The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]
Since the director of West Indies Cricket stamp his authority, the WICB directors adopted the proposal from Richard Pybus for what he termed a “West Indies Team First” selection policy. It was one of the several issues covered in his commissioned report on the restructuring of domestic and international cricket.
It was one of the several issues covered in his commissioned report on the restructuring of domestic and international cricket.
“WICB to prioritise West Indies Cricket, domestic and international,” Pybus advised. “Eliminate participation of international players in other countries’ T20 competitions to prioritise the skills development necessary for West Indies to achieve their vision goals.”
Come next year when England’s three Tests in the Caribbean, from April 13 to May 5, directly coincide with the IPL.
The IPL is the biggest, most popular and wealthiest of such leagues. Through it, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard have become as popular as Hollywood screen stars, and almost as rich. They and ten other West Indians were contracted by franchises in the 2014 edition, the seventh.
Players in the chosen squad for the series were directed to report for duty at the preliminary training camp not later than June 1. It was the same day as the IPL final in Bangalore. Sunil Narine, the key spinner for both West Indies and the Kolkata Knight Riders, committed to the latter and was consequently disqualified from selection.
There was a strong lobby and pleas from CARIBBEAN LEGENDS including controversial Jamaican Televised Talk show SPORTSMAXX lead by Former West Indies Wicket/Keeper Batsman Jeffrey Dujon and Loose Canon Simon Croskill and the Trinidad and Tobago Sports Minister Alvin Cornel for Narine to be excused.
He was, after all, a potential match-winner. He would miss only a few days of the camp and certainly be in time for the start of the first Test on June 8. But the WICB stuck to its new stipulation. Well done WICBC best thing ever happen since Dr. Julian Hunte was sabotage by his own WINDWARDS CRICKET BOARD from another term of presidency.
To those who welcomed the infusion of some discipline into the team, it was a bold decision; to those inclined to a win-at-all-cost position, it was self-defeating. At the end, they could claim it cost West Indies the series.
But I like many other Vincentians who follows West Indies Cricket daily can say that Sammy won the same New Zealand with less brand name players such as Tino Best, Shannon Gabriel, Shillingford and himself who was under tremendous pressure from the HATERS of small islander being the captain of a West Indies set up.
The matter will certainly arise again next year when England’s three Tests in the Caribbean, from April 13 to May 5, directly coincide with the IPL.
Those pigeonholed, to their frustration, as strictly limited-overs players such as Pollard, Andre Russell and Dwayne Smith and, now by his own volition, Darren Sammy, are unlikely to be summoned for the Tests. There would be no reason for the WICB to object to their involvement in India, especially as the first-class home season will be over.
Gayle, Narine, Jason Holder and, probably, fit-again Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach will be the likely ones needed for the Tests. Like Narine this year, they will face the dilemma, IPL or West Indies.
What Caused The Decision
Of late, overseas T20 tournaments have limited the appearances of some of the top men. Pollard played in two of Trinidad and Tobago’s seven matches last season, Narine none at all. Russell had one for Jamaica, Sammy missed the entire season for Windward Islands, as did Dwayne Smith for Barbados. Persistent injuries, both sustained in the IPL, eliminated Gayle and Dwayne Bravo.
It is another reason for the WICB to remain steadfast in its policy. It wants its best players involved as they were through the eighties.
The WICB sees central contracts for players worth between US$120,000 and US$60,000 along with match fees for Tests, ODIs and T20 internationals, the new package of increased wages for 75 contracted on a permanent basis to regional teams and income from the CPL in exchange for a bar on T20 tournaments elsewhere as a reasonable arrangement for revitalizing West Indies cricket.
It is uncertain whether the players share such a view.
But I’m totally one hundred and one per cent with the new policy.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].