West Indies in New Zealand 2013-14 December 29, 2013

Internal strife pulling West Indies down

West Indies cricket has endured some low points in the last two decades, but the discord between the team, visible on the tour to New Zealand, is perhaps the biggest challenge for the side
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West Indies cricket has repeatedly endured horrific times over the past two decades.

None have been more ruinous than the latest strife, on and off the field, that has engulfed the most recent trial - the back-to-back tours of India and New Zealand, now mercifully drawing to its end.

The results have been dreadful enough - defeat in both Tests in India by an innings inside three days, in one of the three in New Zealand by a similar margin; another by eight wickets just after lunch on the fourth day. The solitary draw was as much due to the weather as their dogged second-innings revival.

These were compounded by the International Cricket Council's suspension of the one wicket-taking bowler, Shane Shillingford, for the second time because of his illegal action.

A solitary ODI victory in India was little consolation; last Thursday's in the first of five in New Zealand was compromised by Marlon Samuels' wrist injury that ended his involvement, another key player to add to the absentee list of Chris Gayle, Kemar Roach and Kieron Pollard, all unfit.

Even more disturbing was the internal discord revealed in the comments by the two captains on tour, by the coach and by the manager.

Friday's withdrawal from the tour of Darren Bravo, the established No. 3, "for personal reasons", added to the intrigue, although it would have to be extremely urgent for him to quit at a time when his brother is captain.

Nothing so undermines any organisation - more especially a sporting team losing heavily in a distant land - than disharmony. It was a charge levelled by Dwayne Bravo once he was in New Zealand to take over from Darren Sammy as captain of the ODI team, with Test captain Sammy now under him.

"Before we played the game, I really stressed on unity as the team was lacking in that lately, and hence the reason why we have been playing so poorly," he said.

Whether intended or not, it was an indictment of the leadership of Sammy, head coach Ottis Gibson and team manager Richie Richardson.

It also amounted to a dismissal of the relevance of the laid-back, expensive week-long "Elite Team Tour" in Florida prior to departure for India that board president Dave Cameron saw as an exercise aimed at creating "a culture of unity, winning and overall success". Certainly Bravo observed no "culture of unity" as a result.

Before Bravo's comments, Richardson spoke of indiscipline among the players, as manager surely a matter for which he is responsible, while Sammy and Gibson were at odds over what the repercussions from the overall debacle would be.

In a wide ranging interview on New Zealand radio, Richardson declined to blame the players for everything.

"You have to blame the system," he said. "If people are allowed to do certain things and get away with it then, you can't blame them. It's tough for me; that's not what I'm accustomed to."

He spelt out what he was accustomed to during his years on one of the most committed, disciplined West Indies team in the 1980s.

"As soon as you get on the (bus), you need to be ready," he said. "The opposition needs to know you're serious and ready for business. You put on your game face and you're ready for action, ready for business, ready to work, ready to go to war." It bothered him "when you see guys hang around the changing room at the ground, doing nothing, like they're still back at the hotel room".

It was the authority he commands, as a former West Indies captain with 86 Tests to his name, that presumably influenced the WICB to appoint him manager to deal with such indifference. Instead, he chose to simply blame the system.

The most pertinent comment out of the whole sorry mess was Sammy's - "We cannot continue like this". It is a no-brainer. "There are tough decisions to be made by the coach and the director of cricket (Richard Pybus)," he acknowledged. "Some careers are on the line, could be mine as well, you never know."

As coach, Gibson's position is clearly as tenuous as Sammy's; he sees it somewhat differently.

"When you've just lost a series, and the way we've lost, emotions run high and people start talking about careers being on the line and it's a bit premature," he told the media after the third Test defeat in Hamilton. "We can get home, let the dust settle and assess where we are. We can come up with a plan, but also decide who the right personnel are."

In the end, it is up to the selection panel to decide on the "right personnel"; it is by no means premature for the present trio to be replaced.

Their complacency after four years was palpable in their decision to pick the identical squad for New Zealand as was thrashed in India. Chadwick Walton, in the redundant role of reserve wicketkeeper, has not played a Test or an ODI in either, Sheldon Cottrell was not called on in the three Tests in New Zealand, Shannon Gabriel in one.

Chairman Clyde Butts and Robert Haynes are in New Zealand, where they can observe the contrasting conditions and opposition in the two countries. Unfortunately, it's too late.

The ramifications from a similarly disastrous tour of New Zealand 13 years ago may be instructive at this time.

West Indies were then beaten in both Tests, by nine wickets in four days in the first (after ending the first day 282 for 1) and by an innings in four days in the second; they also lost all five ODIs.

On return to the Caribbean, Brian Lara resigned as captain and took a complete break from the game, stating that "after two years, the moderate success and devastating failure that has engulfed West Indies cricket has brought me to the realisation that there is need for me to withdraw from my present leadership position".

He was replaced by Jimmy Adams for the home series against Pakistan; the venerable Clive Lloyd, disenchanted with limitations on his role, quit as manager, a position that went to Ricky Skerritt; Sir Viv Richards, then interim coach, was supplanted by Roger Harper; Dennis Waight, the admired, long-serving trainer/physio, retired after more than 20 years.

"These are traumatic times for the West Indies," Lloyd said at the time. "There are a lot of things wrong at the moment."

Not much has changed in the interim. They hardly will now but, as Sammy observes, "We cannot continue like this".

Tony Cozier has written about and commentated on cricket in the Caribbean for nearly 50 years

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Akoben on January 4, 2014, 23:06 GMT

    Here we go again!! While alot of what has been said (including by the knowledgable Mr Cozier) I do not see or hear any tangible solutions. Sack Gibson. Sack Sammy. Divide the region. In my humble opinion these are all weak reactions. One thing I do believe is that the tenures of the board should be electable on a yearly basis for the time being. Why? Because those whose 'heart & soul' is in the region will focus on the job in hand. Those out for themselves and who attempt to position themselves unaccountable will not see any long term financial benefit. The next solution I propose is that the home support boycott all home matches (whether Test, ODI, T20 or CPL) until the board make themselves available for an open panel meeting the 'real' support groups of WI cricket, the fans. Let the WICB sit in front of the fans and firstly state that THEY are responsible for the current state, and not hide in their respective executive boxes. Then, we begin the process to rebuild...

  • on January 3, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    it is perfect time for west indies team step down from international cricket and play with india-A team,aussie-A team and SA-A team...

  • O.R.S.C.A. on January 2, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    SIMPLE,SIMPLE, SIMPLE, NO Gibson equals to improvement.

  • delboy on January 2, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    The present system is broken one possible solution is for T&T to break away. Recruit and build the structure needed for the future. I suggest T&T as it holds its own in the champions trophy, has more 'marketable' professionals and can easily recruit at grassroots. Once such a structure is in place it the replaces the current outdated system.

  • Mayfield on January 1, 2014, 21:39 GMT

    A lot of folks are blaming Otis Gibson for the WI problems. Some are saying that the problem stems from not including certain players, and that those players could have been used to build the team around. Well the players mentioned, all senior players, were part of the losing that was going on for years. I can bet that those same players are the ones that Richardson and others referenced when they talk about the lack of pressionalism and work ethic. Gayle, Sarwan, Samuels and Dwane Bravo should have been the ones along with Chanderpaul driving this team and setting the professionalism and work ethic for the younger players coming in. I can assure you if they were, the WI team would be in a much better position. Instead, what do you have? Players that do not take their profession seriously enough to put in the hard work that's necessary to achieve success. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. IT IS NOT GIBSON.

  • Ethel on January 1, 2014, 11:37 GMT

    I said after the first year that Gibson started his coaching that he is not a coach. Absolutely nothing has improved. As a matter of fact, Gibson, the politician, has made the situation worst than when he started.I remembered what he tried to do to Gayle, chanderpaul and sarwan. He could have used these guys to build a better W.I team. Even Sammy is turning against him. When are you going to save face by resigning Gibson? Of course you are not the only problem but you have to go first and then the selectors.

  • on January 1, 2014, 0:22 GMT

    Gibson walked in Fired players that Ave. over 40 in all formats ... Sarwan, Chander, Gayle, Etc. He choose players with no of limited first class experience. After Deonarine completed a full A Team tour of India He dropped Deonarine from India first Test. He told Deonarine he is selected but on playing probation....never heard of that. Gibson Get real.

  • daygoue on December 31, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    This is a very sad time for our cricket, growing up it was almost impossible for WI to lose but now it is as hard for us to win a game. what is going on with our cricket. many people are blaming the coach, captain, sectlors. but it is the guys who are payed thousands refuse to get the job done. let us face the facts if you are paying a man to do a job for you will you keep on paying him if he is not doing the job. this so call stars are so terrible at their job it is unbelivable. yet they are payed. i watch this guys batted, i know i am better than this guys, they have no idea of how to play the moving ball. samuel after 11 years in international cricket would stand in the crease and wave at the ball. the truth is non of this guys can bat. on a given day they will give you some runs but that is not their quality. Brovo scored a double in one inn but did not reach 250 in the next 3 inn. Shanda is the only batter in this side; it is not captain or corch but every man must stand up.

  • kentjones on December 31, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    Mr. Cozier, thanks for your article and more importantly for all your years of journalistic vigilance you have freely given to WI cricket over so many years. Sir, you have done a fantastic job.In the filed of journalism, you are a giant in cricket over all and WI in particular. I dream of the day when there is drastic and revolutionary change in the administrative structure of the WICB and the infrastructure of the regional bodies. Suspend cricket for a period of time, mandate all stakeholders (WICB, regional associations and the island governments) to come together in a symposium in one of the islands and broadcasted live to all territories, allowing inputs from the WI people to form a new body to administer cricket in the region and chart the way forward. It is the only way to advance from this point, we cannot continue to apply clean bandages that only conceal a large festering gangrenous wound. We need to perform urgent surgery. But then I am only dreaming, aren't I?

  • wirus on December 31, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    So much of what has been said here is totally true, in addition to the points made with typical journalistic diplomacy by Tony Cozier. One of the roots of the problem is the fact that the WICBC and its selectors etc. are NOT ACCOUNTABLE TO ANYONE! In every other cricket playing nation the board, selectors and management in general are answerable to the fans. Not so with WI cricket. As a result they can do whatsoever they wish and all we can do is sit on the sidelines and gripe. When people with worldwide acclaim like Tony Cozier or our great players (Holding, Lloyd,Viv, etc.) are totally ignored, that tells you all you need to know about the people running our cricket and how much trouble we are in. We have seen democracy brought to some of the remotest areas on earth but it hasn't yet reached WICBC? Why? And what are WE going to do about it?

  • Akoben on January 4, 2014, 23:06 GMT

    Here we go again!! While alot of what has been said (including by the knowledgable Mr Cozier) I do not see or hear any tangible solutions. Sack Gibson. Sack Sammy. Divide the region. In my humble opinion these are all weak reactions. One thing I do believe is that the tenures of the board should be electable on a yearly basis for the time being. Why? Because those whose 'heart & soul' is in the region will focus on the job in hand. Those out for themselves and who attempt to position themselves unaccountable will not see any long term financial benefit. The next solution I propose is that the home support boycott all home matches (whether Test, ODI, T20 or CPL) until the board make themselves available for an open panel meeting the 'real' support groups of WI cricket, the fans. Let the WICB sit in front of the fans and firstly state that THEY are responsible for the current state, and not hide in their respective executive boxes. Then, we begin the process to rebuild...

  • on January 3, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    it is perfect time for west indies team step down from international cricket and play with india-A team,aussie-A team and SA-A team...

  • O.R.S.C.A. on January 2, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    SIMPLE,SIMPLE, SIMPLE, NO Gibson equals to improvement.

  • delboy on January 2, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    The present system is broken one possible solution is for T&T to break away. Recruit and build the structure needed for the future. I suggest T&T as it holds its own in the champions trophy, has more 'marketable' professionals and can easily recruit at grassroots. Once such a structure is in place it the replaces the current outdated system.

  • Mayfield on January 1, 2014, 21:39 GMT

    A lot of folks are blaming Otis Gibson for the WI problems. Some are saying that the problem stems from not including certain players, and that those players could have been used to build the team around. Well the players mentioned, all senior players, were part of the losing that was going on for years. I can bet that those same players are the ones that Richardson and others referenced when they talk about the lack of pressionalism and work ethic. Gayle, Sarwan, Samuels and Dwane Bravo should have been the ones along with Chanderpaul driving this team and setting the professionalism and work ethic for the younger players coming in. I can assure you if they were, the WI team would be in a much better position. Instead, what do you have? Players that do not take their profession seriously enough to put in the hard work that's necessary to achieve success. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. IT IS NOT GIBSON.

  • Ethel on January 1, 2014, 11:37 GMT

    I said after the first year that Gibson started his coaching that he is not a coach. Absolutely nothing has improved. As a matter of fact, Gibson, the politician, has made the situation worst than when he started.I remembered what he tried to do to Gayle, chanderpaul and sarwan. He could have used these guys to build a better W.I team. Even Sammy is turning against him. When are you going to save face by resigning Gibson? Of course you are not the only problem but you have to go first and then the selectors.

  • on January 1, 2014, 0:22 GMT

    Gibson walked in Fired players that Ave. over 40 in all formats ... Sarwan, Chander, Gayle, Etc. He choose players with no of limited first class experience. After Deonarine completed a full A Team tour of India He dropped Deonarine from India first Test. He told Deonarine he is selected but on playing probation....never heard of that. Gibson Get real.

  • daygoue on December 31, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    This is a very sad time for our cricket, growing up it was almost impossible for WI to lose but now it is as hard for us to win a game. what is going on with our cricket. many people are blaming the coach, captain, sectlors. but it is the guys who are payed thousands refuse to get the job done. let us face the facts if you are paying a man to do a job for you will you keep on paying him if he is not doing the job. this so call stars are so terrible at their job it is unbelivable. yet they are payed. i watch this guys batted, i know i am better than this guys, they have no idea of how to play the moving ball. samuel after 11 years in international cricket would stand in the crease and wave at the ball. the truth is non of this guys can bat. on a given day they will give you some runs but that is not their quality. Brovo scored a double in one inn but did not reach 250 in the next 3 inn. Shanda is the only batter in this side; it is not captain or corch but every man must stand up.

  • kentjones on December 31, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    Mr. Cozier, thanks for your article and more importantly for all your years of journalistic vigilance you have freely given to WI cricket over so many years. Sir, you have done a fantastic job.In the filed of journalism, you are a giant in cricket over all and WI in particular. I dream of the day when there is drastic and revolutionary change in the administrative structure of the WICB and the infrastructure of the regional bodies. Suspend cricket for a period of time, mandate all stakeholders (WICB, regional associations and the island governments) to come together in a symposium in one of the islands and broadcasted live to all territories, allowing inputs from the WI people to form a new body to administer cricket in the region and chart the way forward. It is the only way to advance from this point, we cannot continue to apply clean bandages that only conceal a large festering gangrenous wound. We need to perform urgent surgery. But then I am only dreaming, aren't I?

  • wirus on December 31, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    So much of what has been said here is totally true, in addition to the points made with typical journalistic diplomacy by Tony Cozier. One of the roots of the problem is the fact that the WICBC and its selectors etc. are NOT ACCOUNTABLE TO ANYONE! In every other cricket playing nation the board, selectors and management in general are answerable to the fans. Not so with WI cricket. As a result they can do whatsoever they wish and all we can do is sit on the sidelines and gripe. When people with worldwide acclaim like Tony Cozier or our great players (Holding, Lloyd,Viv, etc.) are totally ignored, that tells you all you need to know about the people running our cricket and how much trouble we are in. We have seen democracy brought to some of the remotest areas on earth but it hasn't yet reached WICBC? Why? And what are WE going to do about it?

  • on December 31, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    Anyone who advocates the recall of Sarwan has not been following Windies Cricket. Sarwan was a miserable failure in the 2013 domestic season. Our selectors, coach and test captain are not deserving of their positions and nothing will change as long as these three are involved in the leadership of the team.

  • aclarity on December 31, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    Tony is correct but too diplomatic. My blunt interpretation of Tony is: 1. The WI selectors are the worst in the cricket world; 2. The coach cannot do the job, and lacks the ability to unite the players, and 3. The captains should not be on the teams they lead. In this kind of environment players cannot produce and the team will be concocted with an algorithm that is difficult to decipher. Players will be looking at teammates on the same bench and wondering how come he is here because I know 2 or 3 guys back home who are much better and more deserving. Say it Tony, Fire them all!

  • sherwine on December 30, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    England lost some Test matches and already they are calling for Andy Flower head. West Indies have been losing miserably to lesser opponent in New Zealand and Gibson is still there. Firstly, we have the best batting unit from our players but look at the technique of Powell, Samuel, Deonarine, Gayle and others against Moh'd Shammi and Boult who are nothing more than medium pacers against the other nations. Our bowlers have no clue how to bowl against the opposition with the exception of Narine who has been coached by firstly Kelvin Williams and Knight Riders coaches. The coach is therefore is to first to go!

  • on December 30, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    When the WEST INDIES Selectors including the CHIEF admits that there are serious problems within the Organization that needs to be address, then they will start to move forward, not before.The team is talented but lacks discipline, fails to execute plans that are given to them,doesn't work as a unit and apparently the ADMINISTRATORS of the team are not in agreement as to the seriousness of the problems facing the PLAYERS. MARLON was wrong in his actions by not including his Team-mates after scoring his century; When I saw that action I was quite surprised. Chris wasn't a member of the PLAYING 11 at that time.I have no idea if anyone spoke to him regarding his actions. He is not the only one with issues.Stop asking for the recall of fail players-They are also part of the problem.Not exercising,failure to follow directions-more of the same. When former players such as VIV, AMBROSE and HOLDING speak-up they are ostracized by the ADMINISTRATION.They answer to no one it seems.

  • on December 30, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    If there is disunity in the WI team, then the role of the coach, manager and skipper needs to be reviewed. A competent leader needs to harness his charges for the good of the team. That this trio is unable to do so is a result of several factors that need to be investigated and analyzed. Why should a representative team show such discord in a foreign country and why do West Indian individuals continue to wash their dirty linen in public? I believe a better contractual system needs to be devised which should include penalties for bad behavior and poor management. Personally, I think the demise of West Indian cricket borders on a combination of factors: lack of insight from the board, incompetence of the selectors, lack of ambition and patriotism from the players and total disregard for the feelings of the fans. Besides, there is urgent need to raise the level of cricket in the territories and to ensure that people who are chosen to represent the region in the future have stronger will

  • bongo_cricket on December 30, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Why is it that tony Cozier go easy on the Bajans. Does he have any recommendations? In his role as reporter he should remove the blinders. I wonder how easy it would be to disipline the highest run maker on the team. How can we get back to disiplined WI team? In the current System it may be impossible Tony. Any WI cricketer of notoriety can do whatever he likes.

  • oozebra on December 30, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    I agree with VivGilchrist our first class system is poor. The team unity is only an issue because of external pressure, these crickets can no longer take it. example the captain talking about positions on the line, sad but every captain comes under the glass and Sammy has done well dust far handling the pressure. The only recipe for improvement within the team is winning! Just watch the players who play without pressure, how easy the play like, Johnson Charles may not be tech. sound but he plays free of pressure.

  • Diaz54 on December 30, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Watching WI playing cricket on TV confirmed to me that there is no harmony or unity in the team. This is quite obvious and does not require further analysis. I think ultimately it stems from the fact that the team is made up,of several,independent countries playing under one banner. It worked in the 60's, 70's and into 80's is new use to begin with they had as a group of people something to prove.....rising from colonial,backdrop...this created a huge incentive and also produced players who were driven to succeed. Combined with very good leadership..which is easy when you have gifted committed players under your control! Circumstances are different now....talent is still there, Gayle, Chandrapaul, bravo and others have the talent but lack strong leadership and unity. I cannot see things changing, one May be better off by creating separate cricket playing countries from WI. I saw more unity and fight in IPal when for example Trinndad were playing and competed, different format i know!

  • roddybee on December 30, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    The first rule, pick players on merit, when a team is lead by a player as mediocre as Sammy what can you really expect

  • on December 30, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Pump in a 200 million and make get Lloyd, RIchards in the WI board , instead of distributing it among the overhyped and overpaid guys like Pollard, Bravo etc. If Bravo talks about unity, let him leave. Get some committed guys and run the show.

  • JermanSoldier on December 30, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    The test team must be rebuilt. Sammy must be excluded from the test squad and captian only the t20 side. Bravo continue as the ODI captain and find a new captain for the tests. Bring sarwan back for tests. Ramdin must only play tests and either walton or charles must keep wickets in shorter formats. Three different captains for the three formats is the way forward for WI.

  • on December 30, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    West Indies team has not turned the corner 4 times. Guess where they are?

  • adkum on December 30, 2013, 3:57 GMT

    Cozier's familiarity with WI cricket makes his opinions on WI cricket very worthwhile. Now that he has pointed out that there is dissent in the team it explains the performances of the WI recently. Sad so much turmoil in the team. But coach Gibson and manager Richardson make it appear that all is well and dandy. WI cricket cannot get any better under the present administration. The board is made up of people who are only interested in looking after the interest of players of their respective countries and not players of the WI as a whole. Look how Hunte and company foisted Sammy on the team with a long term contract. He was guaranteed a place in the team irrespective of his performance. Similarly despite his dismal performance as coach the board went and renewed Gibson's contract. So any surprise what is going on. When Sammy fails continuously how can he inspire the team. No other test captain has as poor a record like him. WICB president has failed to make any impact on the board.

  • dalboy12 on December 30, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    WI fans - what ever happened to a good quick bowler called Taylor that was around a few years ago - i think Jermone might have been his first name. If he ever got back and you had Rampaul, Taylor and Roach with Holder as a back up, then that is a very good pace bowling unit - is it not?

  • Blythesville on December 30, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    There is no desire or will among the players or administrators to change. The story gets repeated regularly with no change.

  • VivGilchrist on December 30, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    Fix the First-Class system. Not enough 4 day games, too many teams, and sub standard pitches. The talent is spread to thin currently. Australia has 6 first class teams and a population of 20 million, WI has 7 with around 4 million. Hardly any batsmen average over 40, while the bowlers, particularly the spinners, have over inflated records due to bad pitches and batsmen that only play a handful of 4 day games a season. This leaves WI underprepared when they hit the International stage.

  • on December 30, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    I am fed with the windies so i dont care who goes an who stays

  • on December 30, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    I am fed with the windies so i dont care who goes an who stays

  • inot on December 29, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    What do you expect when you as Sammy and Gibson to lead? These are not Test cricketers and they are not leadership material. They are both aware of their limitations and inadequacies. They both know that they do not merit the positions they found themselves in. The tried to alienate and get rid of the experienced players because they knew they could not earn the respect of those players. They succeeded in some cases but they were unable to mentor and develop the young inexperienced replacements. It was only a matter of time before Sammy and Gibson were confirmed as GIGANTIC FAILURES. Same goes for the people who put them in those positions,....THE SELECTORS.

  • PACERONE on December 29, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    This problem of losing continuously will not go away until we face the true facts.Mistakes were made in the past and to keep harping on them will not help if we have not learned anything from those mistakes.We need new selectors that have vision and are willing to make drastic changes.How long are we going to pick Powell with all his talent when he keeps making the same mistakes.Then there is Denorine,is he played as a batsman or allrounder?In the present team Walton would of been a better bet as a batsman and Cottrell as a bowler.We pack our batting line up with left-handers and bowlers right-handers No variety with any of our selections.Now,we know that Devon Smith does not play spin well but might be one of our best against fast/medium bowling.Why not pick him to play in NZ where there is no great spinner?We go from one losing situation to another with the same players.Saying that Narine and Pollard is more suited to the shorter for of the game and not trying them is foolish.

  • on December 29, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    its time for a fresh start, new management, I/e capt, coach, and most current players start rebuilding, we are currently a joke.

  • on December 29, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    It's been a long and disastrous tour so far, successfully chasing a low total at the cost of eight wickets serving as only a mild palliative for the pain. Dwayne Bravo's comments are very revealing, more about himself than the team. We need one captain, and that captain should be Darren Sammy. Period. When a team is in decline for as long as the Windies, constantly changing leaders is simply not going to work. Under Sammy we saw some signs of renewal. The ODI performances were largely the result of Gayle's reintroduction to the side and his subsequent failures with the bat (14 average in Bangladesh and 3 average in Australia). Sammy can't do much about that, since he could hardly bench someone like Gayle, in whom so much time and effort was invested to bring him back into the side. Dwayne Bravo is a fine allrounder but yet again he shown himself unable to lead to the team. Is he his brother's keeper? No, but it doesn't speak well of his leadership ability when Darren departs.

  • abiose on December 29, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    We are suffering from blame syndrome, simply put out bowlers lack penetration and guile. when we drop Sammy what's our options. Ramphaul should be in the test side except if he is unfit. Cotrell, best nor Gabriel are test bowlers - they do nothing with the ball and rely too much on pitch conditions. We need some bowlers that can move the ball around and Ramphanul does just that, at least with the new ball. Our batters are also not very adept at batting in unfavorable conditions. stop blaming Sammy and look at our options. Our selectors need to stop selecting people based on talent and pick based on performance "quality". I stress quality because a century or five-for on weak opposition will not translate to good international performances.

  • JMsolutions on December 29, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    The fact is WI is not a country or anything at all except a historical artifact of commercial convenience in cricket used by the managers of the "system" for their own benefit. But the players are not hypocrites. On their own they have always united, always will. Sammy is now a ward of the "system" no longer a "player". Gibson is neither, never was, never really "belonged". The WI cricket team under Sammy was the crazy concoction of commercial convenience for the benefit of a few of the small countries. Winning matches was secondary ; the players knew that especially idealists like Darren Bravo. The "system" craftily eased him out same as Samuels, Gayle, Edwards, Taylor, Dwayne Smith and previously Chanders, Ramdin, Dwayne Bravo and yes, Sunil Narine. Time for Mr Cozier to dig deep and speak up openly.

  • on December 29, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    Could my have been said better Mr Bloomberg. Totally agree with every word you say. Some of these guys feel data west Indies cricket revolves around them and I believe it's time to show them that this is not the case.

  • tommyhawk on December 29, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    The loss of respect for Sammy was clearly foreseeable once the captaincy was split. This sent a bad message to the payers who knew that once they lost test matches, then Sammy and Gibson had to go. I'm sure that Cameron would have foreseen this too. It was a bad decision to split the captaincy and really undid all the hard work that management and captain were putting in to restore harmony and discipline in the team.

    I also think it is time for the selectors to go as well.

    In my opinion, shareholders like Gayle, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo need to set a more positive example for the youngsters but they are not doing so.

  • Warm_Coffee on December 29, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    @hoags: If you can recall, New Zealand were thrashed in the Caribbean not so long ago across all forms. At least Windies have 1 a game on this tour thus far with several of their best players missing hence still 'better' than New Zealand. I'm not taking credit away from New Zealand on this entire series, they have no doubt played exceptionally well and deserve their series win in tests but seriously, Windies have not even tried to compete on this tour.

  • on December 29, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    I will start by changing the management team and coach. If the coaches are not bringing the results change them. West Indies have not been picking the right team. The psychological make up of the team is poor. We should never enter a test with Sammy and Best as the front-line bowlers. We should have had Holder and Cotterral as the young fast bowlers of the future operating with Rampaul or even Best. The results doesn't do Best justice, as he gave it his all and shows the passion needed, but he has no support. Sammy should not be in the Test team, but he is suited for the shorted formats, and I do like Sammy because he is a player failure or not that has passion and believes in his ability. Narine should be a permanent fixture in all formats and it will be nice if we have another specialist spinner who can bat. Our batting is unpredictable so we should focus on a strong predictable bowling unit. We should include more practice games in the countries we are touring so batsmen can adjust.

  • AamirKhan-SuperStar on December 29, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Oh common give the guys a break. With more matches these guys will start performing, just give them good supporting staff that knows how to keep players superfit. Sammy could be used as a match winner but someone should know how to use him, yes let him go of captaincy and let him enjoy bowling and batting.

  • hoags on December 29, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    @warm_coffee..are you serious? Im an nz fan i will admit, but come on, anyone who watched the tests could not possibly conclude what you have. Aside from NZ playing good enough to rightly win the tests, taking the performance of the Windies on its own, they batted, bowled and fielded completely ineptly for about 12 out of 14 days of the tests. It looks like they have been taking lessons from the current England efforts. I hope the Windies compete in the remaining ODIs and enjoy seeing them do well, but seriously, how can you make a statement like 'much better than nz across all formats' with a straight face.

  • on December 29, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    The bowling resources on this WI team are an insult to a Test Team. Tino Best and Sammy will not make the opening combo for ANY team. And then there is Shillingford with his suspect action and no other bowlers. Batting is totally dependent on Chanders. I cannot believe that WI didn't think of playing Jason Holder in the Tests in India and NZ. Resources come and go, but if the Organization has no game plan of developing, retaining resources, there will be no development. And how on earth does Sammy, make this team? He is a club level bowler and an even worse batsman. How do you expect others to show any respect. And the management of Gibson and Richardson have no game plan either. Sorry WIndies, you need to disinfect your home.

  • on December 29, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Here's my difficulty with this article. The fact is that Mr. Cozier knows precisely why Bravo the younger has returned home while his own brother is captain. Mr. Cozier knows full well that Bravo the younger was intent on undermining Darren Sammy as captain and that his own brother said enough already. Mr. Cozier knows too the relationship between the author of the Guardian story and Mr. Bravo the younger. Sure I am Saint Lucian. Sure I am a supporter of Darren Sammy. And yes I wish he would remain as skipper but the comments I have made are not Saint Lucian, Barbadian, Jamaican or Trinidadian. They are simply the truth and truth knows no nationality.

  • abc_akram on December 29, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    Tony Cozier's analysis of the present state of West Indian cricket is quite correct. As he has rightly pointed out "The rationale for selecting the same team" that was beaten in India was appalling to say the least.When Ravi Rampaul was fit for the NZ onedays where he made an immediate impact why then was he ommitted for the tests, Holder also should be given a chance in tests. And there is no need for the WICB to do so much experiments with the team.Select a good and balanced team and keep the same for all the 3 formats,in that way players also will settle down nicely. Jerome Taylor is also sidelined due to unknown reasons.WI should be playing at least 3 fast bowlers in both tests and ODI'.Senior players like Gayle,Bravo should be leading by example.Playing an occasional good innings won't do any good for u'r team, as a well-wisher of the West Indian team i only hope that the West indian players show the same spirit and attitude which was so characteristic of the earlier WI teams

  • mngc1 on December 29, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    Other than bowling selection, dropping a massive 8 catches in just 2 NZ innings in the first 2 tests did not help. Drops by Best were schoolboyish and Gabriel making 3 ducks and 0* in 4 innings shows that WI are putting players without basic skills on the field.

  • on December 29, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    As soon as players started to go home i knew something was wrong. Marlon Samuels was the first to go. I figured he got vex at something sweared at soeone and just left. Remember this is the same Samuels who after hitting the winning runs in a game a few years back ran to Chris Gayle in the stands instead of running to celebrate with his teammates. Just the memory of that hurts. Then Bravo left for "personal reasons". I figured he got vexed at soemthing and left too. All this time Gibson is talking about GAYLE RETURNING FOR 2020. Meanwhile Gayle is in Australia partying and fetting but im glad he's doing this because when he was out the fans here all called for his return as if he was a savior. Its time to shed some skin and end some careers. Sammy i supported you but you are not a test cricketer. Gayle and Samuels have always been a problem and should go the Sarwan way. Gibson cannot possibly built a unit with those two in his team...they bring too much baggage.

  • on December 29, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    These issues identified did not just happen, they existed for sometime now and what have been done by the WICB to correct? A one week team building exercise in Florida. No way enough for that's just placing a bandaid but the bleeding continues. There are many other issues that are also contributing factors such as the team selection to India and New Zealand, the coach, attitude of the players towards the game leaves a lot to be desired, the quality of the individual player also comes into to the equation. In the end it all comes down to team selection and the coach, was the right team selected, dud the coach address the technical problems of the players? I guess not based on the results

  • Warm_Coffee on December 29, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    I still believe West Indies are a much better side than New Zealand across all forms. What let them down in the test series was their poor bowling selection. Also question their attitude on whether West Indians are really interested in tests because their body language not just in the series concluded but also in India was simply "I don't care"...

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  • Warm_Coffee on December 29, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    I still believe West Indies are a much better side than New Zealand across all forms. What let them down in the test series was their poor bowling selection. Also question their attitude on whether West Indians are really interested in tests because their body language not just in the series concluded but also in India was simply "I don't care"...

  • on December 29, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    These issues identified did not just happen, they existed for sometime now and what have been done by the WICB to correct? A one week team building exercise in Florida. No way enough for that's just placing a bandaid but the bleeding continues. There are many other issues that are also contributing factors such as the team selection to India and New Zealand, the coach, attitude of the players towards the game leaves a lot to be desired, the quality of the individual player also comes into to the equation. In the end it all comes down to team selection and the coach, was the right team selected, dud the coach address the technical problems of the players? I guess not based on the results

  • on December 29, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    As soon as players started to go home i knew something was wrong. Marlon Samuels was the first to go. I figured he got vex at something sweared at soeone and just left. Remember this is the same Samuels who after hitting the winning runs in a game a few years back ran to Chris Gayle in the stands instead of running to celebrate with his teammates. Just the memory of that hurts. Then Bravo left for "personal reasons". I figured he got vexed at soemthing and left too. All this time Gibson is talking about GAYLE RETURNING FOR 2020. Meanwhile Gayle is in Australia partying and fetting but im glad he's doing this because when he was out the fans here all called for his return as if he was a savior. Its time to shed some skin and end some careers. Sammy i supported you but you are not a test cricketer. Gayle and Samuels have always been a problem and should go the Sarwan way. Gibson cannot possibly built a unit with those two in his team...they bring too much baggage.

  • mngc1 on December 29, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    Other than bowling selection, dropping a massive 8 catches in just 2 NZ innings in the first 2 tests did not help. Drops by Best were schoolboyish and Gabriel making 3 ducks and 0* in 4 innings shows that WI are putting players without basic skills on the field.

  • abc_akram on December 29, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    Tony Cozier's analysis of the present state of West Indian cricket is quite correct. As he has rightly pointed out "The rationale for selecting the same team" that was beaten in India was appalling to say the least.When Ravi Rampaul was fit for the NZ onedays where he made an immediate impact why then was he ommitted for the tests, Holder also should be given a chance in tests. And there is no need for the WICB to do so much experiments with the team.Select a good and balanced team and keep the same for all the 3 formats,in that way players also will settle down nicely. Jerome Taylor is also sidelined due to unknown reasons.WI should be playing at least 3 fast bowlers in both tests and ODI'.Senior players like Gayle,Bravo should be leading by example.Playing an occasional good innings won't do any good for u'r team, as a well-wisher of the West Indian team i only hope that the West indian players show the same spirit and attitude which was so characteristic of the earlier WI teams

  • on December 29, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Here's my difficulty with this article. The fact is that Mr. Cozier knows precisely why Bravo the younger has returned home while his own brother is captain. Mr. Cozier knows full well that Bravo the younger was intent on undermining Darren Sammy as captain and that his own brother said enough already. Mr. Cozier knows too the relationship between the author of the Guardian story and Mr. Bravo the younger. Sure I am Saint Lucian. Sure I am a supporter of Darren Sammy. And yes I wish he would remain as skipper but the comments I have made are not Saint Lucian, Barbadian, Jamaican or Trinidadian. They are simply the truth and truth knows no nationality.

  • on December 29, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    The bowling resources on this WI team are an insult to a Test Team. Tino Best and Sammy will not make the opening combo for ANY team. And then there is Shillingford with his suspect action and no other bowlers. Batting is totally dependent on Chanders. I cannot believe that WI didn't think of playing Jason Holder in the Tests in India and NZ. Resources come and go, but if the Organization has no game plan of developing, retaining resources, there will be no development. And how on earth does Sammy, make this team? He is a club level bowler and an even worse batsman. How do you expect others to show any respect. And the management of Gibson and Richardson have no game plan either. Sorry WIndies, you need to disinfect your home.

  • hoags on December 29, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    @warm_coffee..are you serious? Im an nz fan i will admit, but come on, anyone who watched the tests could not possibly conclude what you have. Aside from NZ playing good enough to rightly win the tests, taking the performance of the Windies on its own, they batted, bowled and fielded completely ineptly for about 12 out of 14 days of the tests. It looks like they have been taking lessons from the current England efforts. I hope the Windies compete in the remaining ODIs and enjoy seeing them do well, but seriously, how can you make a statement like 'much better than nz across all formats' with a straight face.

  • AamirKhan-SuperStar on December 29, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Oh common give the guys a break. With more matches these guys will start performing, just give them good supporting staff that knows how to keep players superfit. Sammy could be used as a match winner but someone should know how to use him, yes let him go of captaincy and let him enjoy bowling and batting.

  • on December 29, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    I will start by changing the management team and coach. If the coaches are not bringing the results change them. West Indies have not been picking the right team. The psychological make up of the team is poor. We should never enter a test with Sammy and Best as the front-line bowlers. We should have had Holder and Cotterral as the young fast bowlers of the future operating with Rampaul or even Best. The results doesn't do Best justice, as he gave it his all and shows the passion needed, but he has no support. Sammy should not be in the Test team, but he is suited for the shorted formats, and I do like Sammy because he is a player failure or not that has passion and believes in his ability. Narine should be a permanent fixture in all formats and it will be nice if we have another specialist spinner who can bat. Our batting is unpredictable so we should focus on a strong predictable bowling unit. We should include more practice games in the countries we are touring so batsmen can adjust.