18th January 2016
The Caribbean cricket podcast
Welcome to edition no.17 of The Willow in the WIndies.
This week Reds and I gathered to discuss the following:
England’s Test series win over South Africa, including: the batting of Joe Root; the bowling of Stuart Broad; Hashim Amla’s resignation as SA captain; and the uncertainty surrounding the commitment to the role of new captain, AB deVilliers.
India have now, rather surprisingly, taken over as the ICC’s top-ranked Test side. This highlights how flawed the current ranking system’s formula is, providing unsatisfactory results. I commented on my own preference for a ‘squash ladder’, which if currently in operation would see Pakistan as the present World Title holders.
We looked ahead to the potential make-up of WIndies’ T20 World Cup squad; and also considered whether players like Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard should be selected for the ODI squads for the triangular series versus Australia & South Africa in the middle of 2016.
We looked at the continuing Nagico Super 50 tournament, and I wondered whether anyone was capable of stopping Trinidad & Tobago from winning the competition?
We responded to listeners’ feedback, which felt we didn’t make clear in our previous podcast that the media ban on Fazeer Mohammed came directly from WIndies’ coach, Phil Simmons and not from the WICB; and also criticism we received feeling we hadn’t been condemning enough of the sexist behaviour of Chris Gayle.
We noted the return to competitive cricket of Brandon Bess, who was plunged into Test cricket in an emergency in 2010, and apparently found the experience and attention so harrowing that he withdrew from cricket; and we contrasted him with Kieron Powell, who recently turned his back on Test and first-class cricket, and was hoping to breakthrough into competitive baseball in the USA. We also recalled Adrian Barath, who similarly seems to have given up cricket despite an impressive start to his Test career only a few short years ago.
I wondered whether these cases were an indictment of the WICB’s development programmes, and its failure to help players to rationalise their aspirations; or were they indicative of a wider problem facing Caribbean culture, highlighting the gulf between young mens’ expectations and the reality of being in the limelight?
We finished up by looking at a new book on former Yorkshire and England captain, Norman Yardley.