Gayle last played an ODI for Windies in the home ODI series against Bangladesh in July last year. The 39-year-old then declined selection for the tours of India and Bangladesh, raising concerns that he may run himself out of favour for a World Cup berth.
Captain Jason Holder, however, gave the dynamic opener’s prospects a major shot in the arm by offering his support for Gayle’s selection for the ICC event as long as the veteran maintained desired levels of fitness.
Along with Gayle, Ashley Nurse also makes a comeback to the team after he had to pull out of the fourth and the fifth ODI against India last year due to a pectoral injury.
Opener Evin Lewis who also pulled himself out from the ODI series against India makes a comeback to the squad. Meanwhile, middle-order batsman Marlon Samuels will remain unavailable due to his knee treatment.
Windies have also added Nicholas Pooran in the squad and will be handed his debut ODI cap in the England series. He was previously roped in by IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab for the upcoming edition.
The five-match series begins in Barbados from February 20.
West Indies squad:
Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas.