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Reports are emerging today that Johnson Charles has been called into the West Indies squad for the upcoming One Day International (ODI) home tri-series, which will see the hosts going up against Australia and South Africa.
The 27-year-old opening batsman from Millet in Saint Lucia is fresh off winning the World Twenty20 with the regional team, and is a veteran of 35 ODI’s. Sources in the hierarchy of the Saint Lucia National Cricket Association have indicated that Johnson was left off the national team to participate in the Windward Islands Goodwill Tournament due to his pending West Indies commitments.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) will officially name the squad in coming days. The WICB is also expected to organise a camp ahead of the 10-match 50-over series, which gets underway on 3 June in Guyana. Three group games will be played at Guyana National Stadium; Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis; and Kensington Oval in Barbados, which will also host the final on June 26. Each match will begin at 1 pm local time
“Johno” actually made his ODI debut for West Indies against Australia at Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, in March 2012. His record against the Aussies is better than his overall career record. Of his 1015 career runs (1202 balls), 221 came against Australia in just seven matches. He has a 31.57 average against Australia, as opposed to 29.00 for his career. He also his one of his two lifetime centuries Down Under in Melbourne.
That knock came in 2013, during which year the right-handed top order batsman also had his personal best 130 against Zimbabwe. The Leon Hess Comprehensive alumnus has also compiled four fifties in his four-year career. He also holds the record for the highest score in regional limited overs cricket, 177 for the Windward Islands Volcanoes against the Barbados Pride in the 2015 NAGICO Super50.
Having last played ODI cricket for the West Indies in Sri Lanka last year, Johno will certainly be looking forward to working under head coach Phil Simmons at the High Performance Centre in Barbados. He most recently had scores of 59, an unbeaten 92, and 34 in trial matches for the Saint Lucia team.