Veteran batsman Chris Gayle was named in the 15-member squad by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selectors last week.
The reigning World Champions West Indies will seek to defend their ICC Men’s World Cup title in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from Oct. 17 — Nov. 14.
CWI named 19 players including four traveling reserves.
But questions have been raised in cricket circles in the region about the decision to omit Holder from the top 15 and name the ICC’s number one allrounder as a reserve.
On the other hand veteran Gayle’s inclusion was questioned based on his form over the last five years.
Chief Selector, Roger Harper has defended the selection of the 41 year-old saying “in Chris Gayle’s case, all that was taken into consideration in terms of what he can offer the team and whether his being part of the squad would make it stronger. I think the selection panel was happy to answer yes.”
Gayle is one of the legends of Twenty20 cricket but, in the twilight of his 22-year international career, the left-handed batsman has totaled 227 runs in 16 Twenty20 Internationals this year.
In the ongoing CPL in St. Kitts, Gayle has been in poor form struggling to get runs.
Regarding the omission of Holder from the 15-member squad, Harper said the decision inspired much discussion.
“Leaving the quality of Holder out of the 15 is a very tough decision and it encouraged a lot of debate,” Harper said.
There were several surprises in the selection of the squad, including allrounder Roston Chase who is yet to play a Twenty20 International, fast bowler Oshane Thomas, and the recall of pacer, Ravi Rampaul, who last played a Twenty20 for the West Indies six years ago.
The selection panel named four reserves — batsman Darren Bravo, allrounder Jason Holder, left-arm spinner, Akeal Hosein and left-arm fast bowler, Sheldon Cottrell.
Harper said the squad is made up of many world-beating players, who once knitted into a world-beating team, will be extremely difficult to beat.
West Indies team is the only two-time winners of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup — 2012 and 2016.