The West Indies host Afghanistan for a three game bilateral T20I series, starting on 2nd June, with all three games to be played at the Warner Park ground in Basseterre, the capital of St Kitts and Nevis.
With the Champions Trophy under way in the UK, the series will fall well below the radar for many outside of the Caribbean or Afghanistan, but it is no less important to the two competing teams.
The Windies are the reigning World T20I champions, and smarting from their failure to qualify for the big show going on in England and Wales, will be very keen to demonstrate their dominance in the shortest form of the game.
Leading Associate nation Afghanistan on the other hand will relish a rare bilateral series against a full ICC member, and although they will start as underdogs, have shown they are no mugs competing at the top level, and won their only warm up game against a strong West Indies Cricket Board XI earlier in the week.
Keep an eye on the following:
With current leading appearance maker, keeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad, out of the squad for this series, all-rounder Nabi has a chance to move joint equal with Shahzad at the top of the appearance table for his country – having made 55 T20I starts compared to his compatriot’s 58.
Ashgar Stanikzai and Samiullah Shenwari
Shahzad is currently the only Afghanistan batsman to score 1000 T20I runs for his country. Captain Stanikzai and all-rounder Shenwari stand an outside chance of joining him with 842 and 841 runs to their name respectively.
Shahzad is also the only Afghani to make a T20I century, so if any of his teammates can clock one up in this series, they’ll move joint top of a very short list!
With top scorer and walking T20 God (in his own eyes at least) Chris Gayle not in the squad for this series, Samuels has an outside chance of overhauling him at the top of the Windies all-time T20I scoring list. Gayle currently has 1519 runs in the shortest format, so Marlon would need a whopping 243 to topple him, but stranger things have happened.
Simmons needs 131 runs to reach 1000 international runs in the T20I format.
The Twenty20 specialist spinner currently has 47 wickets in the format, and sits in second place in the all-time T20 wicket-takers list for his country. He needs three more scalps to reach 50, and a further three to overtake Dwayne Bravo (52) as the Windies’ top bowler.
Not far behind Badree though is Narine, with 44 wickets in his column – enough for joint third place with Darren Sammy. He’ll be looking to take third place outright and put pressure on Badree and Bravo above him.
The young Trinidadian is one of only two West Indians to score a T20I century. The aforementioned Gayle is the other, and he has two. If Lewis can notch up a century not only will he draw level with the “Universe Boss”, but he’ll become only the third batsman worldwide to score two in the short format.