West Indies First, 2nd Andre Russell (?), and 3rd Wicket Record

1st September 2014

Quick Singles  

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 KanhaiUsain 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

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.


One thought on “West Indies First, 2nd Andre Russell (?), and 3rd Wicket Record

  1. John Holder

    With the departure of Ottis Gibson, yet another coach has left the post of West Indies coach. Long before Ottis’s departure many so called experts were blaming him for the team’s recurring failures, but when will the players be blamed for their lack of success?
    The job of West Indies Head Coach has been a poisoned chalice. Numerous experienced people have held the post and have all failed to stop the rot. We plunged from the dizzy heights of being the best team in the world for about 15 years, to being the laughing stock of world cricket, only marginally better than Zimbabwe and Bangladesh near the bottom of the ladder. Some of the coaches under whose stewardship the team failed are Roger Harper, Malcolm Marshall, Bennett King, John Dyson and latterly, Ottis. In every instance the coach was blamed for the lack of success but coaches are soft targets and just blaming them resolves nothing. At some stage players have to take the blame for continuing failure.
    In my early years of umpiring in the mid 80’s I was approached by a county player about the possibility of coaching his team. I declined because I backed myself to succeed as an umpire at the highest level but coaching is different. You can do all the necessary preparation, technical, mental and motivational with the boys but when they step onto the field they are on their own and have to be able to think on their feet. Clearly our boys are incapable of doing this.
    During the St Kitts Test against South Africa in 2010, a former player asked some of the WI players how they felt they were doing at International level? They told him that they felt they were doing well and had nothing to improve on. This sort of comment is the reason why our team languishes near the bottom of world cricket. Complacency breeds inertia and a refusal to face reality. The secret is to practice harder to hone your skills and improve.
    The former great South African golfer, Gary Player was told by a spectator how lucky he was to be so successful. Player’s reply was “the harder I practice the luckier I become”. Maybe West Indian players should try Player’s method and stop blaming the coaches?


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