2nd April 2016
The Caribbean cricket podcast
Welcome to edition no. 26 of The Willow in the WIndies.
After an interval while Reds was in Grenada covering a regional athletics event, we reconvened on the eve of West Indies appearing in two World T20 finals, for both the men’s and women’s teams.
We began by looking at the ladies’ progress to the final. We both felt they had every chance against Australia, who are the big favourites. Yet win or lose in that game, this tournament has been a great success for the WIndies women. Reds expressed his hope that this can be tapped into when they return to the Caribbean; and that in youth and development programmes this success can be built upon, with those players as ambassadors for the women’s game.
Looking at the men’s march to the final, Reds was surprised by some of MS Dhoni’s captaincy in WIndies’ semi-final with India – especially his use of Virat Kohli ahead of Ravi Ashwin! I feel that WI are still a bowler short in their side, and would like to see either Ashley Nurse or Jason Holder in the final. We both felt England will be a hard team to beat. For many of this aging West Indies’ side, this could be a last hurrah – especially if the WICB decides that players who did not appear in this season’s Nagico Super 50 are ineligible for the upcoming ODI tri-series with Australia and South Africa. Meanwhile, Australia have announced their squad for that tournament, which will see the return from injury of Mitchell Starc; but lacks the retired Shane Watson.
Elsewhere, WICB president Dave Cameron confirmed (again!) that the home Test series with India will take place – but will clash with the CPL T20 tournament, potentially causing a conflict for players, spectators and broadcasters.
In other news, Ravi Rampaul has signed for Surrey; Billy Heaven has been re-elected as president of the Jamaica Cricket Association; and Noel Guishard has been appointed the new head of the Leeward Islands selection committee.
And finally, we ended with Reds’ reflections on the passing of Rangy Nanan. The former Trinidad & Tobago off-spinner was the leading wicket-taker in Caribbean domestic cricket throughout the 1980s, but only played one Test Match during the period of West Indies’ pace dominance.