Former captain Chris Gayle has risked the wrath of the West Indies Cricket Board by describing Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard's World Cup omission as "ridiculous" and "victimisation".
West Indies announced a 15-man squad on Saturday for the global tournament, set to start in Australia and New Zealand next month, but left out all-rounders Bravo and Pollard.
Gayle, no stranger to stand-offs with the board in an often vexed relationship over recent years, believes the absence of the two Trinidadians leaves the Windies without their "strongest team".
The big-hitting opener was speaking after his match-winning 90 as the tourists completed a Twenty20 series success over South Africa.
He asked: "How can those two guys not be in the team?
"To me it (has) got to be like victimisation when you look at it towards those two guys.
"Come on ... it is just ridiculous ... (it has) really hurt ... just sad.
"We don't have our strongest team without Pollard or Bravo.
"It is a really big blow for us to actually lose two key players.
"I don't know what's the history behind it, but it is a ridiculous selection from my point of view ... with two of our biggest players in ODI cricket not involved in the 50-over format and the World Cup."
Pollard and Bravo have also been left out of the squad for a one-day international series against South Africa.
Bravo was among the 12 players also named on Saturday as recipients of central contracts.
Gayle, in the West Indies' World Cup squad, declined his annual deal.
Bravo was a driving force behind an apparent player boycott over a contract dispute three months ago which led to the Windies pulling out of their tour of India.