West Indies have picked uncapped legspinner Samuel Badree in their squad for the two Twenty20 matches against New Zealand in Lauderhill, Florida on June 30 and July 1. Darren Bravo hasn't been selected after he returned to the West Indies from the tour of England due to a groin strain. Also missing are seamer Tino Best and allrounder Andre Russell, who picked up an injury during the first ODI against England at the Rose Bowl.
Badree, 31, who plays for Trinidad and Tobago, has played 12 first-class games, taking 14 wickets at 37.50 in a career that started ten years ago. He has done better in one-day cricket, with 32 wickets at 26.31, and has an excellent T20 record. In the 41 T20s Badree has played, he has collected 39 wickets at 15.61 with an economy-rate of just 4.42.
Badree was successful in the Caribbean T20, picking up eight wickets in six games at 11.87 and going for just 4.31 an over. In the final, which T&T won, he conceded just 14 in his four-over spell, taking one wicket.
"The team is well-balanced and has been selected with the Twenty20 World Cup in mind," West Indies' chief selector Clyde Butts said. "Looking at the team, we expect this side to do very well against New Zealand, as our preparation for the World Cup continues.
"Badree has been a consistent performer in regional tournaments over a period of time and the selectors felt it was the right time to introduce him to the team."
West Indies were due to leave for the United States from the UK on Monday. The two T20s in Florida are followed by five ODIs and two Tests in the Caribbean.
West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (capt), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith. espncricinfo.com
Gresham Entertainment, has partnered with the West Indies Cricket Board to operate the "Greens" Party Stand for both games – premium drinks inclusive, live artists, DJs, cutters/food etc – basically a Caribbean style party prior, during, and after the game!