Ahead of their series against England, Windies will take on Ireland in a one-off One-Day International in Belfast on Wednesday. But the biggest talking point of the match will be maverick Chris Gayle's return to Windies’ ODI squad for the first time since the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
Gayle was part of the 15-man squad, along with Marlon Samuels and Jerome Taylor, which arrived in Northern Ireland on Monday.
Gayle told icc.com that he is eyeing an appearance at the prestigious World Cup come 2019.
"The fans were happy to see me back on the field representing West Indies," he said. "Hopefully, things can get better. Hopefully I can play a few more games. I definitely want to play the 2019 World Cup.
"Things are beginning to open up a little more now between players and the board. It's looking good, and we've to try and build from this to get the best players out on the field."
Samuels, meanwhile, last played for Windies in October 2016 while Taylor's last ODI appearance for the Windies was in July 2016.
The Windies are still hoping to seal qualification to the 2019 ICC World Cup, to be in England. For that, they will need to beat Ireland and then win four of the five ODIs against England. Failure to do that will see them having to play in a qualifying tournament next March, along with Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. Only two qualifiers will join the eight top-ranked teams at the showpiece event in England.
With the possibility of having to face Windies in the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers, this match could very well act as a dress rehearsal for what's to come.
Ireland: William Porterfield (capt), John Anderson, Andy Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Jacob Mulder, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson (wk).
Windies: Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder (capt), Kyle Hope, Shai Hope (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Kesrick Williams.
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