Star players Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, and Shimron Hetmyer were on Tuesday named in West Indies’ provisional 18-man squad for the back-to-back five-match T20 International home series against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.

Russell and Hetmyer last played in 2020 while Gayle was part of the series against Sri Lanka in March.

The expanded squad maintains the blend of experienced players with exciting young talent as the West Indies continue preparations in the build-up to the defence of their ICC T20 World Cup title, to be held in India in October-November.

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Sheldon Cottrell, Hetmyer, Russell, Oshane Thomas and Hayden Walsh Jr. return alongside the majority of the squad who featured in the 2-1 T20I series victory against Sri Lanka. Kieron Pollard will lead the side.

The provisional squad will quarantine and…

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