West Indies news September 4, 2009

Play or be dropped - WI selector


Clyde Butts, the West Indies' chairman of selectors, has warned striking players to make themselves available for the region's domestic one-day tournament next month or face exclusion from the ensuing tour of Australia. Butts was hopeful, though not certain, that the industrial dispute between the board and the players will be resolved before the touring squad to Australia is announced, but raised the possibility that another weakened side, such as that humbled by Bangladesh in July, could be named if the unofficial deadline is not observed.

"The board is hoping to resolve this as quickly as possible," Butts told Cricinfo. "The board has asked the players to make themselves available for a domestic tournament from October 10, and if they do that, then I am confident we will have a strong squad for Australia. There has been a statement released about this.

"If that doesn't happen, then it depends on how the board views things. I believe there is a rule that players have to play in the domestic tournament preceding a tour to be considered. I am hopeful most, if not all, the players will make themselves available for that tournament and we can proceed as normal.

"Certainly, it would be very difficult for a young team to go to a place like Australia and not have the senior players to rub shoulders with and learn from. I am hoping the impasse will have been resolved by then, but I just don't know for sure. I am optimistic, however."

Butts, a former Test offspinner, admitted that neither the players nor the board could afford a long-term continuation of their industrial dispute, from both a financial and general interest perspective. Since the likes of Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan withdrew their candidacy for selection, West Indies have suffered embarrassing Test and one-day series defeats to Bangladesh and named a severely weakened side for this month's Champions Trophy in South Africa.

"This will probably go on for a little while yet (but) I don't think West Indies cricket can afford to go down this road much longer," Butts said. "There isn't a person in this region who doesn't want to see their best players represent them, and the hope is that the impasse will soon be over so cricket can again be the winner.

"It is difficult as chairman of selectors when you are unable to pick your best team. There is a concern about (players retiring to play Twenty20 cricket), but from the players I have spoken to that is not on the cards. Most want to play cricket for the West Indies and are looking forward to doing so again at some point in the future."

Butts added that Darren Powell's withdrawal from West Indies' Champions' Trophy squad was due to injury, and not pressure exerted by WIPA, the players' union. Powell, the most experienced member of West Indies' original 15-man squad, has been replaced by uncapped fast bowler Kevin McLean.

"As far as I know it was injury related," he said. "He hurt himself playing a game in Jamaica and that's why he has had to pull out."

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Luke on September 8, 2009, 3:37 GMT

    This whole saga is so sad for WI cricket and its followers. Sir Viv, Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh - where are you guys? Your cricket needs you now! After the work Frank Worrell put into to uniting WI cricket this current state of affairs is offensive to his legacy. Greed and selfishness has permeated cricket (not just in WI) to such an extent the ethos of the game is being lost. One problem with fielding a second-string side is that it is not a true contest between nations. One problem with not sending a side at all is the absence of cricket from three grounds. I don't think I could bring myself to go to Adelaide Oval this summer in Aus if WI cricket is too embroiled in politics to send Gayle, Chanderpaul and Co. out here. For the love of cricket be men about this and put cricket first!

  • Nick on September 7, 2009, 13:13 GMT

    Why must they continue to put cricket in the region in peril with their inane ultimatums and pathetic demands? Is it that their heads are so far up their own behinds they can't see what they are ripping at the very fabric of the game? That by continuing with this stupid, stupid, STUPID strategy of fielding a C-grade team they will soon ruin themselves as interest in (and revenue from) the sport dwindles away to nothing? The ICC, spineless as it is, must surely realise it's in its own best interests to step in!

  • Eustace on September 6, 2009, 6:09 GMT

    Now gentlemen lets have a game ..Lets play cricket!!!! To all the knockers of the Fifth string team and the captain Floyd Reifer,lets be clear about a few things, he wasn't selected to score hundreds or even scores of runs, his average is a testament to the fact..But he can mould future players, some thing which the so-called stars, did not have in their early career. It's possible things may go back to the ways of old and we may again have a captain who wishes test cricket would go away...or there will be new kids on the block, who I can assure the Knockers do have talent. To the persistent commenter..Sept 04 2009 17:05 GMT...IF YOU THINK THAT CARIBBEAN PEOPLES WILL EVER ENTERTAIN YOUR DREAM OF ISLAND TEAMS PLAYING TEST CRICKET DREAM ON.

  • BP on September 5, 2009, 22:23 GMT

    To: WICB Please be advised that you are doing not only West Indies Cricket a disservice, you are also doing yourselves irreparable harm. I am very disappointed to see grown men behave in such an inconsiderate manner. I may not be party to all the facts and the contents of the SEALED envelope, however, it very obvious that unreasonable dictates are being made. The WIPA is not helping either. This UNION is trying to enrich players, sometimes unfairly, at the expense of West Indies Cricket. We now have CARICOM envolved and this is the TRUE legal body that should and must make decisions. It is a disgrace to see "BOYS" going out to do battle with the MONSTERS of cricket - Australia, India, Pakistan, et al. More importantly it is unfair to the West Indies as whole. In this terrible world wide depression, our only aspiration and little piece of enjoyment is being sacrifice for your glory and edification. CARICOM please step in and correct this gross travesty.

  • giovaughn on September 5, 2009, 18:41 GMT

    Since when is playing 1st class season cricket a criterion for being selected for a tour? Are the contests between the national teams in the West Indies of such a high quality & of such intensity that it can considered adequate preparation for an Australian tour? Is this the new panacea for the performance woes of our cricketers 'especially when on tour'. When was the last time this rule was applied to ALL our cricketers before a series whether on tour or at home?


  • giovaughn on September 5, 2009, 18:21 GMT

    It is a bit late to save the Champions Trophy now. Cricket South Africa should have canceled WI invitation as soon as WICB decided to send a 2nd string team after the senior players made themselves available. After all they are the onces who will be complaining about the unsold tickets & poor performances associated with the matches involving this West indies team.this however is water already passed under the bridge. My advice to Cricket Australia is to cancel the series if the best players are not selected to contest the 09 Frank Worrel Trophy in Australia. Maybe a few first class teams would want to play a 2nd string team although i strongly doubt it.

  • Len on September 5, 2009, 18:18 GMT

    The article by Clyde Butts really is a waste of time. The WICB can no longer scream out that they have no money. I have never believed them on this issue and I never will, rather, it is the way it is being spent that has caused the problem. The simple truth is that they will have to eventually give central contracts to the players and it is from there that the possibility of WIndies cricket development can be looked at. If the WICB continue to play their brand of ridiculous politics, this issue will go on indefinitley.

  • Scott on September 5, 2009, 14:50 GMT

    In the end, this like most things comes down to (mainly) money, and the simple fact of the matter is that (outside of a short time when the Stanford millions ruled the roost) the game in the West Indies hasn't had the monetary clout ofl any of the other major nations; so much so that I think they are still the most heavily financed test team from ICC coffers, and of course none of this was helped by the disastrous World Cup which further sunk West Indian cricket financially through bad planning, angering the public and debacles like the new International ground in Antigua. There's no doubt that the players have been worse off than their international counterparts for many years, and the IPL has gone some way to rectifying that, but the need for the board to make some money drove them to the tour of England which started this years iteration of this dance (going now many years). Saddest is that over the last 18 months indicated finally things were beginning to improve on the field.

  • Vivek on September 5, 2009, 9:59 GMT

    The spineless ICC is also to be blamed here. They want only share of the pie that comes from India and IPL. What care they are taking of the other boards, which are struggling?? If they are really interested in cricket, why cant they pump in some money and bail out the WICB?? after all money plays a major part of the contract dispute that exists between the players and the board.If this continues we ll see Gayle, Bravo etc only in the IPL and not for West Indies.

  • ayub on September 5, 2009, 9:56 GMT

    i don't understand why icc is not interfering in wicb,, the icc should not allow this weak side to participate in champions trophy,, i thing bangladesh would give tough fight to other teams in champions trophy,so according to me the bangladesh should be alow to play in champions trophy

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