Confusing signals from WICB
(Letter to the Sports Editor)
Guyana Chronicle
March 19, 2004

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WHY do the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies panel of selectors keep sending us such confusing signals?

In preparation for the First Test against England at Sabina Park, they named a squad of sixteen players, who they led us to believe was the best squad available on ability and or current form.

That squad of sixteen was trimmed to thirteen, with Carlton Baugh, Dave Mohamed, and Dwight Washington being omitted. We were assured that Washington’s omission had nothing to do with concerns about his bowling action. Of the five pace bowlers chosen, the selectors had given preference to the other four.

Is it then not reasonable that, if for the second Test at the Queen’s Park Oval one of the four is injured, Washington would logically and almost automatically be the one to be included? After all, if Jacobs is unavailable, Baugh will take his place behind the stumps.

There was no cricket in the meantime where performance (good or bad) could have changed minds.

Instead the selectors have gone for somebody outside of the original sixteen. They have chosen Pedro Collins, who should have been in the squad in the first place, having been the most penetrative and leading wicket-taker in the recent Carib Beer Tournament. Something, then, had to be wrong with the original selection of sixteen.

It reminds us so much of the similar situation on the recent tour of South Africa.

Again, supposedly the five best pacemen were chosen for the tour. This squad included Ravi Rampaul and not Adam Sanford, because the selectors must have believed that Rampaul was the better bowler.

Yet, when one of the originally chosen was injured, a call-up was made, perhaps reasonably for Sanford, but then, not so reasonably, he was included in the Test team ahead of Rampaul.

All these twists and turns tend to confuse the mind. We are even more confused when the West Indies Board apologises to the West Indies public for last Sunday’s shocking performance.

Surely, it should be the man responsible for the on-the-field performance to make the apology. It is Brian Lara who should be made to apologise to the West Indies public for the great embarrassment, shame and disgrace he and his team have brought on us.

After the great fall, somebody somewhere has got to put West Indies cricket together again. When will the Board and its selectors get things right?