By E. Glenford Prescott

After looking at the decision by the West Indies selectors to send an unchanged team to Zimbabwe following the England series, I can only sit in disbelief and utter consternation.

Let us first look at the Shane Dowrich the situation.

Dowrich a Barbadian had what can only be described as an abysmal tour of the UK with both bat and gloves. His keeping in the final test, in particular, was nothing short of embarrassing.

That performance based on what chairman of selectors Courtney Browne said when Denesh Ramdhin was dropped was more than enough for Dowrich to remain in Bridgetown. But as an indication of the consistent irrational decision making of Browne he is heading to Harare.

Now Kyle Hope’s retention is another decision which is so mind-boggling when you look at the dropping of Jermaine Blackwood.

Blackwood in the lead up to the Pakistan tour of the Caribbean had an average of 31.33 but was dropped. His last three Test innings, against the same Pakistanis, were 95, 37 and 15 at an average just shy of 50. The attacking batsman at his home ground of Sabina Park, had played four Test innings with three half-centuries and an average of 44. But yet Shai Hope, who before the Sabina Test, averaged 17.15 was given the nod ahead of him! Hope did not cover himself in glory with scores of two and six and after playing eight test matches was yet to register a single half-century. However, he was persisted with until he eventually came good.

Now his brother who was lucky to have made the trip to England in the first place was selected for all three test matches ended the series with an economy rate of 6.83….errh sorry a batting average of 6.83 and was still selected to tour Zimbabwe!

Clearly, there is a high level of bias in the way Browne is doing things and his explanation as to the reason why the same team was retained needs the help of a plunger to go down the sewer.

“The dedication, commitment and focus in their preparation and during the series in England showed immense character for such a young team in very difficult conditions against world-class competition,” Browne said.

“The lessons learnt on that tour augurs well for the individual players and the team’s continued development as a whole, and we wish them well on the tour of Zimbabwe.”

Now tell me.

Listening to arguments put forward by some people over the last few days has left me very confused.

I will first address Fazeer Mohammed’s comments on Sportsmax regarding the players who are the alternative to those who are failing.

Fazeer things are relative so therefore unlike where in the past a player was expected to be averaging in the 40’s at the first class level with at least five or six centuries to get into the regional team now it is in the 30’s and many are in the high 20’s without two centuries. So to try and dismiss Sunil Ambris average of 28 with scorn is very unfair.

In 2016/17 Ambris scored 608 runs at an average of 43.42, Shimron Hetmeyer scored 496 runs he did not score a century, Vishaul Singh scored 371 runs at an average of 26.41 on what basis were these two Guyanese selected ahead of Ambris?

In the 1980’s Rolston Otto scored 591 runs with three centuries but never played a test for the West Indies because of the strength of the test team then now it’s not the case. If people with high 20’s are failing they cannot be kept because their replacement are only averaging a little lower than them. Equity in its entirety must be enjoyed by all.

I listened with sad appreciation where the absence of a sound knowledge of cricket can lead people who are armed with some statistics and the privilege of a microphone into territory where they are dismally out of their depths. I speak of George Davis and Lance Whittaker on Sportsmax Zone.

Last week Mr. Davis did not know that the helmet that is not used is not placed behind a fieldsman and Mr. Whittaker who told him it placed behind the keeper did not see it fit to inform him assuming that he knew that the batting team gets five penalty runs if the ball struck the helmet! But these guys are the authority on team selection etc.

“The selectors are probably saying that if Kyle Hope was able to go to England where he had to negotiate Jimmy Anderson and others who are world class that he deserves to go to Zimbabwe where there are lesser bowlers…….he averaged 6.83 for crying out loud!

Davis in a most disrespectful comment on Wednesday evening said that “some people come beating up their gums about players who are averaging in their 20’s.

This little “Johnny-come-lately” is so damn out of place.

The West Indies domestic competitions are used to select players for the test, 50 over and T20 teams with the best performers expected to find favour with the selectors, however, this is not the case in recent times.

Courtney Browne is clearly driven by an apparent bias hence the reason for the omission of some to facilitate the inclusion of his countrymen (see Ramdhin/ Dowrich, S. Hope/ Blackwood). A humiliation in Zimbabwe may be the only redemption from this atrocity.

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 news.iwitness@gmail.com

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 news.iwitness@gmail.com.

7 replies on “Bias, clueless host and shortsightedness – plaguing cricket”

  1. Well things are so rediculous that T&T Mr know it all, is singing loudly for his supper.because he can remember some stats from the 1940s&50s he is a.poor analyst and makes one point which he may think is profound… If we lost playing the better players then their is no case for them to replace the weaker players Hurrah Sir

  2. Best I have read in a long time and you are spot on. Kyle hope never deserved to be on that team period. Dowrich is not better than ramdin, simple as that. Hope can keep so this should be a better option and bring in Ambrose to strengthen the batting.

  3. Very interesting article, we as part of a nation that was one part of the federation went the same way as the dinasaur. The reason for this was the same short sightedness or myopia that cause the demise of the federation. I predict that the only the only relic remaining of that entity being cricket will suffer the same fate.The famous saying that one from ten equals zero is still with us.

    Clearly, Dorich and Kyle Hope should not be a part of the touring team to Zimbabwe, given their dismal performance in England. Clearly we are rewarding mediocrity. What we get in the end is mediocre performance. Selector Browne was also a mediocre cricketer. Therefore, you understand the reason why he has such tunnel vision with respect to selecting the best team.

    The problems that plagued Cricket West Indies stems from the fact that there is no oversight. Thus the dinasaur will raise its ugly head which will cause CW to take the same route of the now extinct reptile.

  4. Geoffrey Ward says:

    I agree totally and whole hartedly with the writer of this colum.

    As a Barbadian is is utterly clear to me that Courtney Brown has a definite bias towards his fellow countrymen as the writer mentioned Shane Dowridge vs Ramdin etc.

    I agree neither Shan Dowridge of Kyle Hope should be going to Zimbabwe

    What about Evin Lewis is he stI’ll injured if not he should be heading to Zimbabwe.

    I see Mr. Lewis is included in a T&T Red Force team to play a match for the counties affected by the recent hurricanes in Caribbean.

    The match is schedule for October 14 three day after the team departs for Zimbabwe on October 11

    And what is happening with Darren Bravo, I am waiting to hear what’s the story with him.

    Mr. Bravo too is included in the T&T Red Force team.

    It is my opinion that Sunil Ambris should have been given the opportunity to showcase what he can do behind and infront of the stumps in Zimbabwe.

    I beleive we have a tour to New Zealand shortly following the one to Zimbabwe and I beleive the Zimbabwean tour would have been the perfect opportunity to expose guys like Sunil Ambris and Evin Lewis to test cricket in Zimbabwe ahead of what would be a more challenging tour to New Zealand.

    As a fellow Barbadian and a true supporter of West Indian cricket I beleive we sre going no where with Kyle Hope and Shane Dowridge.

    History will eventually show like so many before them they will be marely ALSO RANS.

    I sincerely beleive that Courtney Brown should be removed as chairman of the selection panel never ever to sit on that panel again in his life time. He is blatantly too DAM bias.

    Take it from a true Barbadian.

    Geoffrey Ward

    1. Well said Mr ward I follow cricket from the great days of west indies cricket and Courtney Browne was truly a shitty cricketer a complete failure imagine he has no talent but he choosing ppl now to say who has talent god help west Indies

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