Selector sticks up for ousted wicketkeeper June 21, 2005

Carew: Stop making Browne a scapegoat

Courtney Browne: backed by Joey Carew © Getty Images
Joey Carew, convenor of the West Indies selection panel, does not believe dropped West Indies wicketkeeper-batsman Courtney Browne deserves the criticism he has been receiving. Browne, was not among the 13 players invited by the West Indies Cricket Board to sign match/tour contracts for the senior Sri Lanka tour. He was repleaced by Denesh Ramdin.

Carew, a former Trinidad and Tobago captain and West Indies batsman, said that Browne had become the scapegoat for West Indies' dismal performances in the recent home series against South Africa and Pakistan. "He dropped some very important catches during the course of the series, but his performance was no worst, and I shouldn't use worst, than anyone else," Carew told the Superior Saturday Sports programme on Q-FM. "I mean Ramnaresh Sarwan's performance with the bat was atrocious at times, while Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds did not bat consistently either. The point is that the top six batsmen are not doing what they are supposed to do and that is a problem. Whenever we lose, people tend to look for scapegoats. If Browne had taken some of the crucial catches, we could have won."

Carew is excited by the potential of Carlton Baugh, Jr, who has played a few Tests and one-day internationals, and Ramdin but he believes both need to work a little harder at their games. "They need a little bit more preparation and a little bit more coaching, and this leads me to make the point that the territories are not doing enough work with their cricketers," Carew said. "Baugh should be much more advanced, particularly with Jeffrey Dujon and Jackie Hendriks from his native Jamaica as top-class examples of West Indies wicketkeepers, and in Trinidad, Ramdin should be getting extensive coaching from David Williams, who was very competent, but there is the problem and the answer."

Carew described the captaincy of Shivnarine Chanderpaul as "encouraging, encouraging". "Any time you start a job like West Indies captain, you may start tentatively, but you are expected to grow in confidence," he said. "I think he is starting to do this. He carries a tremendous burden with the batting because whenever he went in to bat, we were three wickets down for under 100 runs, and he carried that burden well. I think he is learning well."

Carew also praised new West Indies coach Bennett King for the work ethic that he has been able to instill in the team. "I have always complained that we needed to improve the standard of our practice, and that has to be handed down to the territories," he said. "All in all, I think under Bennett we have taken a small step forward, and now let's hope that we can stride out."

Carew is not turned off by the criticisms that have been levelled at him and his fellow selectors because he felt that showed there was still interest in the game in the Caribbean. "Nobody likes a loser," he said. "We all like winners. We all want to win. We all want to see the West Indies win, and then we will also start to see the crowds returning to the games."