West Indies players choose club over country


THE West Indies (WI) tour to Bangladesh is a brief one. It consists of two Test matches and three One-Day Internationals. They start with a warm-up game on January18, which is next Monday, followed by the ODIs on January 20, 22 and 25.

At this time it’s common knowledge that the official captain of the ODI team will not be making the trip.

Although no reasons were advanced by Cricket West Indies (CWI) nor Kieron Pollard himself for his withdrawal from consideration, I believe it must be a case of burnout, not from the cricket but the constant “bubble” existence he’s been subjected to in the recent past.

The same goes for Jason Holder, the captain of the Test team, who has also withdrawn his availability from the Test series segment of the tour, which begins on February 3 and ends on February 15. There are two Tests, the first from 3-7, the other from 11-15.

CWI decided, when the coronavirus began its deadly journey worldwide last March, to forgive any of its players who were unwilling to tour because of fears of the disease. And quite rightly so, as it would be grossly unfair to allow a player to participate, if he or she would be worried about his or her health. This, plus having to live in an unsocial environment, especially in cricket, the most social of games.

After this offer was made, the first tour that WI were committed to was the one to England from June to August and three cricketers took up the offer to stand down: Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul.

After this tour the Caribbean Premier League was held in Trinidad and all the players were quarantined at a Port of Spain hotel for almost six weeks. Then the squad was chosen to tour New Zealand (NZ) and everyone was available.

After indifferent T20 performances and being beaten two-nil in a three-game (one game was rained out) series, WI moved on to challenge New Zealand in two Test matches. It was a disastrous rubber. WI were completely outplayed.

Melbourne Stars’ Nicholas Pooran. -

Although NZ cricket has improved considerably in the past 15 years through astute administration, they completely exposed the level to which WI have plunged in the last 25 years. When one observed the lacklustre approach of the losers, it convinced everyone of WI’s devastating fall from grace. One could not help but question if anyone cared or if it were just another day at the office.

After the trip and their return to base, one was left to speculate as to the next move by the West Indian administrators.

How come two of the most promising young batsmen, left-handers Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran, are participating in Australia’s Big Bash tournament, yet are unavailable to visit Bangladesh with the WI team?

I was under the impression that the only acceptable excuse recently for missing an official WI tour is for fear of the pandemic. However, Australia is also in the throes of the deadly virus. Moreover, players are subjected to lockdown, yet they decided they’re not going to Bangladesh?

I could understand the decision not to make that WI tour for fear of covid19, but how could a West Indian cricketer participate simultaneously in another country which is going through the same dangers of the pandemic, but not represent WI? Please let us know how this is possible. Players can dictate to CWI what trips they want to make and which to refuse?

This is not right. WI are paying these players a monthly stipend and, through empathy, gave them a choice whether to be selected or not, on the grounds of concern for their fears. Nonetheless, these same players turn around and decide to peddle their services elsewhere?

Who brought them to the fore? Who spent money on coaching, domestic leagues, overseas tours etc, to improve and develop their cricket?

All well and good to miss a tour for fear of the pandemic, but certainly not to entertain in another country’s tournaments, then refuse to represent the country to which is owed your rise to stardom; ironically, the reason for your very attraction to the other franchises.

Totally unfair. CWI has to look into this or they will have no cricketers in the future.

And they need to make a statement on why Shane Dowrich and Fabian Allen have withdrawn for personal reasons.


"West Indies players choose club over country"

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