Lee-Ann Kirby ends 12-year break to join West Indies’ T20 World Cup squad

A fit-again Deandra Dottin has returned to West Indies’ 15-member squad, led by Stafanie Taylor, for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.

Dottin had been out of cricket for eight months, recovering from a right shoulder injury that required corrective surgery and months of rehabilitation.

Lee-Ann Kirby, meanwhile, returned to the West Indies squad after more than 12 years. The 32-year old allrounder from Trinidad and Tobago played the last of her two T20Is in July 2008.

Kirby and batter Aaliyah Alleyne are the most inexperienced members of the squad. Alleyne made her debut during the home series against India last November, featuring in all three matches that West Indies lost.

The semi-finalists from 2018 are looking to reclaim the title they won in 2016, when they beat Australia in a thrilling final at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

The star of that game Hayley Matthews is one of three frontline allrounders – the other two being Taylor and Dottin. Anisa Mohammed, the experienced offspinner, will spearhead the spin attack.

The pace department will be led by Shakera Selman and Shamilia Connell, both of whom are returning from injuries, along with newcomer Cherry-Ann Fraser.

“Lee Ann Kirby returns to the team after an extended absence but she has shown herself to be a prolific scorer,” chief selector Ann Browne-John said in a release.

“In addition the introduction of the young fast bowler Cherry Ann Fraser is ideal for the Australian pitches which are generally fast with some bounce. The team has the experience and talent to excel at the World Cup.”

West Indies, who last played international cricket in November, will play Pakistan in three warm-up matches in Brisbane ahead of the T20 World Cup.

They begin their campaign on February 22 against first-timers Thailand in Perth, ahead of matches against Pakistan (Canberra) and England (Sydney) on February 26 and March 1 respectively. Their final group fixture will be on March 3 against South Africa in Sydney.

Squad: Stafanie Taylor, Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Lee-Ann Kirby, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman