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Injured Fidel Edwards' contract withheld by WICB

Tony Cozier

November 12, 2009

Comments: 21 | Text size: A | A

A frustrated Fidel Edwards, Deccan Chargers v Delhi Daredevils, IPL, 21st match, Centurion, April 30, 2009
Fidel Edwards ditched the WICB's remedial programme, played the IPL, got injured and now has to wait for his national contract © Associated Press

Injuries that have already eliminated Fidel Edwards from the imminent West Indies tour of Australia have now cost the fast bowler a retainer contract from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

Chief executive Ernest Hilaire confirmed on Wednesday that one-year contracts in four separate grades had been issued to 33 players but had been withheld for Edwards and opening batsman Dale Richards until their "medical status is cleared".

He noted that when Edwards returned to Barbados from the ICC World Twenty20 in England in June with a back injury, the WICB put him on a remedial programme. "He abandoned it and went to play in the Champions League in India (in October) and got injured there," Hilaire said. "We now need to sort that out."

Like Edwards, Richards has been set back by a succession of injuries. Richards missed last season's home series against England and the following series in England with knee and ankle problems. A dislocated shoulder during the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa ruled him out of the recent President's Cup, the regional one-day tournament. "It's not that they wouldn't be offered contracts," Hilaire said. "It's just that we have to resolve their medical status."

Based on experience, record and potential, the contracts are graded at US$120,000, $80,000, $60,000 and $24,000. The last category is for what is called 'developmental players'. Match, tour and sponsorship fees are additional and paid to those selected for West Indies, with or without contracts.

Hilaire said the names already published in the Caribbean media were correct but he would not state which were in which group nor give the overall costs. An estimate of around US$2 million would not be short of the mark.

As promised, contracts have been given to all those hurriedly called up for the first Test against Bangladesh in St Vincent in July after the selected 13 withdrew because of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) dispute with the WICB, mainly over contracts.

"The board told them before the Test that it would offer all of them contracts because of their commitment and the sacrifices they were making to come and play,' Hilaire said. Among them are teenagers Andre Creary of Jamaica and Kraigg Brathwaite of Barbados who were in the first Test squad but did not appear in the series. Ryan Hinds, Rawl Lewis and Devon Thomas are the only ones who played against Bangladesh not included in the deal as they only came in after the first Test.

Of those originally chosen against Bangladesh and who have returned to the fold following the Caricom-brokered agreement between the WICB and the WIPA, only Runako Morton has not been contracted. Barbados allrounder Dwayne Smith, who last played for the West Indies more than two years ago, and the exciting 20-year-old Trinidad and Tobago left-hand batsman Darren Bravo, younger brother of Dwayne, are both on the list.

A surprise omission is Kieron Pollard, the big, hard-hitting all-rounder who was one of the stars of Trinidad and Tobago's outstanding performance in the Champions League in India last month. He has a modest record in 15 ODIs but his average of 37.46, with three hundreds, in regional first-class cricket is better than many of those chosen. He has now signed to turn out for South Australia in Australia's Twenty20 competition in January.

List of contracted players

Barbados: Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Kraigg Brathwaite, Kemar Roach, Dwayne Smith.

Combined Campuses and Colleges: Ryan Austin, Kevin McLean, Omar Phillips, Floyd Reifer, Chadwick Walton.

Trinidad & Tobago: Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Lendl Simmons.

Guyana: Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Travis Dowlin, Ramnaresh Sarwan.

Jamaica: Dave Bernard, Andre Creary, Chris Gayle, Nikita Miller, Brendan Nash, Jerome Taylor.

Windward Islands: Andre Fletcher, Nelon Pascal, Darren Sammy, Devon Smith.

Leeward Islands: Lionel Baker, Kieran Powell, Gavin Tonge.

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

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Posted by phoenix_29 on (November 13, 2009, 12:15 GMT)

2009 season,9 of the top 10 wicket takers were spinners...with Austin, Shillingford,Brown...being the top 3...the only seamer was Tonge...From 4 quickies are we going to see windies playing 4 spinners in the future....Mohammed,Miller, Permaul.Austin.....cant see why they haven't given contracts to Permaul & Mohammed....nothing against Austin,Benn,Miller.....but maybe Benn has wasted his opportunities...Well lets see....

Posted by HumanSyndrome on (November 13, 2009, 10:01 GMT)

I am disappointed that a few talented palyers like Pollard (who has gained international experience) have not been selected. There are several NEW players who should be provided the opportunity to play, especially in AUSTRALIA. We are playing many of the same players who FAILED miserably against BANGLADESH. Do we expect those players to now rise beyond Bangladesh and play like superstars against Australia? Their egos have been severally damaged and as such they need to prove their mettle again. The NEWER breed like Pollard should have and must be providedthe opportunity. Again, I can only emphasized that we must put aside and always try and do the right thing for West Indies cricket. This also means doing the right thing for those that make the ultimate effort and deserve a chance to pove themselves at the highest level. Notwithstanding the above, I do sincerely hope OUR team performs well enough to gain respectability and victory over the vaunted Australians.

Posted by shakj on (November 13, 2009, 8:59 GMT)

SHOCKING!!!!! wheres kieron pollard???

Posted by phoenix_29 on (November 13, 2009, 5:27 GMT)

Just like in Australia...W.Indies could make an U-22 Side for each state....because its experience thats necessary at the top level...lot of WestIndian players doesn't seem to have the technique to play the moving delivery in conditions like Uk....their tale is always an worry...250/5 could be 270 all out......tell the lower order batsmen the art to hang fidel edwards has done once/twice in his career,but he is a blocker not a scorer of runs.....

Posted by gottalovetheraindance on (November 12, 2009, 23:55 GMT)

why did fidel put himself at risk for injury playing in stupid champion's league with a critical tour of Australia in November? he knows he is injury prone already. dont he? he would have been a crucial cog in the West Indian Wheel down under!! hopefully he will be better by February

Posted by gottalovetheraindance on (November 12, 2009, 21:40 GMT)

come on WICB you keep on giving the world reasons to question your management & common sense. The only players who should have gotten contracts are those who merit them.Too many contracts given out. no more than 30/25. Morton, Fletcher, Sammy, Tonge, Baker, Gayle, Samuels, Miller, Nash, Bernard, Taylor Edwards, Roach, Benn, Smith, Bravo, Bravo, Simmons, Bharat, Ramdin, Rampaul, Pollard Chanderpaul, Deonarine, Sarwan full stop.

Powell, Collins, Colleymore, Best, Ganga, Chatergoon, Devon Smith, Pascal Jaggernauth Phillips, Richards, Baugh Marshall Richardson Dowlin could be on stand by

Posted by dcgx on (November 12, 2009, 16:17 GMT)

Even with the CCC players are at the lowest tier, what a waste of money, $120,000US for 5 players who's chances are playing are slim to none. It's no wonder with management skills like that the WICB continue to lose money and talent on the wayside. They could have swallowed their pride given Fidel a contarct at the middle tier and rehab him till he's healthy, and have a better bowler than all the replacement bowlers from the Bangladesh tour "combined" whom they gave contracts to. I guess the old addage is true: 'Haste makes waste'. Scandalous if you ask me, the entire board should resign. If this was a real 'Private Company' as they like to say they are, and answerable to stakeholders/ shareholders they would all be out of jobs by now.

Posted by LJones on (November 12, 2009, 16:06 GMT)

I fell that Veerasammy Permaul (of Guyana) is unluky to miss out, he takes wickets at 26 and has an economy rate of only 2.6, i believe that he is the best spinnner in the region and he has got age on this side. He had an excellent first class season last time round and deserves a mention with the selectors. I don't understand why Kieron Pollard has been left out, he showed his class he has to offer in the Champinons League, i guss that consistancy was the main issue. Xavier Marshell I also would have included as he is a extreme talent with again age on his side, but the selectors probally had the same issue with him as Pollard. Adrian Barath is class act and has big future for West Indies as well as Kieron Powell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Kemar Roach, Kevin McClean, Darren Bravo, Nelon Pascal and Veerasammy Permaul.

Posted by doriginalsello on (November 12, 2009, 15:26 GMT)

You're point is well taken, the state of West Indies cricket did and does not inspire much confidence, especially for players like Fidel who are not really in the clique so to speak. But as you said his decision was indeed a gamble, I'm a big Fidel Edwards fan but I'm afraid business is business and one cannot eat one's cake and have it too.

Posted by smollineau on (November 12, 2009, 15:20 GMT)

It is really sad to see WI administrators leaving out the young guys who should be the future of the cricket and hanging on to the likes of Floyd Reifer, Tino Best and Darren Sammy. I don't understand how these youngsters will ever become world class players only playing in the WI where the standard of cricket are so low and there vision are shortsighted except for the program in Trinidad. Sulieman Benn keep getting opportunity when Dave Mohammed keep showing that he is a better cricketer all round. Kieron Pollard could develop to be the JH Kallis of WI cricket but he needs to be playing against top International teams. I hope the WI cricket board wake up soon before we lost the best out of these guys.

Posted by Sachit1979 on (November 12, 2009, 15:20 GMT)

Keiron Pollard is no doubt a surprise exclusion but surprise inclusion for me is Dwayne Smith from Barbados. I believe he was one of the players opted to play in England county as per Kolpak deal. Has WICB changed their policy to allow Kolpak players in Carribean side? If thats the case then names of Wavell Hinds and Corey Collymore should have been there too who had a decent county outing in recent season.

Posted by Carpediem_Zak on (November 12, 2009, 14:51 GMT)

S H O C K ing ... No Pollard ??? Although he's only played one or two innings of worth ... his talent is huge and should have been awarded a contract definitely ! WICB is too political ... talent aint the only thing they count on there I guess !

Posted by APositron on (November 12, 2009, 14:25 GMT)

GOOD LUCK W.I. players in the up and coming tour of Australia. Lets hope the bad times are behind us. We wish the best for our players and will support them against their toughest opponents.

Posted by HumanSyndrome on (November 12, 2009, 14:11 GMT)

The WICB has made a step forward. However, they must not continue to fight the inevitable changes that are occuring around the world. Cricket is going through phenomenon changes i.e. 20/20 cricket. What is happening the WICB is punishing players for devoting time to 20/20. Kieron Pollard etc. should be applauded and rewarded for their stalwart efforts. They are embraced by other Countries (including the West Indies) EXCEPT the WICB. Hopefully, this is an oversight. However, the fact is even RAY CHARLES could identify a player like Kieron Pollard in a crowd. Please WICB Members please put aside personal issue or likings and evaluate CRICKET and West Indies cricket in the context of what is happening today and where our future lies. Embellish our strengths. We are exciting, we should be both 20/20 and 50 overs champions....if we can only work as a team and play as a team. Most of you on the Board should remember the spirit of cricket in the West Indies and the excitement of the game.

Posted by phoenix_29 on (November 12, 2009, 14:01 GMT)

They have selected Dwayne Smith & not Kieron pollard...SURPRISE..but then again thats what WICB are known for, throwing surprises.....nice to see them get Omar Phillips in there....but why Reifer....a CENTRAL CONTRACT,he was no where near top 20 WI players in June....Well WICB.....

Posted by delboy on (November 12, 2009, 13:00 GMT)

Sherwin Ganga; Surrey/Hampshire/Sussex/Somerset CC need you!

Posted by Fonteas on (November 12, 2009, 12:47 GMT)

the big question which the WICB should provide to the public is: Why wasn't Runako Morton not contracted. Isn't strange that a player who was in the original squad and made over 1000 runs in the last first class season has been left out of the pool of players contracted. It is also my expectation that after this year the pool of players should include more U-19 and other young players rather than the pay back system for those near discards who grabbed the only opportunity they could ever have to play for west indies and turned their backs on their trade union. If no one played this dispute would have been resolved a long time ago. This WICB needs to reform itself so West Indies cricket can make progress.

Posted by bobagorof on (November 12, 2009, 12:40 GMT)

@ R_U_4_REAL_NICK : According to this article, Edwards decided to play IPL instead of undergoing rehabilitation for injury. He might have been thinking 'outside the box' but he shouldn't then expect WICB to disregard his actions in not following the rehab programme. As it is, I expect he'll be offered something following the Australian tour, once his fitness has been established.

Posted by propac on (November 12, 2009, 12:02 GMT)

I honestly dont blame WICB for ommiting Pollard, look in 15 ODI the guy is not even averaging 10. He is picked for South Aus because he is a hit or die player & T20 is a hit or die type game either it's your day or it's not.

Posted by Blacknwhite on (November 12, 2009, 10:32 GMT)

What WICB doing here is a can they omit kieron pollard man...he is a one who can be a revolution in WI cricket for coming years......when south australia recognise his potential.....why not WICB???....i am sure in the next IPL his value be more than any other west indies player.........

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 12, 2009, 9:20 GMT)

Some people may feel that Edwards does not deserve to get his contract back for abandoning his rehab. programme. "Playing for your country comes first!..." etc. etc. But with the shocking state of W.I. international cricket over the past few years, do you blame talented bowlers like him for thinking outside the box and chancing his luck?

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