–ahead of T20 World Cup
By Neil Kumar
AS the West Indies are trying desperately to put together a team to play in the T20 World Cup, which is only two months away, the selectors and the administrators are in deep trouble.
Phil Simmons, the head coach is certainly quite lost. He is a total failure. Phil Simmons is the person who made bad choices in guiding the preparation for the West Indies team. It was Simmons who decided that Shimron Hetmyer was not fit for selection while he selected Rahkeem Cornwall to play in the West Indies team, just to mention one of his bad selections. We cannot have a coach who cannot communicate with the players. Simmons recent outburst that ‘we can’t beg people to play for the West Indies,’ is utter nonsense. As a leader and particularly a head coach he must be able to communicate with the players and win their respect.
The Caribbean people are waiting to hear why the West Indies Captain, Kieron Pollard, dropped a bombshell when he walked away from the West Indies team. Simmons mouthing that Andre Russell hasn’t made himself available for selection and saying that the status of Sunil Narine is a mystery, should follow with his resignation. Evin Lewis and Oshane Thomas, along with several other players such as Fabian Allen and Chanderpaul Hemraj are players who the selectors must keep a watchful eye on.
It is indeed sad to know that the West Indies will have to play in the first round matches so as to qualify to play in Super 12 of this year T 20 World Cup. The West Indies humiliation against India and now struggle against New Zealand is a poor reflection of the Team.
The West Indies is unable to put together core players in the team. The Coach cannot name the possible opening batsmen. And the top order along with the middle-order batting is also difficult to name. The bowlers are also not certain of their place in the team.
Fielding is getting more important and the superb fielding of the likes of Hetmyer is indeed most encouraging. The West Indies selectors must identify the core players and let them play together to build much-needed team spirit. Time is not on the West Indies side and it is necessary for the West Indies cricket administrators to get down to serious business and build a possible winning team.
Nicholas Pooran, Shmiron Hetmyer and Shai Hope, along with some good all-rounders could put enough runs on the board for the bowlers to bowl at. However, Pooran must be the wicket-keeper. The player’s confidence must be in their team spirit. This year Caribbean Premier League CPL will bring out the best from our players and expectations are sky-high that our cricketers will be at their best. The support for cricket in the Caribbean is most encouraging and our administrators must be objective and pro-active.