T&T journalist criticises recall By Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
September 12, 2002

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PORT OF SPAIN - Veteran Trinidad and Tobago sports journalist Everard ‘The Watchman’ Gordon has criticised the recall of Barbadian fast-bowling all-rounder Vasbert Drakes to the West Indies’ team for this month’s ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka.

In an article in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper yesterday under the headline “Drakes selection like water on duck’s back”, Gordon said “all cricket lovers must be wondering at the state of cricket in the region…”

“With the World Cup round the corner, this could have been used as a training run and an opportunity to give the young hopefuls a chance to get ready for this,” Gordon wrote.

“Drakes, at 33, out of international cricket for the last seven years, could hardly be expected to raise the quality and the power of the region’s cricket for the World Cup,” Gordon charged.

“At the height of his prowess, in the flush of youthful vigour, Drakes was a competent competitor but never a world-beater,” the experienced sportswriter contended.

“Would he make that difference that is required if this team is to be a factor in the World Cup or even in the ICC Champions Trophy? I think not,” Gordon asked rhetorically.

“In fact, the West Indies selectors have wasted an opportunity to look carefully at the young talent waiting to blossom and making their expert assessment of which they could most benefit from immediate exposure at this level,” reasoned Gordon.

Gordon, who has been following West Indies cricket for more than three decades, also argued that the regional selectors are unwilling to make changes, even when “talented” players consistently play below the standard expected of them.

After all, the captain himself had been one of the greatest underachievers for years and had even deserted the game for some time before he came back,” Gordon wrote.

“There are currently in the team, players of undoubted ability who regularly play beneath the standard reasonably expected from international players. And they remain in the team!” Gordon said.

“In the meanwhile, several hopefuls are twiddling their thumbs, waiting hopefully for their call, probably going off the boil in disappointment after years in the wilderness.

“It is time that performance be the passport for entry to the West Indies team; that failure to deliver would see the player allowed to restate his case by the quality and power of his performance while he is off the team,” added Gordon.