West Indies news February 20, 2012

Jamaican prime minister backs Gayle

ESPNcricinfo staff

Jamaica's prime minister Portia Simpson Miller has demanded that a resolution in the impasse between Chris Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board be found quickly. Speaking at the Jamaica Cricket Association awards, Simpson Miller said that Gayle was being treated unjustly and deserved a place in the West Indies team. She also expressed concern that Sabina Park was not allocated a match for West Indies' upcoming home one-day and Test series against Australia.

"Justice delayed is justice denied and we demand that a resolution be found as quickly as possible," Simpson Miller said on the Gayle issue. "Cricket is too important to the people of Jamaica and the West Indies for this to be left down the wicket."

Gayle last played for West Indies in the 2011 World Cup, after which a conflict with the WICB has kept him out of the setup. In October 2011, the WICB released a statement saying it would consider Gayle for selection if he retracted statements he had made criticising the board and its officers. The release said the board would appoint a facilitator to assist Gayle in complying with their requirements. Gayle, though, said the WICB needed to be specific about what he was supposed to apologise for. He said the board was playing mind games with him, and that he would consider their request at the end of the Regional Super50 competition.

Jamaica won the Regional Super50 with Gayle finishing second on the run-charts. He has continued to collect big runs in Twenty20 competitions and scored his first first-class hundred in over a year, a remarkable innings of 165 off 155 balls out of a total of 298, against Windward Islands earlier this month. However, there have been no significant developments in his relations with the WICB.

Simpson Miller spoke about the progress of Jamaican cricket, and the success of its various teams, and emphasised that Sabina Park was a venue that should be hosting matches whenever teams toured the West Indies. "Sabina Park is one the finest stadiums anywhere and I am concerned that Jamaica is not a venue for a Test against Australia.

"I understand that the JCA is trying to get one of the games against New Zealand [who are scheduled to tour in July 2012] and you have my support in this. Sabina Park, Jamaica, is suitable for any tour of the West Indies."

Simpson Miller urged the Jamaican board to promote cricket in schools. She also said the WICB had done nothing with the recommendations made by a committee under the chairmanship of former Jamaican prime minister PJ Patterson on how the structure of West Indies cricket could be improved. "You can, however, depend on me as prime minister of Jamaica to follow up on this," she told members of the JCA. "All of us - players, administrators and fans - have a responsibility to restore this sport, in which we have done so well, to its former glory."

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Michael on February 23, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    @ Kricketluva ! Well said ,I am in complete agreement with you.People are NOT looking at the facts...just telling themselves what themselves want to hear and convincing themselves in the long run too......completly ignoring the FACTS.Of course you will get some now asking themselves, like Gayle,what are the facts I am talking about ! I would just say to them ,they can be found in another forum( Metman),under the caption 'West Indies asks Gayle etc.or do your own research from the start of this saga.Sarwan does't not have the interest of Guyana's or the WI cricket at heart.When the capty.of the Guyana team was given to Chanders back then,his actions were those of a toddler,sulking and not wanting to support Chanders,until he was given back the capty.When Gayle was maintained as capt.after he returned from injury,he started to sulk again, and rightfully so as he was the incumbent at that time.Now all he was doing was just to score enough runs so as to maintain his place on the team.

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    Ask any cricketer or fan of cricket in Australia, England or India 'Which cricket grounds always get test matches when your team comes on tour?' & they will tell you 'Sabina Park, Kensington Oval & Queens Park Oval'. The older ones will include Buorda & The ARG but we no longer have 5 match series because we are ranked too low + we no longer use these grounds for Test cricket. Check the list of Test matches played @ Sabina Park and it will be clearly seen that playing matches in February/March/April was never a problem before. In fact only since 2004 has there been a tendency to keep matches in the middle of the year when the hurricane season has begun & wet season is in full swing might I add. Maybe there has been a sudden change in the climate that the WICB is aware of but Kingstonians have not yet observed! One would think that the persons who manage our cricket should be able to produce a more solid excuse for their indiscretions.

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    KDoc did you hear the actual interview? There is genuine criticism and then there's "hitting below the belt". Sangakara could never say anything that CG said and get away with it. CG's inclusion in the team rests with him. Judging by PM Miller's concern you would think that Jamaica was the only country not hosting an Australia match. Any other country not hosting an Australia match can make a similiar comment. The test matches are in Barbados, T&T and Guy(initially). Traditional cricket territories whereas the ODI's and T20's generally pull in the crowds.Are we to suggest the JA should get the test matches as opposed to T&T or Barbados or Dominica? These issues are overblown. Probably in the NZ series a couple of matches can go to Jamaica but following the JCA latest comments/press release who knows? Nothing seems rational/reasonable anymore. All we see is emotion and nationalistic pride

  • David on February 22, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    Karen Fabien you are entitled to your opinion. I have my facts straight. You don't lecture me about blogging here. I will do so whether you like it or not. It is people like Sarwan and Gayle who have kept the WI team at the bottom of the best teams. The team did not do any better with them in it. They are mediocre cricketers. Sarwan has been playing for sixteen years and is still a school boy. I think he and Gayle should go and make plenty of money. That is their right. They should not expect to be automatically selected because they wish it. If they ever improve their attitudes and become consistent they can come back. When they have Chanderpaul's work ethic then they can come back. If its partying they want to do they can do that in the Twenty20 leagues. Let them stay there.

  • K on February 22, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Kumar Sangakara also criticized the Sri Lankan cricket board, but he is still playing cricket for his country. Since when voicing your opinion on a Radio Station, i.e Gayle criticizing the WICB, a Crime? Isn't this a democratic region? Frankly, WICB is supressing WI cricket, and as a fan and West Indian, I urge the Hon PM Miller to pull the JCA out of WI cricket, join the Guyana Govt; urge the Caricom leaders to dissolve the WICB, take a break from the ICC then rebuild with knowledgeable people to lead the WICB

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    Obviusly there's some animosity towards Jamaican cricket, Jamaica only got 2 international matches last year, good weather everyday, and then we won't get a match augainst australia because of "weather concerns", and we might get 1 match against new zealand. thats a far cry from a crowd drawer than 1 match against australia. WICB has a credibility issue

  • Patrick on February 22, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    The WICB must stop acting as dictatorial politicians and understand that their sole purpose is to ensure that the region is represented by the best prepared and the best talented cricketers. I think the most patriotic thing the board can do as this time is to disolve it self.

  • Patrick on February 22, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    There has been a long standing conspiracy against Jamaican cricket. It may be time for us to go our separate ways. If we are not wanted by the regions cricket governing body, we will compete on our own. We have shook up the world in track and field, we will do like wise in cricket.

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    It seems that some ppl hear dont really understand what going on. Gayle wasnt selected for the 1st two games in the Pakistan series. The WICB didn't give a good reason for his non-inclusion. Statements were being made about moving on from senior players including Shiv and Sarwan, to which Shiv spoke publicly. Gayle, uncertain of where he stood with the WICB, took up an offer to play in the IPL. Up to this point Gayle didn't comment on the matter. After landing in India and scoring some runs, he was asked in an interview on KLAS about the situation. This was the interview where he lashed out at the WICB and coach. His comments came after being left out. Anyway up to now the case has not been taken to a disciplinary committee. Player might have been wrong but the administration has failed miserable, almost a year n the player has not been fined, punished. That is what both Gayle n the PM are speaking about y the delayed Justice? If you say Gayle is child/selfish wat about da CEO n Coach?

  • A. on February 21, 2012, 23:48 GMT

    Although I don't believe its in Gayle's best interest to play in almost every t20 league worldwide, I cannnot understand the mentality of some WI fans. He is unselected by WI and has every right to make a living playing cricket wherever he is wanted. It seems some would rather he sit home not earning a cent to prove some sort of commitment to WICB officials who themselves have not always behaved in the most professional of ways with issues involving players. HE HAD A RIGHT TO RESPOND TO COMMENTS THAT WERE MADE ABOUT HIM BY PEOPLE WHO WERE TRYING TO PORTRAY HIM IN A NEGATIVE IMAGE TO JUSTIFY WHAT THEY SEEMED TO PLANNING WELL BEFORE THE WORLD CUP. Also, to those who say WI were no better in the rankings with him I guess they would also throw a baby out with the bath water because the water is dirty! The key is surrounding core veteran talent with the best young players they can find. Look no further than the top 5 or 6 teams to see that.

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