1st September 2014
A one-stop WI Rumshop round-up of Caribbean cricket comment, news & views
West Indies completed a 3-0 defeat of Bangladesh in the one-day internationals, and Denesh Ramdin (169) & Darren Bravo (124) established a world record ODI 3rd wicket stand of 258, the highest ever partnership for West Indies in one-day cricket, in a total of 338-7. Bangladesh responded with 247-8, with Ravi Rampaul taking 4-29. Ramdin, Bravo and Rampaul all spoke to the press after the game. Ramdin’s knock was lauded as one of the best ever one-day innings by Sir Richie Richardson, and he was made the Player of the Series. Ramdin’s excellent recent form with the bat was also examined this week by S Jajesh on ESPN Cricinfo. Despite the emphatic series win, Tony Cozier has severe reservations about West Indies’ batting ahead of the World Cup, and he further aired his views on this week’s edition of Line and Length.
The subsequent solitary T20 international was washed out shortly after take off, much to the likely disappointment of T20 captain, Darren Sammy. Also disappointed were the crowd in the party stand after the 2nd ODI in Grenada. When the game finished a couple of hours prematurely, the music was abruptly switched off. The Grenada government denies it was their decision, and points the finger firmly at the WICB.
Bangladesh’s poor showing in the series has led to calls for their Test & ODI captaincy to be split. They have greatly missed the suspended Shakib Al Hasan, whose ban by the Bangladesh Cricket Board is to be lifted, but not in time to feature in the upcoming Test series. Sohag Gazi, subject of an inquiry into the legitamacy of his bowling action has left the tour, and is to be replaced by Elas Sunny. Colin Croft focused on the recent clampdown by the ICC on dubious actions, and felt the power to adjudicate should be back with the umpires. He regretted the absence of strong umpires of a former vintage like the recently deceased Douglas Sang Hue. Tony Cozier penned an affectionate piece on the late official this week, and the Jamaica Gleaner ran a memorial editorial on him. Also remembered this week, was the passing of Barbados’ George Linton.
West Indies have announced their 13-man squad for Friday’s 1st Test in St Vincent, with 2 unnamed players making themselves unavailable, preferring to play in the upcoming CLT20 in India instead, an eventuality first revealed in the Bangalore Mirror. Caribbean newspapers unanimously identified one of the two as Sunil Narine, and elements of the press initially nominated Dwayne Bravo as the ‘2nd man’. However, opinion has shifted to accuse Andre Russell. Neither Bravo nor Russell were realistically in line for selection in the squad – a far more likely ‘Donald Maclean’ is Kieran Pollard. The WICB declared that the two players opting out of the Tests will “not have any deleterious effect on consideration for future West Indies selection.” This is a siginficant shift by the board, and is nothing less than a sharp u-turn on their previously stated ‘West Indies first’ policy, enforced during the recent Test series versus New Zealand. Only a few weeks ago, Tony Cozier warned that the policy would be put repeatedly to the test, and it seems that it has failed at its second time of asking. Former Chairman of Selectors, Mike Findlay has accused the WICB of weakness on the issue. Narine, Bravo, Russell and Pollard will all be appearing in September’s CLT20, though many in Guyana are still grumbling that the Amazon Warriors won’t be. Neil Kumar voiced his continuing anger at the outcome of the CPL, and Freddie Kissoon counter-punched aggresively.
The Test squad is the first picked by the new selection panel headed by Clive Lloyd (and he was profiled by Arunabha Sengupta this week for Cricket Country on the occasion of his 70th birthday). Garfield Robinson warns that Clive Lloyd can’t perform miracles without better players to pick from, while Gordon Greenidge has counselled patience for Lloyd and his colleagues. Some have interpreted Greenidge’s comments as an expression of interest in the vacant Head Coach position. WICB President, Dave Cameron has said there is no rush to fill the vacant slot, and in the interim, Sir Richie Richardson is in charge of the team. He anticipates West Indies domination in the Tests. The Bangladeshi tourists are warming up for the Test by playing against St Kitts & Nevis, for whom Shiv Chanderpaul was appearing, and he has spoken of his desire to assist the Caribbean’s younger players in their development.
Elsewhere, Dave Cameron has looked forward positively to the reconstituted, partially-franchised new 4-day regional competition; while Vinode Mamchan has revealed that January’s Super50 tournament will feature sides exclusively comprised of home-grown talent. West Indies Women have selected their squad for the upcoming visit by New Zealand; and Ridley Jacobs has been named as Antigua & Barbuda’s Head Coach. Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Shiv Chanderpaul and Kieran Powell have been announced as co-owners for a proposed new T20 tournament in Canada to be played in August 2015, although Peter Della Penna at ESPN Cricinfo has expressed doubts about the competition’s financial backers.
Finally, the Guyana government is to finance a huge portrait of Rohan Kanhai; Usain Bolt has revealed that he is to play against Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan in a friendly match in India; and in England, ahead of the upcoming Anglican v Vatican church match at Canterbury on 19th September, the Anglican team has provided brief profiles of the members of their team, including my brother, Rob Oram.
David Oram is the resident ‘statto’, and sometime presenter of ‘Mason & Guests’ – Voice of Barbados’ weekly cricket talk show, the leading cricket radio show in the West Indies – hosted by the Caribbean’s principal radio commentator, Andrew Mason. You can tweet me at DavidOram@colblimp1983.