St John's, (Antigua), Dec 1 (IANS): Kycia Knight and Shemaine Campbelle on Thursday made a return to the West Indies' squad for the first two women's ODI series against England, to be held on December 4 and 6 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
Though the hosts will be boosted by the return of Kycia and Shemaine, the two keeper-batters, after recovering from injuries, experienced all-rounder Stafanie Taylor is still unavailable as she is still recovering from the knee injury sustained during the third ODI against New Zealand in September.
"The return of Shemaine Campbelle and Kycia Knight to the ODI squad after missing the last series due to injury will bolster the team in the absence of the experienced Stafanie Taylor who is still recuperating from injury sustained during September's series against New Zealand."
"The CG United ODI matches are vital as points earned will take us a step closer towards automatic qualification for the next ICC Women's World Cup in 2025," said Lead Selector Ann Browne-John in an official statement.
The ODI Series is the second opportunity for the West Indies, currently at fifth place, to gain points in the ICC Women's Championship (IWC) after losing their opening series to New Zealand 2-1 at home in September.
England, ranked seventh in the table, will also be looking to grab some points after suffering a 3-0 series sweep at the hands of India in home conditions.
"This series against England comes on the heels of the New Zealand tour to the West Indies and continues our important preparation for the upcoming Tri Series against India and South Africa and the ICC Women's T20 World Cup to follow. It gives the players a great opportunity to develop and push for final selection for the Tri Series and World Cup," added Ann Browne-John.
The top five teams in the IWC will automatically book a berth for the Women's Cricket World Cup in 2025, to be held in India. The remaining five teams in the IWC will have to go through the Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier to qualify for the 50-over tournament.
After the conclusion of the ODI series, a five-match T20I series will happen. The first game will be held in Antigua on December 11, while the rest of four matches will happen in Barbados till December 22.
The series will provide both teams important preparation ahead of 2023 Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa which begins from February 10. The West Indies and England are drawn to play against each other in Group 2 of the tournament.
West Indies squad for first two ODIs: Hayley Matthews (Captain), Shakera Selman (Vice Captain), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Afy Fletcher, Cherry Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Kaysia Schultz and Rashada Williams.