The Willow in the WIndies – innings no. 27 (ii)

18th April 2016

The Caribbean cricket podcast

Episode 27 (ii) – Catching up on recent Caribbean cricket news

Welcome to part two of edition no. 27 of The Willow in the WIndies.

Reds and I picked up from where we left off yesterday, and began by looking at the new seasons in England and India.

England captain Alastair Cook made the news for apparently failing to comply with new health and safety regulations regarding helmets. It was said he refused to wear the new model – putting him in conflict with the ECB – put subsequent reports suggest he has agreed to wear it after discussions with Andrew Strauss.

Reds recently caught up with Strauss when he was in St Lucia, and interviewed him for local media. I feel there is a great deal more the ECB could do to assist West Indies cricket – but that’s a conversation for another time. 

Of note in the English County Championship this season is that the toss has been partially done away with. A visiting skipper has the option to bowl first; if he doesn’t, they toss for first innings. I wondered if this is an innovation that might be introduced in the Caribbean’s regional four-day competition?

Both Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul are featuring in the competition – and Rampaul had a good debut for Surrey, picking up eight wickets.

The biggest, and saddest news in England was the sudden retirement of James Taylor due to a heart defect. Further sad news this week came out of Trinidad, where a young English cricketer was murdered in a street robbery.

In India, the IPL is underway. Before the tournament, senior commentator Harsha Bhogle was sacked by the BCCI. Reds and I shared our fears for the standards of international cricket commentary and impartiality.

Sunil Narine’s action has been cleared, and he will be appearing in the tournament; as will Andre Russell, despite still having a cloud hanging over him about missed drug tests in Jamaica.

Elsewhere, Dwayne Bravo’s Gujarat Lions have got off to a winning start. I am following them for First Post news in India. Lendl Simmons has had to withdraw with injury, and he has been replaced by New Zealand’s Martin Guptill – who was also announced this week as the captain of Guyana Amazon Warriors in the CPL.

Six members of West Indies’ Under 19 World Cup winning squad will also be featuring in the competition, including Gidron Pope for the Windward Islands Zouks. We noted that the team’s moniker is no longer the St Lucia Zouks. This change seems to have been slipped under the radar – although in my podcast with him after the CPL draft, Peter Miller did flag up that the Zouks then were referred to as just that – the Zouks – so a change was clearly being planned.

The Barbados Tridents were purchased ahead of the new CPL season by the Indian businessman, Dr Vijay Mallya. He disclosed that he only paid $100 for the team. He is now regarded as a fugitive from India – where he has huge outstanding debts – having absconded to England. It has been reported that his diplomatic passport has been withdrawn and that proceedings against him, possibly of a criminal nature, are underway. All of this must be a huge worry to his Tridents partners – the Barbados government – and the CPL organisers.

Elsewhere, in St Lucia the cricket stadium is to be named after Darren Sammy, with a stand also to be named after Johnson Charles. I asked Reds if there were any plans to name the media facilities after Reds Perreira? He dodged that friendly bouncer.

We ended the programme by looking back briefly at the 1975/76 Test series in the Caribbean versus India, which was a huge impact upon the future direction of West Indies cricket under captain Clive Lloyd – and saw the birth of the WIndies’ 4-pronged pace attack.

You can listen to the podcast here:

The Willow in the WIndies is now also available to download from iTunes.

David Oram


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