FOLLOWING criticism of the West Indies team selected for the T20 World Cup over the past few weeks West Indies vice-captain Nicholas Pooran said players are placed in an uncomfortable position responding to questions about the squad. He is asking for positive energy leading up to the tournament which bowls off in the United Arab Emirates, on Sunday.
Defending champions West Indies will play their first match against England on October 23.
Fans, former players and the media have questioned the selection of many of the players.
The selection of Chris Gayle, 42, has created debate across the region. Many felt Darren Bravo did not deserve to be named as a travelling reserve and others said Jason Holder should have been chosen on the 15-man squad and not a reserve.
Sherfane Rutherford, Sunil Narine and Romario Shepherd could have been chosen according to some. Narine and Rutherford did not meet the fitness standard.
On Tuesday, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard was perturbed when asked about Bravo and Narine.
On Wednesday, Pooran was asked whether the players believe regional journalists are against them.
“To be honest you guys have your job to do and we have our job to do as well. If we flip the script a bit and we question you guys about your colleagues or whatever the case is it is an awkward position.
“We are not in a position to answer those questions. As Pollard would have said yesterday (Tuesday) everything is about positivity.
“We are very close to a tournament so we don’t want to be focusing on who is not here, why this guy here, who is not selected.”
Gayle lashed out at West Indies fast bowling legend Sir Curtly Ambrose earlier this week. Ambrose, speaking on the Mason and Guest radio show in Barbados, said Gayle is not an automatic pick in the starting XI.
“No, he is not an automatic choice for me. The few home series (West Indies) just played he had no scores of significance, and I have said before that if he did not do well in those home series he should not go to the World Cup,” Ambrose said.
“However, he will be at the World Cup, but for me he is definitely not an automatic choice for starting…if he gets it going on the day, he can be destructive, but he has not done much in the last 18 months or so to really make me think he will set the World Cup alight.”
Gayle was upset by Ambrose’s comments. Speaking to the Island Tea Morning Show in St Kitts on Tuesday, Gayle said, “I am finished with Curtly Ambrose. I have no respect, any time I see him I will tell him as well – stop being negative, support the team ahead of the World Cup.”
Gayle also asked, “Why can’t our own support us in a big tournament like this?”
Pooran said the team is one week away from a “big tournament” and the focus is “trying to win.”
He said the Cricket West Indies selectors, led by Roger Harper, are fit to answer questions about who was chosen.
“Whoever is selected that is up to the selectors, the chairman of the selectors. They can answer those questions, we as players that is not our job.”
WEST INDIES SQUAD
Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jnr
Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein