expected to head off to Bangladesh shortly where he has commitments in the new Premier League Twenty20 championship there.
Australia-born left-hander Brendan Nash, also discarded by West Indies selectors after averaging 33 from 21 Tests, has been included in the line up.
Nash last played for West Indies against India in June last year.
The squad, which will be led by Tamar Lambert, is packed with experience with the likes of West Indies wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh, exciting all-rounder Andre Russell and out-of-favour Windies left-arm spinner Nikita Miller in the brew.
No room has been found for Windies one-day batsman Danza Hyatt who media reports indicate has been left out because of lack of fitness and loss of form.
West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels and pacer Jerome Taylor have made themselves unavailable because of their commitments in the Bangladesh Premier League
Jamaica are four-time defending champions and will launch their campaign against Windward Islands at Sabina Park.
SQUAD: Tamar Lambert (captain), Nikita Miller, Chris Gayle, Simon Jackson, Brenton Parchment, Donovan Pagon, David Bernard Jr, Carlton Baugh Jr, Odean Brown, Andre Russell, Andre Richardson, Jamie Merchant.