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Another PR let-down by WICB

As relieved as West Indian fans should be over the fighting five-wicket win by Jason Holder’s team in the third and final Test against Pakistan in Sharjah yesterday despite losing the series 2-1, the shabby way in which the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) dealt with disclosing two changes to the 15-man squad for the Tri-series in Zimbabwe this month cannot be swept under the carpet.

It was a nice feeling after West Indies registered their first away Test win since 2007 – excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe – when they defeated South Africa by 128 runs at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth under the captaincy of Chris Gayle.

Of the current side, batsman Marlon Samuels is the only survivor of that victory against South Africa.

Was Marlon Samuels dropped or has he withdrawn from the West Indies team?

Was Marlon Samuels dropped or has he withdrawn from the West Indies team?

There was also the great feat of Kraigg Brathwaite becoming the first opener to be unbeaten in both innings of a Test with scores of 142 and 60. The headline “Un-outable Brathwaite seals rare victory” carried on Cricinfo, was very catchy.

And it would have been a big relief for fast bowling all-rounder Jason Holder to register his first Test win in 12 matches as captain, as well as his first five-wicket haul (five for 30 in the second innings).

Yet, while we should not be carried away with the win and trust that the team can go from strength to strength, the WICB cannot escape criticism for its poor public relations yet again in pointing out that two changes had been made to the original ODI team which was named ever since October 12 for the series which embraces Zimbabwe, West Indies and Sri Lanka.

While the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) website stated reasons for fast bowler Miguel Cummins and wicket-keeper/batsman Shane Dowrich – both from Barbados – replacing Alzarri Joseph and Samuels in the squad, the WICB simply gave no reason.

Instead, in its Press release, which I received yesterday at 4:43 p.m., the only indication of the replacements came by way of the names of Cummins and Dowrich being highlighted in yellow with a dash beside them and the following words: “replaces Alzarri Joseph, replaces Marlon Samuels”.

Since October 24 at a BCA Press conference at Kensington Oval to announce the Barbados Pride squad for their opening round Digicel Regional first-class match against Leeward Islands Hurricanes in St. Kitts, starting November 11, the following was reported on the BCA website:

“But an immediate change is expected to be made to the Kevin Stoute-led side, as just after chairman of selectors Henderson Wallace announced the squad at a mid-day Press conference at Kensington Oval, it was revealed that Miguel Cummins, currently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the West Indies Test team for the three-match series against Pakistan, is to replace fellow fast bowler Alzarri Joseph in the regional team to tour Zimbabwe next month for a Tri-Nation One-Day International series.

“According to Conde Riley, the chairman of Cricket Franchise of Barbados Inc., and who is also a member of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Board of Management, as well as a WICB director, Joseph, who is in the UAE but has not played in the Test series against Pakistan, is to return to his native Antigua to be with his mother who is ill.”

Then again yesterday on the same website under the headline “BREAKING NEWS”, the following was reported in relation to Samuels withdrawing from the squad and being replaced by Dowrich.

“Veteran batsman Marlon Samuels has pulled out of the West Indies squad for the Tri-Nation One-Day International (ODI) series in Zimbabwe this month and will be replaced by gifted Test wicket-keeper/batsman Shane Dowrich of Barbados.

“Informed sources told BCAcricket.org that the 35-year-old Samuels, a veteran of 187 ODIs since his debut 16 years ago, did not sign his tour contract at the deadline for the series, which embraces Zimbabwe, West Indies and Sri Lanka.

“Samuels is also one of three current West Indies players who declined central contracts offered by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for the period 2016-17. The others are experienced batsman Darren Bravo and fast bowling all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite.

“Also with 71 Tests and 51 Twenty20 Internationals against his name, Jamaican Samuels has been in woeful form with the bat in Tests since May 2015, scoring only 470 runs with three half-centuries, at an average of 18.80.

“Dowrich, who celebrated his 25th birthday on October 30, has played eight Tests but is yet to make his ODI debut.

“He will now be the ninth Barbadian in the 15-man squad and the second to be drafted in over the past 11 days after Miguel Cummins replaced fellow fast bowler Alzarri Joseph.

“Joseph, who like Cummins, Samuels and Dowrich all played in the three-match Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, which ended today, is returning to his native Antigua to be with his mother, who is reportedly unwell.

“The other Barbadians in the squad are captain and fast bowling all-rounder Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, who is the West Indies T20 skipper, opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite, first choice wicket-keeper/batsman Shai Hope, who like Dowrich is yet to make his ODI debut, middle order batsman Jonathan Carter, left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn and off-spinner Ashley Nurse.

“Both Dowrich and Cummins had been named in the original Barbados Pride 13-man squad for the opening round Digicel Regional first-class match against Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Warner Park in St. Kitts, starting November 11.”

Now, here is what Cricinfo reported today under the headline: “WI bring in Dowrich, leave out Samuels”. “Following his heroic efforts in Sharjah, which helped West Indies to a rare away-Test win, wicket-keeper-batsman Shane Dowrich has been drafted into the ODI squad to play in the tri-series in Zimbabwe later this month. Fast bowler Miguel Cummins was also brought into the 15, with the two being left out at their expense being the experienced batsman Marlon Samuels and teenage fast bowler Alzarri Joseph”.

Such a story gives the impression that Samuels and Joseph were dropped from the squad when in fact, they both pulled out for contrasting reasons.

Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron, the WICB president, must understand that the release which came from the Board’s headquarters in Antigua is totally unacceptable.

There was absolutely no explanation as to why Samuels and Joseph were no longer in the squad.

Cameron and the public relations staff ought to be told in no uncertain way that the media and by extension the public deserve better. Such serious issues cannot be treated as though one is having a drink at a bar in Factory Road or Derrymore Road.

Keith Holder is a veteran, award-winning freelance sports journalist, who has been covering local, regional and international cricket since 1980 as a writer and commentator. He has compiled statistics on the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Division 1 (now Elite) championship for three-and-a-half decades and is responsible for editing the BCA website (www.bcacricket.org). Holder is also the host of the cricket Talk Show, Mid Wicket, on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation 100.7 FM on Tuesday nights.
Email:Keithfholder@gmail.com

10 Responses to Another PR let-down by WICB

  1. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner November 5, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Seriously why was Marlon Samuels not replace with a frontline batsman nothing against Shane Dowrich.

    Reply
  2. Alex Alleyne November 5, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Mr. Holder your time would be better spent if you try to explain to the public why S. HOPE was picked ahead of S. Dowrich and why is J. Carter in the squad.
    Just forget about WICB, we all know THE REGIONAL BOARDS ALL VOTE THUMBS UP FOR THE PREZ.

    Reply
  3. harry turnover November 5, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Keith Holder what are you REALLY trying to say? seems to me that what cricinfo said is the GOSPEL.

    Reply
  4. harry turnover November 5, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    correction….seems to you that what cricinfo said was gospel .

    Reply
  5. Hal Austin November 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I am not a cricket expert, but nine Barbadians out of a 15-person West Indies squad seems very wrong to me. This is going to end in tears. Someone ha got to stop this nonsense now.

    Reply
    • harry turnover November 5, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      If those 9 BAJANS are the ones WHO TOP THE LIST OF PERFORMERS for the past 2 to 3 years are you telling me that the UNDER PERFORMERS in those 2 to 3 years should be selected ??
      YOU need to stop that NONSENSE and head to cricinfo stats and see wha gine on.
      You is a BAJAN looking fa good name or wha ?

      Reply
  6. Donild Trimp November 5, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    This article makes no sense.

    “Joseph, who is in the UAE but has not played in the Test series against Pakistan, is to return to his native Antigua to be with his mother who is ill.”

    “Joseph, who like Cummins, Samuels and Dowrich all played in the three-match Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, which ended today, is returning to his native Antigua to be with his mother, who is reportedly unwell.”

    Journalistic nonsense.

    Reply
  7. lswiltshire November 6, 2016 at 9:40 am

    hal austin is an ass
    clearly he does not know any cricket history
    9/15 used to be consistently the norm for touring west indian cricket teams

    Reply
  8. Hal Austin November 6, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Mr Wiltsshire,
    Thanks for reminding me I know nothing about cricket history. I will draw to your attntion, just the posdt-war years of West Indies cricket, that there had been intens concerns about the appointment of people lik John Goddard and Gomez as team captain.
    When Frank Worrell became captain it was celebrated as the first black captain. Implicit in this argument, therefore, was that black cricketers were incapable of being captain, or were being kept out for non-cricketing reasons.
    Then there is the question of class. In the post-war years, certain school boys jointed Spartan on leaving school and certain ones joined Empire. I was an Empire supporter.
    I suggest you also look at the class history of the BCA and BCL if your only metric is cricketing ability and team selection. In Britain it was only in 1968 that we finished with Gentlemen and Players.
    In Barbados we also had Wanderers, Pickwick, YMPC, wetc whose members came from a certrain background. Nothing to do with cricketing ability.
    Then we had the moment of pressure from the Windward and Leeward islands pressing for their cricketers to be part of the West Indies team. Lots of Bajans objected at the time. Look how times have changed.
    Finally, fifty years ago, it was part of our national beliefs that a Barbadian team at full strength would beat the rest of the world. Do your research on the outcome of that Independence game.
    If you do not learn your history you are apt to repeat the same mistakes.
    A West Indies team must be representative of the West Indies. Just ask the Indians in Trinidad and Guyana if they think they are getting a fair chance.
    I am used to the foul-mouthed abuse from Barbadians; it does not intimidate me. Critical argument is another matter.

    Reply
  9. lswiltshire November 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    RE Mr Wiltsshire,
    Thanks for reminding me I know nothing about cricket history. I will draw to your attntion, just the posdt-war years of West Indies cricket, that there had been intens concerns about the appointment of people lik John Goddard and Gomez as team captain. SO WHAT? TELL US SOMETHING NEW

    When Frank Worrell became captain it was celebrated as the first black captain. Implicit in this argument, therefore, was that black cricketers were incapable of being captain, or were being kept out for non-cricketing reasons. SO WHAT? TELL US SOMETHING NEW

    Then there is the question of class. In the post-war years, certain school boys jointed Spartan on leaving school and certain ones joined Empire. I was an Empire supporter. SO WAS I. SO WHAT?

    I suggest you also look at the class history of the BCA and BCL if your only metric is cricketing ability and team selection. YOU ARE PREACHING TO THE CHOIR AND RECITING BASIC STUFF IN THE SAME LEAGUE AS “DAN IS THE MAN IN THE VAN”

    In Britain it was only in 1968 that we finished with Gentlemen and Players.
    INDEED. BUT WHAT HAS THAT TO DO WITH WEST INDIES CRICKET?

    In Barbados we also had Wanderers, Pickwick, YMPC, wetc whose members came from a certrain background. Nothing to do with cricketing ability.

    VERY TRUE. BUT THE BAJAN REPRESENTATIVES FROM THESE CLUBS WHO PLAYED FOR WEST INDIES TEAMS DESERVED THEIR PLACES. BTW THOSE SAME CLUBS STILL EXIST
    RE Then we had the moment of pressure from the Windward and Leeward islands pressing for their cricketers to be part of the West Indies team. Lots of Bajans objected at the time. Look how times have changed.

    THERE WAS NEVER PRESURE FROM THE WINDWARDS
    WHEN THERE WERE MANY LEWWARD ISLANER IN THE TEAM, THEY DESERVED TO BE THERE
    re Finally, fifty years ago, it was part of our national beliefs that a Barbadian team at full strength would beat the rest of the world. Do your research on the outcome of that Independence game.

    Don’t have to do any research here. I attended the game IN 1967. It was held in March and sponsored by Banks Barbados Breweries.YOU ARE AWARE THAT MOST OF THE PLAYERS WERE DRUNK AS THE GAME WAS PLAYED AROUND THE TIME OF THE DEATH OF SIR FRANK WORRELL?

    Re If you do not learn your history you are apt to repeat the same mistakes.
    ALL VERY SUCESSFUL WESTINDIES HAD IN MAMOSTLY BAJANS >>>>>>>>>GO LOOK IT UP

    Re A West Indies team must be representative of the West Indies. A WEST INDIES TEAM SHOULD INCLUDE THE BEST AVAILABLE PLAYERS
    Just ask the Indians in Trinidad and Guyana if they think they are getting a fair chance.
    WHO CARES
    Re Critical argument is another matter. YES SO SEE ABOVE MORON.

    Reply

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