Charismatic left-hand batter Shimron Hetmyer has been replaced in the West Indies squad for the ICC T20 World Cup beginning on October 16 after he missed the flight to Australia from Guyana.
The 25-year-old has been replaced by Shamarh Brooks and Cricket West Indies (CWI) has informed the International Cricket Council (ICC) about the change. Hetmyer reportedly missed his re-scheduled flight to Australia, which had been changed from October 1 to October 3 at his request, due to family reasons.
He was booked on another flight two days later from Guyana via New York. But on the morning of his scheduled departure, Hetmyer informed CWI director of cricket Jimmy Adams that he would not be able to reach the airport in time.
CWI took a stringent view and decided to replace Hetmyer.
"The decision by the CWI Selection Panel was made as Shimron Hetmyer missed his re-scheduled flight to Australia, which had been changed from Saturday (October 1) at his request, due to family reasons. With flight availability a real challenge, a seat was found for him to leave Guyana today (Monday, October 3), meaning he would unfortunately miss the 1st T20 International against Australia on Wednesday (October 5) at the Metricon Stadium," said a CWI statement.
"This morning (October 3), Mr. Hetmyer, informed the Director of Cricket (Jimmy Adams) that he would not be able to get to the airport in time for his flight this afternoon to New York," added the CWI statement.
"This afternoon we informed the CWI Board of Directors that the selection panel had unanimously decided to replace Shimron Hetmyer with Shamarh Brooks in our T20 World Cup squad. Whilst we changed Shimron's flight from Saturday to Monday due to family reasons, it was made clear to him that if there were any further delays and issues with his travel to Australia then we would have no choice but to replace him in the squad, as we are not prepared to compromise the team's ability to prepare for this extremely important global event," said Adams.
Hetmyer's replacement Brooks is no stranger to the West Indies team, playing for the side in all three international formats, including 11 T20Is, all in the last one year.
"Shamarh has been a part of our recent T20 International squads and delivered strong performances in the latter stages of the recently concluded CPL. He will fly out as soon as possible this week to Australia and I wish him and all the squad all the very best for the tournament (T20 World Cup)," added Adams.
West Indies are drawn in Group B of the first round at the T20 World Cup and have matches against Scotland, Zimbabwe and Ireland before a possible place in the Super 12 stage of the tournament.
Ahead of the T20 World Cup, West Indies will also play a two-match T20I series against Australia beginning on October 5.