West Indies news April 26, 2011

'Tried exceedingly hard to reach out to Gayle' - Hilaire

ESPNcricinfo staff

WICB chief Ernest Hilaire has said the board worked "exceedingly hard" to reach out to Chris Gayle before leaving him out of the West Indies squad for the first two one-dayers against Pakistan. Hilaire's statements were in response to Gayle, who had earlier said the board hadn't communicated with him before making their decision. Gayle is currently playing in the IPL, where he started off his 2011 campaign with a sparkling ton for Royal Challengers Bangalore, while West Indies are down 0-2 in the five-match series against Pakistan.

"We can dispel all that Chris [Gayle] said by releasing the letters and emails," Hilaire told the Line & Length Network. "But we should not do that. You communicate with a player, you ask for his opinions, you ask for him to account on certain statements he made, you ask him what's his position on certain things and you expect to be treated with a certain degree of confidence.

"You expect when the coach pulls a player aside and speaks to him there is a certain level of respect for that conversation. And against that background I'm not going to try to prove Chris Gayle wrong. What's more important is to state that we're very disappointed in the way in Chris has decided to respond. I think he is being ill-advised. We've worked exceedingly hard to reach out to Chris - numerous attempts - letters, phone calls, emails. He is being advised and he will act in the way in which he sees best."

Hilaire revealed that the WICB had decided to allow Gayle to play in the IPL, since it did not want to deny him the opportunity. "We've stated - it is not that we do not want the players to earn a living," Hilaire said. "We want them to earn a living but we also want them to honour their commitment to West Indies cricket. So we spoke to [Kieron] Pollard, [Dwayne] Bravo and Chris.

"Last October when the three players did not sign the retainer contracts, we wrote to them and said 'tell us what the issues are so we can address it moving forward'," Hilaire said. "We had some exchanges, a couple of constructive ones, one not very constructive but we decided we were going to continue to engage the players. We did not want a situation where we pick the players to play for West Indies and they miss out on IPL, they are then bitter, disappointed, they wish they were at IPL. We would not benefit, they would not benefit.

"Two of the players [Pollard and Bravo] were very cooperative, very supportive, that they can work out an arrangement with us where they can meet their commitments to West Indies cricket as far as the selectors would want them to but also get a chance to play in the IPL.

"It did not exactly work out with Chris but when the point came and he said he was not available for selection, we did give him the NOC because it is not about revenge, it is not about denying him the opportunity."

Pollard, normally a first-choice pick in West Indies' limited-overs' squads, is currently playing in the IPL for Mumbai Indians. Bravo, who missed all but one game in the World Cup with injury, is playing for West Indies, but is set to miss the Test leg of the Pakistan tour to play in the IPL.

"It did not exactly work out with Chris, but when the point came and he said he was not available for selection, we did give him the NOC because it is not about revenge, it is not about denying him the opportunity."
Ernest Hilaire

Hilaire said the board was under the impression that Gayle was undergoing rehabilitation, and would be available to play Pakistan once he was fully fit. "We said to Chris repeatedly that as far as we are concerned you're injured, you're doing a rehabilitative programme, and that when you're finished we want you tested and if you're available we'll pick you to play for West Indies," Hilaire said. "If you don't want to play we have no difficulty in giving you the NOC once you say you're not available for selection, and he said he was not available for selection and we gave him the NOC.

Hilaire defended the wholesale changes in the side - apart from Gayle, other seniors like Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul have also been left out - saying it was done with the intention of sparking a revival in the team's fortunes.

"If you look at West Indies cricket since the mid-90s a lot of the systems we had in place broke down," Hilaire said. "There's no discipline, there's no application. We've been doing that for 15 years and we've been losing.

"We need to put a new system in place. No one man is bigger than the team, no one man is such a superstar he can decide if he is training today, if he's going to have treatment tomorrow, if he's going to attend a team meeting. It cannot work that way.

"So [the WICB] does not tell the selectors who to pick, we've said to the selectors that we want a team, we don't want the whole team to surround one or two superstars so that if the superstars fail then everything collapses. We depend on two or three people to excel for us to win and if they don't excel we lose. We don't want that."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Huzaifah on April 30, 2011, 19:16 GMT

    As a neutral, I have no idea who's side to take on this issue. The WICB seriously lack professionalism if they let their emotion influence a decision on the teams selection. Honestly, the only impression I get when I see these statements is the board trying to convince everyone that their the good guys. I dont know about Gayle, but the decision to drop Chanderpaul didnt make sense. Even Pakistan took Misbah along for the tour and he's the reason Pakistan secured the series with 2 games to spare. A senior batsman in the middle order is the reason why WI only bat well for small periods that are VERY few and far in between.

  • Jo-Ann on April 29, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    Coming from a small island state, some of the players that have been selected are considered as part time players. How can we develop cricket if the sport is not taken seriously? We have a few matches played and that is it until the next season. No grooming of players. Some past WI cricketers comment about IPL but are they not the same ones who played English county cricket and cashed in?

  • Jo-Ann on April 29, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    WICB YOU CAN'T EAT YOUR CAKE AND HAVE IT. What about the 10% of the signed contracts that you receive from the players. How much have you cashed in? After all WICB omitted those guys. Please answer why are they performing in the IPL and not in the team? Something is fishy. After all Gayle has financial commitments just as the officials. OH by the way he got the last laugh.

  • Jo-Ann on April 29, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Something has to be definitely wrong. Can you blame the players totally? Management has a big contribution the lack of motivation in West Indies Cricket today. If players are not respected how can we expect them to perform? According to Michael Holding, the WICB said they wanted young blood but the spinner Martin is 29 years old. Is this young? Is not Sarwan about the same age? The selectors and coach Gibson have omitted the two best players players of spin in the name of Chanderpaul and Sarwan and they expect the inexperienced players players to stand up to the likes of Afridi and Ajmal? If we follow carefully Gayle only went to IPL when Dirk Nannes the Austrailian player got injured. He had already committed himself to play for WI and that is why he was not auctioned initially. But WICB omits those players who would be playing for WI, gave them NOC and then states that they are disappointed. WICB receives 10% of the contract sum of players who have signed IPL contracts.

  • Chintan on April 28, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    i feel pity for WI cricket... they have dropped and snubbed their best cricketers... if u want to build the team, u need to have some solid experienced players around which the youngsters can be groomed... i dont see any fault of chanders, gayle and sarvan cause the other players were not that good. WI selectors and board have snubbed gayle, and now he has scored a 100 in ipl... chanders is like a "wall" of WI, and sarvan is master crafter... and now the result is showing in the recent series... the performance of WI in world cup was not that bad which merits these harsh selection policy. they should have persisted with the same team... but one thing which needs to be changed is the captain... whats the role of sammy? he is not that good batsman, and he dosent take 1-2 wickets per match which merits his selection....

  • Marsha on April 28, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Hilaire and the WICB are all INCOMPETENT. All the things that Hilaire has said make no sense because he has given the selectors the right to leave out important people from the team (last paragraph). What he has said gives them permission plain and simple. The WICB also has a problem with wording their statements because IF they wanted Gayle to play they should have told him that when he is finished with the programme that we are going to test you and if you are fit we want you to play for us and that's it. Giving him the NOC just shows they DO NOT want him. I think everybody knows the WICB has their ways of getting rid of people they don't want; ask Desmond Haynes. Chanderpaul should sue them for slander if they dont retract the statements because they do include him. No one has mentioned Sarwan. As for Pollard who is a "first pick for limited overs", only a SHEEP (Hilaire) would say that seeing the man was not even in the squad. STUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPSE.

  • Suraj on April 28, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    Interesting article posted in Guyana Kaieteur News http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2011/04/28/chanderpaul-responds-to-reported-allegations-of-indiscipline/

  • Jawad A Malik on April 28, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    Sorry Sir

    Can't Believe on you story.Its not possible that you try to contact to Gayle and you are not successful to do this.

    You can even communicate him through D.Bravo.Every body knows Bravo have excellent relationship with Gayle............

    Sir please stop this kind of politics which badly effect WI Team..... Players have no other choice except IPL. If Wi play with best side they easily defeat any team.Gayle or Bravo announced as Cpt and there is no place for Sammy even as player.

    Best current side must be Gayle,Simmons,Bravo,Sarwan,Sammules/Nash,Bravo,Pollard,Flacther (Wk),Taylor,Edwards,Roach,Bishoo (Please take some positive steps and don't play with feelings of Fans)

  • Rajesh on April 28, 2011, 3:38 GMT

    Ok, so Gayle is supposed to sit at home and watch WI lose when he could be on a glamorous team, get tons of fans, make money, and have fun. Makes no sense. Gayle was the best batsman on the team by far and they left him out. No wonder Pollard would rather play in Mumbai.

  • Dummy4 on April 28, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    gayle a my hero any team he play for i will watch, u people need to remember alot of things this guy do for the wi, he make triple centry, he carry his bat throu a innings against aus ect if u cheaq is stats he maybe as good as some of the past greats that team that he get when he was captain not even clive loyde r viv can make them win leave the man alone hilier cause u cant walk in his shoe

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