Hetmyer ‘will be missed’ but West Indies hope he is available for future tours

West Indies

Shimron Hetmyer has not made an international appearance since the T20 World Cup last year, but West Indies remain hopeful that he will make himself available for future tours.

Hetmyer has missed all of West Indies’ bilateral series in the last six months, either because of personal reasons or on fitness grounds. He has returned to the IPL for the final stages of the season after leaving the tournament’s bubble to be present for the birth of his son, but made himself unavailable for their upcoming tours to the Netherlands and Pakistan in order to spend time with his family.

“We got the email from Hetty saying that he is unavailable for selection because of the birth of his child,” Desmond Haynes, West Indies’ lead selector, said earlier this month when the squad for the upcoming tours was announced. “That is all the information we received so we acted that way; we had considered him for selection and the note stated he was unavailable.”

Roddy Estwick, West Indies’ assistant coach, said on Friday that Hetmyer “will be missed” on the twin tours after his excellent IPL season for Rajasthan Royals. Before their game against Chennai Super Kings on Friday, he had scored 291 runs at a strike rate of 166.28, but Estwick said that the squad selected would have to cope without him.

“If someone like Hetmyer’s not playing, you’re obviously going to miss his talent,” Estwick said. “He’s having an outstanding season for Rajasthan Royals. He’s doing very, very well. He’s playing well.

“He will be missed, but at the end of the day, he’s not there. He’s asked not to be selected for this tour so we have to get on without him and we hope that he will make himself available for future tours.”

Estwick also confirmed that West Indies’ IPL players would fly straight to the Netherlands once their respective franchises’ seasons have ended.

Nicholas Pooran and Romario Shepherd [both Sunrisers Hyderabad] will travel after the group stage, Kyle Mayers [Lucknow Super Giants] and Alzarri Joseph [Gujarat Titans] will both be involved in the playoffs, while Rovman Powell’s itinerary will depend on whether Delhi Capitals beat Mumbai Indians in their final group game on Saturday.

“Our expectation is to win all three ODIs [in the Netherlands] but it’s not going to be easy,” Estwick said. “Remember, a lot of the players won’t have played in conditions like the ones we’ll encounter in the Netherlands.

“It’s about how quickly we adjust to conditions. We’ve only got a couple of days’ practice before we go into the first ODI so it’s all about adjusting and getting used to the conditions and then executing plans as well as possible.”

West Indies’ series in the Netherlands comprises three ODIs in Amstelveen on May 31, June 2 and 4, while the tour of Pakistan involves three ODIs in Rawalpindi on June 8, 10 and 12.

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