WEST INDIES selectors have rested big hitting batsman, Chris Gayle and captain Darren Sammy, for the upcoming One-Day International series against Zimbabwe which gets underway on Friday. Sammy, who leads West Indies in every format of the game, has been granted time off for the ODI series only and will be replaced at the helm by seasoned all-rounder Dwayne Bravo.
According to a statement from the West Indies Cricket Board, top order batsman Gayle will also miss the entire ODI series after the leading opener asked to be excused from selection.
Zimbabwe arrived in Granada safely on Sunday night for the tour which includes three ODIs, two T20 matches and two Test matches.
All three ODIs will be played at the National Stadium in Grenada from February 22-26.
Sammy has played every game for the regional side for the last two years and is coming off a disappointing tour of Australia where West Indies suffered a 5-0 drubbing in the ODI series.
Bravo will now lead a predictable 13-man squad announced on Sunday for the first two of the three-match series.
The squad sees the return of Test wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and the axing of Devon Thomas who experienced an ordinary tour of Australia with the gloves and bat.
Ramdin's last ODI for West Indies was against New Zealand in July 2012, though he played the World Twenty20 and the Test series against Bangladesh that followed.
Fast bowler Jason Holder was also left out, with the selectors going in for the extra spinner in left-armer Veerasammy Permaul who had a fine first-class game for Guyana against Leeward Islands last week, taking a match haul of nine for 115.
Veteran batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan, who made a comeback on the Australian tour after a contentious 18-month absence from the team, retained his spot despite getting two ducks in three ODIs in Australia.
Marlon Samuels, meanwhile, is still sidelined, currently recovering from the facial injury that he suffered at the Big Bash League after being struck in the face while facing Lasith Malinga.
West Indies are coming from a disappointing tour of Australia where they lost all five one-dayers before clinching a morale-boosting 27-run win in a one-off T20 international in Brisbane in their last outing.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will fine-tune their team with a warm up match against the University of West Indies vice-chancellor's XI tomorrow. The team was still to get feedback on the condition of influential captain Brendan Taylor who was left behind after suffering illness suspected to be malaria.
Officials from Zimbabwe Cricket yesterday said Taylor was given bed rest by the doctors while tests were being conducted. He is expected to follow once he regains full fitness.
West Indies ODI Squad:
Dwayne Bravo (captain), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Narsingh Deonarine, Sunil Narine, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieron Pollard, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Ramnaresh Sarwan
Zimbabwe ODI and T20 squad:
Brendan Taylor (capt), Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Tino Mawoyo, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Chris Mpofu, Prosper Utseya, Regis Chakabva, Malcolm Waller, Keegan Meth, Craig Ervine, Chamu Chibhabha, Tino Mutombodzi, Natsai M"shangwe