OP-ED: A careful analysis of the selected WI men’s senior cricket team

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First and foremost, I must say that I have been silent on issues relating to the West Indies cricket for some time. I will not comment on the appointment of Richard Pybus as Senior coach for West Indies.

I shall not enumerate on the many failed policies of the CEO of the Cricket West Indies (CWI). I cannot determine the state of mind of the most capable players of West Indies. That letter would take me approximately four days to scribble, draft, note pen and print.

However, I will be criticising the selection process adopted by the Chairman of Selectors, whose only claim to fame was winning the ICC Champions Trophy in 2006. Kudos to you, sir, you did a brilliant job in 2006, but your job at this current time is to select the best capable team to represent us against the MIGHTY ENGLISH LIONS.

Let’s now take a look at the current West Indies squad: Jason Holder (capt), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican, Oshane Thomas (cover for Joseph).

PROS:

Darren Bravo– Finally available after two years in the wilderness. CWI singlehandedly almost ruined the career of one of the best batsmen West Indies has produced in the history longest format of the game. It took an entire two years to get him into a team which needed him more than ever. We currently sit at the bottom of the rankings and should do everything possible to retain our best cricketers. I say again, I repeat, I shout; TWO YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS. This was the prime of his cricketing career. Look at his performance in the recently concluded ODI series. He left much to be desired and I hope this isn’t a sign of his form to come. Again, welcome back sir!

Jason Holder– The under-rated West Indies team captain. An all-rounder with fantastic cricketing brain. Only good things can happen in his future and I commend his rational thinking throughout his cricketing career. He needs to keep that bowling average just as it is. I noticed that Jason was capable of clocking over 150 KPH in an IPL match, so get that pace up and open the bowling with Shannon.

Shannon Gabriel– Pace, hostility, and aggression. The only criticism of Shannon would be regarding the no-balls. Many times his no-balls have caused us serious runs by very capable batsmen. He should keep doing what he is doing. The sky is the limit. Kemar Roach is there for a reason, moving the ball both ways, Mr Shannon shouldn’t be shy to seek advice from his senior. Kemar has gotten more quality batsman out than Shannon ever did.

Kraigg Braithwaite, Shane Dowrich and Roston Chase– I’ll categorise these gentlemen as patient cricketers. West Indians have been known to be extremely impatient. Kraigg, sir, you need to know where your off stump is because you’re often caught on the crease and nick it outside off stump. Not good enough for a West Indies Vice-captain. Shane, I’ve seen your innings and know that you have the ability to keep wicket and make valuable runs when it counts, but you need to take it easy with the hook shots. Roston Chase, your place is well deserved; as a batting all-rounder and you’ll be wearing the maroon colours for a very long time.

Shai Hope– You are in a category of your own and I cannot wait to see you in the middle order with the likes of Darren Bravo. I expect long, patient innings, along with effective and captivating stroke-play.

Shimron Hetmyer– A man for all seasons you could say. A humble individual who deserves a place in the team. The advice I’ve seen rendered to you has all been the same- keep your composure. I can foresee you breaking Brian Lara’s record if you keep your head on and bat, bat, bat. Fantastic middle order batsman.

CONS:

Shamarh Brooks- These are some of the recent stats I’ve found.

34, 26 Barbados v Guyana Bridgetown 4 Jan 2019 FC
3, 4 Barbados v Jamaica Cave Hill 13 Dec 2018 FC
12, 32 Barbados v Leeward Is Cave Hill 6 Dec 2018 FC

This surely does not warrant a selection in the West Indies cricket team. I need not say more.

John Campbell- Recent Stats-

21, 0, 1/67 Jamaica v Windward Is Kingston 4 Jan 2019 FC
78, 0/17, 19 Jamaica v Barbados Cave Hill 13 Dec 2018 FC
56, 0/12 Jamaica v Guyana Bridgetown 25 Oct 2018 LA
0/9, 4 Jamaica v U.S.A. Cave Hill 22 Oct 2018 L

I’m unsure if you’re being selected as an all-rounder, but West Indies already has enough all-rounders and these scores and the wicket columns do no warrant a selection in the West Indies senior team. I apologise for bursting your bubble.

Jomel Warrican- Recent Stats-

1/124, 23*, 0, 0/6 Barbados v Guyana Bridgetown 4 Jan 2019 FC
26, 8/89, 9, 4/27 Barbados v Jamaica Cave Hill 13 Dec 2018 FC
2/91, 5*, 0 West Indies v Bangladesh Dhaka 30 Nov 2018 Test # 2331
4/62, 12, 2/43, 41 West Indies v Bangladesh Chattogram 22 Nov 2018 Test # 2328

Some of these figures do look pretty impressive, but sad to say you’ve been tried for seven matches in West Indies colours and ANY analyst would suggest that you were only able to pick up wickets with poor long hop deliveries.

My question is, if a man like Oshane Thomas is available, why is he only being selected as a cover for Alzarri Joseph. Thomas is a little known cricketer whose pace could dismantle England on home soil. Joseph has a lot to learn. Give him time and he will get there.

IN: Chanderpaul Hemraj, Gudakesh Motie-Kanhai, Denesh Ramdin, Vishaul Singh, Keemo Paul (Notice the many other available options)

OUT: Jomel Warrican, John Campbell, Shamarh Brooks, Alzarri Joseph

ADVICE: A complete inquiry into the selection policies of the Chairman of Selectors. A complete inquiry into the selection of Pybus as Coach of the West Indies Senior Team.

I will be writing a follow up letter concerning the lack of correspondence between the Guyana Cricket Board Head and CWI with regard to the non-selection of Guyanese cricketers.

On that note, Anand Sanasie needs to stop being bullied by the WICB, because let’s face it, they are the only reason you sit in that position. We need proper elections of a President of the GCB. With that said, I will always have the interests of my country and my team at heart.

Devin Singh (An ardent cricket fan),

L.LB, G.D.L

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