… wants new-look squad for Sri Lankan tour
TORONTO, Canada – The West Indies selectors should follow the lead of their Jamaican counterparts and strip Chris Gayle of the captaincy of the regional side. This is the view of veteran West Indies cricket commentator Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira who is also in favour of a new-look squad for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka in November.
While stopping short of naming a successor, Perreira, however, posited that the robust left-handed opener should still maintain his place in the Caribbean lineup.
Here to launch his book ‘Living My Dreams’, Reds felt Gayle should have been relieved of the captaincy during last year’s tour of England following his controversial interview with The Guardian.
Arriving in England just two days before the start of the first Test between England and the West Indies, following his IPL stint in South Africa, Gayle reportedly told the newspaper he does not want to skipper the West Indies team anymore and that it wouldn’t be sad if Test cricket died out.
According to Reds, vice-captain Dinesh Ramdin should have been handed the captaincy role since he was more suited to take over the reins then but has slipped badly rendering his place in the side in jeopardy.
Acknowledging that appointing a new captain would not be an easy task, Reds disclosed that Guyanese Ramnaresh Sarwan should have been the ideal person but after he returned from injury, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) made a mistake by not reappointing him when he was Brian Lara’s vice-captain and was understudying the world record-holder.
“I am forced to think that Sarwan is still a better option but he has not demonstrated that kind of discipline recently and seemed to have lost interest. I also feel he’s guilty of not really applying himself and hasn’t worked as hard as he should have …”
Recounting Sarwan’s entry into the West Indies team, Reds said, “When we first saw the talented right-hander against Pakistan, most people, including former England captain Ted Dexter, thought here was another Rohan Kanhai.
“He hasn’t lived up to that billing and has fallen far below his potential and also has a major fitness problem.”
Another contender, Dwayne Bravo, who ‘Reds’ opined should have led the West Indies in the One-day series in Australia after Gayle had done so in the Test series, has also lost favour with the dynamic commentator.
“I have had to rethink my position on Dwayne Bravo as I am not so sure where he is headed. I am also not sure where is his focus. I am not sure what he’s really interested in. You get the impression that he’s more keen in Twenty20 than playing Test cricket …”
Speaking on the composition of the squad for Sri Lanka, Reds called for a reshaping. “We’ve got to move on from the majority of the present players. We should see a new-look side similar to what happened when we went to India, under Clive Lloyd, in 1974. That was an investment in the future and it paid off.
“We must look to players like Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo and Andre Russell and some of the players who did well on the ‘A’ team tour of England.
Pointing out that Shivnarine Chanderpaul is still vital to West Indies Test make-up, Reds said the WICB needs to give Shiv’s career an opportunity to last as long as possible, hence he should only concentrate on Test matches and forget about One-day Internationals and Twenty20 cricket.
Off-spinner Shane Shillingford, who made his Test debut against South Africa “brings an attacking flair to our bowling and should be pursued after being overlooked for quite sometime while injuries to fast bowlers Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor, who have been in and out of the team, have been major setbacks. We however need to look beyond Ravi Rampaul,” Reds noted.
Reds doesn’t favour the inclusion of middle-order batsman Kieron Pollard in the squad to Sri Lanka since “he’s still to prove that he’s suited to the longer version of the game.”
“I am also disappointed that he didn’t go on the ‘A’ team tour of England since this would have improved his batting. He’s saying that he wants to play at the highest level but yet he decides to go where the money is better.”
Reds disagrees with those who felt that Pollard should have been given a retainer contract by the WICB, pointing out that “a retainer contract must be based on performance and I don’t think he has performed well enough at the first class level to earn one.”
On Marlon Samuels, who recently returned to the Jamaican side following a two-year ban from the game, Reds thinks his re-entry into the West Indies side shouldn’t be automatic and he needs to play far more cricket before he’s considered for selection.
With this in mind, “I don’t see him going to Sri Lanka. Samuels’ attitude towards the game is also a mitigating factor,” Reds declared.
… wants new-look squad for Sri Lankan tour