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West versus Indies: A team against itself
by Marcus Bethel
Jun 17, 2007
Does anyone know the criteria used by the West Indies to pick its team, or whose job it is to do the actual selecting of the team? If so please relay the information.

In the light of the latest shenanigan, executive members of the West Indies Cricket Board have expressed their interest in joining the rest of failing cricketing nations – whose game is in shambles – in a tyrannical attempt to bury their dying game.

Having tried to overrule Gordon Greenidge, Andy Roberts and Clyde Butts decision to temporarily instate Chris Gayle in the absence of the injured Ramnaresh Sarwan as ODI captain, the responsible party has clearly demonstrated the presence of factions in the executive team.

Citing Chris Gayle as in-disciplined, the board instead called for acting captain Daren Ganga to fill the role – even though Ganga wasn’t selected as part of the ODI team – with fellow Trinidadian Denesh Ramdin to be his second in command. With this said, the question is: Who is responsible for selecting the West Indies Cricket Team and who is responsible for erroneously investing WICB’s money without a collective decision and a responsibility to all involved?

If it was the discipline of Gayle inhibiting his position as team leader – his vice captain in Shivnarine Chanderpaul retained – what then is the problem with Ryan Hinds being the second in command to Sylvester Joseph on the West Indies A Team. With the board opting instead for Narsingh Deonarine does there have to be a certain ring to the name or is it as one die hard West Indies fan has said, “the Indians are in charge and are trying to keep the blacks out of the cricket.”

I hope we can see the direction this insularity has taken West Indies cricket, and how much further this can affect the game, which for decades has been the passion of the Caribbean people, uniting the islands, forming a federation when all other efforts had failed. It is sad to see the unity threatened and the only common cause dissolved as ulterior motives develop in an effort to market what was considered a true Caribbean sport. This being the case, it’s back to square one.

As chief executive officer Trinidadian Bruce Aanensen told Cricinfo, “There are differences between the selection committee and the board (to be settled) before we can announce either the captain or the squad.” Now the team has been announced and the captain selected or accepted (no offence to Chris Gayle), the assumption is that they have settled their differences. That said we are right back to the question of selection criteria.

To use a popular New York phrase, Whatever! the team selected by whoever is Chris Gayle(Capt.), Shivnarine Chanderpaul(Vice Capt.), Dwayne Bravo, Runako Morton, Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy, Devon Smith, Dwayne Smith, Fidel Edwards, Daren Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul and the single newcomer Austin Richards. No Taylor, and wait, No Corey Collymore? Just when Collymore has moved into the top 10 of the ICC rankings and he has been declared “the spearhead of the Windies attack,” he gets the axe. Having been the most economical bowler for the West Indies Team in recent times; averaging 4.30 per over in ODIs, selectors have instead opted for the pace of fellow Barbadian Fidel Edwards who averages 4.67 in ODIs.

In the event that Gayle accepts his position as skipper, he will captain the 14-man squad for their limited-overs series in England and Ireland. The team’s first challenge will be two Twenty20 games against England at the Oval on June 28 and 29, followed by three one-day games in the first week of July before the team heads to Ireland for the Four-nation tournament. For the good of the game and in the interest of West Indies cricket, let’s hope this rift doesn’t once again spill over into the field of play. GO WINDIES!

More Views by Marcus Bethel
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