West Indies cricket November 12, 2007

Baffling omission of Simmons and Pollard

Tony Cozier



"Lendl Simmons had limited success in spasmodic appearances that did not allow him to establish himself." © Getty Images

The West Indies selectors have always been a contrary lot. The present generation has maintained the reputation with some confusing choices among the 23 called to the High Performance Centre at Cave Hill to prepare for the imminent tours of Zimbabwe (for five ODIs) and South Africa (three Tests, five ODIs, two Twenty20s).

The most baffling are the omission from the group of Lendl Simmons and Keiron Pollard, the two young Trinidadians who had been seemingly identified as among those for the future but have quickly been shunted aside.

Over the past year, Simmons, the slim, 22-year-old opener, was in the ODI teams in Pakistan, the World Cup and England. Pollard, 19, was picked for the World Cup on the evidence of his spectacular power-hitting in both Carib Beer Series and KFC Cup in his debut season.

Simmons had limited success in spasmodic appearances that did not allow him to establish himself. Pollard has not been called again since his solitary opportunity against South Africa in the World Cup, a decisive contest in which he achieved nothing.

Both did no less than most in the recent KFC Cup and Simmons' ability as a back-up wicket-keeper and Pollard's stiff medium-pace might have added to their credentials.

While they are excluded, all of the "incumbents", as Andy Roberts calls them, are retained, even the several with little to recommend them. It is a sad reflection on the present state of West Indies cricket.

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