6th March 2016
The Caribbean cricket podcast
Welcome to edition no. 23 of The Willow in the WIndies.
This week Reds and I gathered to discuss the following:
We looked at the build-up to the T20 World Cup: WIndies were playing a warm-up match versus Warwickshire while we were speaking; Lendl Simmons became the latest player to be ruled out of the competition, through injury. We speculated that either Dwayne Smith or Jonathan Carter will replace him.
In further T20 related news, a cloud was hanging over Andre Russell’s participation in the tournament after missing 3 mandatory drug tests, although WICB President Dave Cameron has suggested that Russell will still take part.
Meanwhile, West Indies women are enjoying a successful tour of South Africa. They won the ODI series 2-1 and won the 2nd T20 to level the series at 1-1 with the decider on Wednesday. WI women this week moved to no. 2 in the ICC rankings.
Elsewhere in the region, Grenada’s PM Dr Keith Mitchell made strong comments denouncing the WICB in an address to the Grenada Cricket Association, and seemed to be suggesting a possible breakaway T20 competition on the island. Reds thought this notion was a non-starter.
Other Caricom leaders have recently spoken on the subject of cricket governance in the region following the PMs gathering in Belize: Trinidad & Tobago’s Dr Keith Rowley said he had no ‘rift’ with the WICB; while Barbados’ Freundel Stuart made a more measured critique of the Board.
The WICB themselves had their quarterly meeting this weekend, but at the time of recording we had not seen a communique or official press release, although some details were emerging. These included the news that the WICB would be renamed Cricket West Indies.
What had emerged during the week was the proposed venues for India’s Test tour of West Indies which included St Lucia, Antigua, T&T and Jamaica, but not Guyana – which surprised us both – but may be related to the bidding system.
One of the biggest news stories of the week was the report that Reds’ long-time colleague, Tony Cozier is suing the WICB President Dave Cameron for defamation.
I voiced my concern that a recent report suggested that the ICC may be considering two divisions of Test cricket, with West Indies in the lower league. I asked Reds what would be the implications for WIndies cricket?
I also alerted Reds to an article in the Jamaica Gleaner by Tony Becca that suggested that Trinidad & Tobago had explored with the ICC the possibility of ‘going it alone‘. Reds was adamant that this was an impossibility for any territory, and would not be accepted by the ICC.
(After the broadcast we received an email from TTCB President Azim Bassarath categorically denying any such move by his Board; that the idea had not been discussed; nor was it something he as President would ever entertain. In reply I thanked him for setting the record straight, do so again here, and will also do so in our next podcast).
In the regional 4-day game competition we are in a break this week, with Guyana clear leaders with two games remaining. Jamaica and the Windward Islands have been very disappointing this season and Reds considered the reasons why.
Finally, we ended the programme with Reds’ reflections upon the passing of New Zealand’s Martin Crowe.