Yet another player has been given a raw deal by the West Indies Cricket board after giving of their best and undying service to West Indies cricket.
When the Caribbean was unable to fulfill the coffers of the so called mother country and the islands started to become a liability, she dumped them one by one through giving them independence. Now the West Indies Cricket Board is using the same tactics with its players after providing yeomen service to the West Indies cricket team throughout the years and their usefulness as a player became questionable, they were all abruptly discarded surprisingly from the team.
One can go as far back as to Sir Garfield Sobers and a myriad of great players that have since followed him, with the latest being the former captain Darren Sammy.
It is not so much the dropping of a player, but the callous and meek manner that they were dispatched with from the team. Darren Sammy may not have been one of the greatest cricketers to play for the West Indies, but he was a great leader and team player, always giving of his best and that is 100 percent at all times.
A business cannot be successful unless it has a competent leader, the same goes for the West Indies cricket team. Sammy came into West Indies cricket at a time when it was on a downward slide and morale was low. He was able to help turn the team around and mold the team into a formidable competitive team.
Sammy did not deserve to be treated in the manner in which he was treated after achieving so much in bringing respectability back to the team internationally. Sammy did not select himself as captain of the West Indies team; it was trust upon him at a time when the team was down in the doldrums. Sammy’s place was always questionable as a player by the media and fans, some said that he was not good enough to make the team and that he was keeping Dwayne Bravo out of the team and some felt that because he was from one of the so called small islands that he should not have been captain.
A team is made up of 11 players and each player is supposed to pull his own weight, otherwise the team will not be balance and that has been the case of the West Indies team for years.
It can be said and the facts are there for all to see that Sammy have been one of the most successful captains since the 90’s era. Since his inclusion as captain, he has been one of the leading wicket takers if not the leading wicket taker. Recently, the West Indies coach finally came out after Sammy’s retirement and stated that there was an imbalance in the team and with Sammy retirement that that imbalance can now be corrected by including another fast bowler.
Last year, I suggested to Sammy amidst all the controversy to give up the captaincy of the test team after he was stripped of the One Day captaincy and put the ball in the board’s court of their selecting him as a player for the test team. The same advice that I gave to Sammy, I gave years ago to two of our greatest players, one was ceremoniously discarded after scoring a very, very big score and the other retired before the board got the opportunity to give him his walking papers, he smell the rat and bailed first.
A few weeks ago after Sammy was dropped as captain, I tweeted him and suggested to him, not advised, to retire from West Indies cricket and go and play IPL cricket and make some money and invest it wisely for his remaining cricketing years.
I also said to him, that he had the honour and privilege of captaining the West Indies cricket team and many a great player before him never had that honour or privilege and that nobody can take that away from him and that history will show that.
My advice to him now, I am not suggesting, since the board does not want him, to give up the captaincy of the 20/20 team and let the board decide if they want to retain him as a player, because he may be causing an imbalance in that form of the game also.
Social writer/ retired civil servant/former national athlete.
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