West Indies in England 2012 May 21, 2012

Sammy leaves Gayle door ajar

ESPNcricinfo staff

West Indies' captain Darren Sammy did nothing to quash the theory after his side's defeat at Lord's that Chris Gayle should be invited to strengthen his side in the rest of the Test series against England, as well as the one-day matches that follow.

Gayle's involvement in IPL is over after Royal Challengers Bangalore were eliminated from the tournament and such has been his troubled relationship with the WICB that any emergency dash to the UK in time to play in one or both of the remaining two Tests seems hard to imagine.

But Sammy refused to close the door on the possibility after West Indies' five-wicket defeat against England at Lord's put them 1-0 down in the series, suggesting that both he and the coach, Ottis Gibson, would be content to accommodate Gayle's late arrival.

"Whatever happens outside this squad takes its own course," Sammy told Sky Sports. "Whoever comes in we will welcome them into the team and hopefully they will help. It is up to the selectors to select the team.

"I think Chris has said he is available for Test cricket, one-day cricket and T20 so it is up to the selectors. We have been having some difficulties at the top of the order and if he comes in we would all welcome him, myself, Ottis and all the guys."

One change West Indies will consider for the second Test at Trent Bridge on Friday, and one which needs no political machinations, is the inclusion of Shane Shillingford, the Dominican who took ten wickets in his last Test, against Australia on his home ground in Roseau in April.

Shillingford, according to Sammy, had been omitted at Lord's partly because he could not cope with the cold weather - and with higher temperatures forecast in the build-up to Trent Bridge that could change.

"Shane was experiencing a bit of difficulty gripping the ball but in the course of this Test match he has done some work and hopefully his fingers will be warm enough and ready for him to play for us in the next match," Sammy said. "He played a crucial role in the last series and once he is ready to master the cold we will have him in."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roo on May 24, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    @Godfrey Pieters... I commented a number of times on this subject (as have others) - biggest problem for WI's cricket happened in the 90's when large numbers of youth took up basketball in preference to cricket... The WICB knew this (& made public comments) but didn't instigate any strong countermeasures... Combine that with a relatively low population base & political jealousy, then the outlook doesn't look rosy... The biggest problem is the WICB itself - needs to be professionally run & independent from governments... Wouldn't hurt to look at what Oz cricket has gone through in the last 12 mths & bitten the bullet to make Oz cricket & its performance the no.1 focus...

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    I am big fan of West Indies cricket for the 27 years since I know myself. However the windies cricket has improve over the last 12 weeks but the top three batsman are failing to make runs.with no runs made they are costing WI cricket games.something need to be done and done fast.I think one of the openers have to go and give room for someone else. I think Sammy would make a good captain for the future of the WI, but he need to use the reviews system no matter whats the outcome.The results is out or not out. The game was made for the umpires to fule so that cannot change. No reviews left the game will still go on. keep up the good work WI.

  • Bob on May 24, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    For those who think Gayle would save the Windies..I suggest you study his TEST stats a little more closely... His overall average is a not too impressive 41.65... In 159 innings he's only scored between 50 and 100 runs in 33 (21%) of his innings and he's only scored a 100 or more in 13 (less than 9%) of his innings. In other words on average he'll be out for less that 50 just over 71% of the time.. Bring him on I say...

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    @ Meety; U have the general idea. And yes I do support the A-side tour idea,that would also help. I'm all for what will help WI cricket.

  • Anupam on May 24, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    now gayle is in the team result will be same but fans will shout bring sarwan, bravo in the team WI fought very bravely after that wi will again loose. WI IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR TEST this is the truth beliv it or not.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    gayle and narine shud play, atleast narine can win 2 test matches, he will remove everyone before all reads him

  • Andrew on May 24, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    @Godfrey Pieters - its basically a cricketing generation ago that the WI were last a force in cricket & most cricket fans know that world cricket would be richer with a strong WI. Oz often have A-series in the top end of Oz during the winter, can't remember the last time I saw a WI A-side tour here! I actually think the IPL could be a benefit to the WIndies LONG TERM. Correct me if I am wrong, but cricket is a poor cousin to US pro-sports? ASSUMING IPL is here to stay, WI players are in high demand, therefor the money available in a career in cricket will increase, making cricket more flavoursome compared to other sports. Therefor BETTER athletes will choose cricket more often. The trick for the WICB (not sure if they are capable of this), is to get International scheduling for tours & home series AWAY from the IPL window. I know Hurricane season is an impediment, but surely there are other opportunities? If so, WICB can co-exist & then field the BEST playing XI AVAILABLE!

  • Andrew on May 24, 2012, 0:19 GMT

    @Godfrey Pieters - Know what you are saying, that being said the ECB can set whatever quotas they like - it's their comp. Ozzy players used to treat the County scene as a finishing school & we also don't have the same exposure we once had. Regarding your players growth, I would say the first thing the WICB needs to do, is get the pitches sorted out. Too many low slow variable bounce pitches (based on Oz's last tour). Variety is key, atm none of your youngsters (batsmen) seem capable of consistantly averaging 40+ in a season, & most of the leading wicket takers are spinners, (great if you are only playing in Asia). Although a side was just named - I don't think the WIB send many A-sides around the world. In terms of sending young WI players to "leagues" in Oz & SA, I assume you mean FC cricket. I would say it would be almost impossible for a young WI cricketer to play Shield cricket in Oz, but they COULD gain a lot playing in Sydney or Melbourne Grade cricket. TBC

  • Dummy4 on May 23, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    A few suggestions to an earlier comment. Since we r not going to get a WI cricket league in a hurry, I would like to suggest the foll. 1.The WICB negotiate on behalf of our young players for some of them to play in the SA & AUSSIES leagues. And for them to play some form of league cricket in ENG. 2. The WICB can scout around those same leagues in an effort to identify promising players that r eligible to represent WI, like in the case of Nash, & before Greenidge. Some more suggestions will be welcomed.

  • Dummy4 on May 23, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    There is an irony to what is happening to WI cricket. The very ENG we r playing r largely responsible for the deterioration of WI cricket. And I am not saying this in a negative way, since every cricket Board has to protect its cricket. When the ENG put a limit to the amt of o/seas players in the county arena, WI cricket suffered a great deal. 4 things became absent,1. exposure, 2.top level coaching,3. discipline & 4. professionalism. All vital to the development of a cricketer. What we have is a group of ordinary players playing among themselves at the regional level, with no improvement in sight. Those players r then selected to represent the WI & we expect a miracle. With a few exceptions, our players r do their apprenticeship at the test level, so what do u expect. And yes, who to blame? THE WICB.

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