8th September 2014
A one-stop WI Rumshop round-up of Caribbean cricket comment, news & views
Inclement weather appears to be the only thing with the potential to block West Indies’ progress towards emphatic victory in the 1st Test v Bangladesh in St Vincent. Colin Croft (who’ll be inducted into the Cricket Hall of Fame in Hartford, Connecticut in October) suggested anything less than a thumping 2-0 series win was unthinkable, and an inferior result would impact upon WI’s points standing in the ICC Test rankings table. Sean Devers felt it was too tough a task for Bangladesh to repeat the series victory they achieved here in 2009.
West Indies went into the match with only 4 bowlers, and the in-form Captain, Denesh Ramdin tabled to bat at 7. Despite obdurate Test-Match paced run scoring, which Fazeer Mohammed felt was unedifying blocking, WI were ‘tottering’ at the Close of Day 2 at 407-3, having been put into bat. It was such a reassurance to know there was still plenty of batting to come! The scoreline will have pleased George H. White, who had insisted that WI’s batting must improve.
Kraigg Brathwaite scored his 2nd Test hundred on Day 1, and completed his 1st Test double-hundred on Day 2. Tony Cozier hailed Brathwaite as the new Chanderpaul, while Shiv himself scored his umpteenth undefeated Test fifty, which followed on from his 183 in the warm-up match for St Kitts & Nevis v the tourists. The Demerara Cricket Board would like to see the 40-year-old also back in the WI ODI team. Brathwaite described Chanderpaul as his inspiration after his innings, and also paid tribute to ex-Coach, Ottis Gibson, noting his influence upon his development as a batsman.
And while there remains a vacancy for the Head Coach role, their remains speculation. Philip Hacket voiced his concern that the WICB would consider appointing a non-West Indian; although WICB President, Dave Cameron has dismissed media speculation that South Africa’s Mickey Arthur is a shoo-in; and Rudi Webster has outlined the qualities the successful candidate ought to possess. John L. Aaron was the latest to express an opinion of cautious optimism over Clive Lloyd’s appointment as Convener of Selectors; and President Cameron was also supportive this week of the programme of Summer cricket camps in Jamaica, and urged more clubs to conduct them.
The WICB’s CEO, Michael Muirhead was at pains to point out that Sunil Narine’s unchallenged preference to play in the CLT20 rather than the Tests is not at variance with the ‘West Indies First’ policy, and there was no suggestion that the Board was ‘going soft’. The absence from the team of Narine has been barely noticeable, with Suliemann Benn picking up five 1st innings wickets, and Jermaine Blackwood bagging 2 scalps with his occasional off-spin – having just one previous 1st-class victim to his credit, and that being Rayad Emrit.
Emrit was unveiled as Captain for the Barbados Tridents, who are confidently looking forward to their participation in this month’s CLT20, but have lost the services of their successful captain in the CPL, Kieron Pollard who may be leading the Mumbai Indians. The Red Steel’s failure to qualify for the CLT20, and the lack of a genuinely national Trinidad & Tobago team in the game’s shortest format is having adverse financial consequences for the TTCB.
Meanwhile, the Barbados Cricket Association has announced an initial squad of 46 for training ahead of the upcoming regional 4-day tournament; and former WI wicket-keeper, Ridley Jacobs has supported the competition’s franchise system, while the respected WI cricket writer, Tony Becca is fiercely opposed. The BCA has also ‘fixed the issues’ which saw VIPs having problems gaining entrance to the Kensington Oval earlier this year.
The Berbice Cricket Board celebrated its 75th year by honouring its outstanding international cricketers at a special gathering last weekend. One of those honoured, Basil Butcher, who turned 81 on Wednesday, called upon the Guyana government to leave cricket administration in the hands of those who’d had on-field experience.
Elsewhere, the WICB are looking at proposals to develop Women’s cricket in the region; it’s been suggested that the trophy WI and India contest when they face each other in October’s Test series could be named after Sachin Tendulkar; Devon Thomas has recovered and left hospital after sustaining injuries suffered in a car crash; and Usain Bolt tasted both victory and defeat in his contests with Yuvraj Singh.
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.