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May 12, 2011
The decision to exclude Sulieman Benn, the left-arm spinner, from the West Indies squad for the series against Pakistan was made because of unfavourable reports from the team management on his behaviour during the World Cup, according to Clyde Butts, chairman of the West Indies selectors. The reports were, he said, pertaining to "off-field" incidents involving Benn.
"He [Benn] did not have a very good report from the World Cup and we felt he needed some time to recuperate from that and all the situations that happened there," Butts said at a press conference in Providence. "He has been spoken to. We have sat with him, the selectors and the coach, for a long time in Barbados when we had the camp and we actually explained everything to him."
Benn, 29, has had a string of disciplinary problems since debuting for West Indies in 2008: he was suspended for two one-day internationals for an incident involving Brad Haddin during West Indies' tour of Australia in 2009, and then during South Africa's visit in 2010 he received another ban for an altercation with Dale Steyn and was also sent off the field in a one-dayer by his captain Chris Gayle for refusing to do what the captain asked.
Despite his indiscretions, Benn was awarded a central contract by the WICB for 2010-11 and Butts indicated that his omission might not be long-term. "The Board is actually supposed to reach Benn and decide how we're going to move forward from there," he said.
In the absence of Benn, Devendra Bishoo, the 25-year-old legspinner, has been selected as the lone spinner in West Indies' squad for the first Test against Pakistan. Butts said the selectors had considered picking two spinners given the nature of the track in Providence, but decided one would give the team more balance. He also said Bishoo, who was the leading wicket-taker in the ODI series against Pakistan, should be fit for the Test, despite concerns over his fitness after the one-day series, but there was a contingency plan in case he is not able to play.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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