‘What more I have to do?’: Permaul ‘extremely disappointed’ by India Test match snub
By Avenash Ramzan
The leading wicket-taker in First-Class cricket in the Caribbean Veerasammy Permaul has been overlooked for the West Indies first Test of the two-match series against India, starting July 12 in Windsor Park, Dominica.
Cricket West Indies on Friday announced the squad selected by the Desmond Haynes-led panel, and left-arm spinner Permaul was a glaring omission.
The panel handed recalls to Bajan left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican and Leeward Islands all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall.
Another left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie was unavailable for selection as he is undergoing rehabilitation from injury.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” 33-year-old Permaul told News Room Sport after being overlooked for the opening match of the series.
“I have been playing my heart out in regional cricket just to make it back to the top. I have been performing with ball and bat, and still, that isn’t enough.
“What more I have to do?”
“I don’t know exactly what the selectors are looking for, but it seems performances in Regional cricket don’t matter anymore, because I have wickets and runs this season and I’m not selected.”
Permaul, usually reserved in his utterances over the last 16 years of playing regional and international cricket, questioned the rationale for selection to play for the West Indies, noting that he has always taken pride in ensuring peak performance and fitness season after season.
“The numbers are there to show- I have been getting wickets consistently every season and I’ve done work on my batting as well,” Permaul, who has taken 607 wickets from 137 First-Class games at 20.89, explained.
“Everyone in West Indies cricket knows of my fitness level and how serious I take that aspect of my game, so I don’t know what more I need to do to get selected.
“Maybe the selectors have some other reason or reasons for not selecting me, but what I can say it is extremely disappointing,” said the Albion spinner, who has picked up 31 five-wicket hauls and seven 10-wicket match hauls in First-Class cricket.
Standout for Guyana Harpy Eagles
In the 2023 West Indies Four-Day Championship, Permaul picked up 28 wickets at 15.21 in the five matches, second only Cornwall’s 35 at 14.34 from the same number of games.
Warrican played only two games in the Championship, taking eight wickets at 23.75.
Permaul also made crucial runs for Guyana Harpy Eagles in the championship success, scoring 201 runs from nine innings at an average of 22.33.
His tally included two half-centuries, with a highest of 65.
Following the Four-Day Championship, Permaul also picked up eight wickets from two games in the Headley/Weekes Tri-Series, a series of matches that featured the outstanding performers from the First-Class championship.
Notably, Warrican did not play in the Tri-Series.
Comparatively in Test cricket, Permaul has taken 31 wickets in nine games at 38.16 and Warrican 41 scalps in 13 matches at 35.21.
Lead Selector Haynes said: “We are without Motie, who is doing his rehabilitation, and this has created an opportunity for Warrican and Cornwall in the spin bowling department. They have both played at Test match level before and are capable of doing the job.”
“Looking ahead to the series we know it will be a challenging one as we start the new cycle of the ICC Test Match Championship. We want to build and improve and strive to move up the ladder.”
West Indies squad will travel to Dominica on Sunday following a pre-series camp at Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.
They will have training sessions on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning in the build-up to the match.
FULL SQUAD: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice-Captain), Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kirk McKenzie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican.
Travelling Reserves: Tevin Imlach, Akeem Jordan.