Young people denied the chance to develop in the West Indies T20 team
THE BAD news is that on the T20 leaderboard calendar, the West Indies (WI) T20 team is ranked 10th out of the top 12 international cricket teams in the world.
The good news is that they have 15 home games between June and August to correct this imbalance. The opposition, in order of contestation, is South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.
To get an idea of where we stand, the three elements above are in front of us. Ireland, the new neighborhood children, is behind; and Zimbabwe too. It is interesting to note that in front of WI, Bangladesh is ninth and Afghanistan seventh. Sri Lanka are eighth but were beaten 2-1 by WI in a three-game series most recently in Antigua, but not convincingly.
WI were the champions in 2012 and 2016, both times under the encouraging and confident leadership of Darren Sammy. In his speech after the final in 2016, he sharply criticized West Indies Cricket President Wycliffe “Dave” Cameron. Unsurprisingly, it was Sammy’s end in WI cricket.
At present, WI has appointed a team of players to prepare for another T20 World Cup (WC), the 2021 in India, if the pandemic loosens its grip on that country. The irony is that the competition was supposed to have been played in Australia in October 2020, but was canceled due to the rampant spread of covid19 Down Under.
Therefore, he was transferred to India, which the cricket administrators requested. Once the change of location was agreed upon, the condition of the Australian virus improved, but now the Indian subcontinent is riddled with disease. There is only hope of knowing if a tournament of this magnitude can still take place.
Nonetheless, participating teams must continue to prepare while wishing for a positive outcome. Roger Harper, the main selector for the WI teams, met with his assistant Miles Bascombe, as well as coach Phil Simmons and chose 18 players to train for the visit of the three teams from overseas .
The first will be South Africa, which will challenge WI in five T20 matches starting June 26 and ending July 3. It will take place in Granada.
A week later, Australia will honor the shores of Saint Lucia, July 9-16, for five more games.
Then, after just 11 days, they will face the Pakistanis in five more matches from July 27 to August 3 in Barbados and Guyana.
It’s 15 days of T20 cricket nearby. This is a chance for valuable match training against opponents with a higher ranking index. It will be an excellent preparation for the T20 WC 2021.
It will require fit players who can line up anywhere with speed, clean bottom work in the pickups and safe hands to take catches. It makes a huge difference. Fielding is a real indication of how strong a T20 side is, as it’s obviously about saving runs, not giving batsmen a chance, throwing them out by moving quickly to get under the holds, or making a runout.
In addition, the build-up of focus is an absolute necessity for batsmen and bowlers, as well as the vigor to run between the wickets by all batsmen.
I disagree with the selectors in some of their choices. Fidel Edwards bowling is not suitable for the T20 game and it has never been successful in this format internationally.
When he was picked to play Sri Lanka recently in Antigua, I thought it was experimental, albeit weird. His two-game bowling numbers were a wicket for 48 runs in six overs. It was abandoned for the third. The experiment failed.
Nevertheless, he was picked again, Edwards, at 39, lost his effectiveness in international cricket.
Then there is Chris Gayle. He will be 42 in September.
His alignment is pathetic. He is slow and needs special positions to be aligned. His race between the wickets is uncertain due to his lack of speed. His scores in the recent T20s with Sri Lanka were duck, 16 (16 balls) and 13 (20 balls). Gayle had his best. The experiment failed.
Dwayne Bravo, 38 in October, is clearly not up to the international competition. Against Sri Lanka, his performances were therefore – at bat: six points in 20 balls, bowling: in 12 overs he won three wickets for 82 points. The experiment failed.
Comparatively, Andre Russell is only 33 years old, but has serious injury issues; and so has the above, a real drawback.
It is a pity that promising young people have not had the opportunity to develop their cricket.