West Indies news May 24, 2012

Holding slams WICB for treatment of seniors

ESPNcricinfo staff

Michael Holding, the commentator and former West Indies fast bowler, has slammed the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for its treatment of senior players, including Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Jerome Taylor, none of whom is in the current Test squad in England.

Gayle has made himself available for the one-day leg of the England tour but his selection will depend on a meeting with the WICB to mop up 'residual matters' relating to their year-long spat. However, Holding wasn't convinced that the board really wants Gayle back in the team because of the lack of clarity on their stand with Gayle.

"He is available, yet the WICB are still putting out press releases saying there are residual matters to be dealt with. What residual matters? It is supposed to be cleared [up], so what residual matter is there now?" Holding told the Jamaica-based SportsMax Cable network. "People responsible for West Indies cricket do not want Chris Gayle in the team."

Gayle, a former captain, hasn't played for West Indies since the World Cup last year. His stand-off with the board began when he made critical comments against them during a radio interview. Since then he has been flourishing as a batsman in Twenty20 leagues across the world, including the IPL. He recently pulled out of his contract with Somerset to make himself available for the one-dayers in England.

Sarwan, a former captain, hasn't played for West Indies since June 2011. He said comments by the head coach Ottis Gibson broke him mentally. He is currently playing for Leicestershire in the English county season and has been in good batting form, hitting two centuries and two fifties. He said the county stint has helped him gain back his confidence, but would not turn down Leicestershire for the moment.

Holding doesn't expect to see Sarwan return to the team in this current climate even if the board wants to settle their differences.

"The man is happy," Holding said. "He is making runs, yes, and he should be in the West Indies team, but he personally is happy where he is. I don't see him leaving that now to go back to a situation where he is going to be unhappy, because he knows he's not wanted. It's the same thing with Chris Gayle."

Taylor, the fast bowler, hasn't played for West Indies since June 2010. Taylor was not named in the preliminary squad for the World Cup last year due to a back injury and the board claimed that he had not maintained his physiotherapy appointments. Taylor said the WICB had not contacted him about his back injury before he left to play in the IPL, and it only did so on April 7, 2011, once he'd arrived in India. The board said Taylor had to play a full season of first-class cricket to be considered for selection, but Holding was critical of their stance. Taylor missed the entire 2011-12 domestic season and his IPL franchise, Pune Warriors, bought out his contract.

"What sort of motivation is that for a young man like that? You rule him out for 2011, against Australia and against England that they are playing now, more than likely he won't be selected again to the team. There's no opportunity to bring him in."

In a separate interview with the Daily Mail, Holding was especially critical of Gibson. "Ottis Gibson needs to understand that the West Indies cricket team is not a boot camp. He needs to learn how to man-manage.

"I have no issue with Ottis trying to get discipline back into the team. But it is the way he has done it. As soon as someone says anything he doesn't particularly like, he doesn't want them around."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    the West Indies always seem to have a problem with the performance of the squad. If at anytime the Bowling "tick" , then the batting fails . Or then it is the other way around .We need a set of "YOUNG MEN" that will listen and do the correct things on the field of play . Most of our top order too "flashy" and look good only for 6 overs or so . This is TEST Cricket we are playing . This section of Cricket (not 20/20 or 50 over game ) is for the TOP TIER of Players .

  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2012, 0:45 GMT

    I ususlly do not agree with holding...but this time he is absolutely correct ,i still wonder that after Narsing deonarine performed so well against the aussies,,,,that he is not in playing and kirk edwards need to go back to basics...gison i think hates guyanese...so he just dumps them...this is the insularity that destroy our game...unfortunately ..it continues

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    Itotally agree with Micheal Holding, look who is saving our team not Ottis Gibsons young players but the seniors players that are in the team. Listen good west selectors you can not have four batsmen at the top order who bearly have any experience between them . Powell not ready at all Barath and Edwards look lost in England Bravo as good as he is not in any form at all. If want to win bring back back gayle and sarwan, nash Dwayne Bravo and Linday Simmonds and give Sunil Narine a bloody contracy you cant have the best spinner that west indies has produced not playing.. You know what my team would be Gayle and Lindal(Wicket keeper) opening the inning, Sarwan at three, Daren Bravo at four,Shiv at five, samuels at six, Dwane Bravo/ or BNash at sevin, Daren Sammy at eight,Ravi Rampaul at nine, Roach at ten and Sunil Narine or Fidel Edwards at eleven, you have agood option bowlers and you bat right down to nine. Today west Indies did very well Samuels Shiv and sammy well done keep it up.

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    People sure have a short memory. I suppose the series win against England, winning a Test in South Africa and drawing an away series against Sri Lanka isn't progress? Well all that happened with the likes of Gayle and Sarwan. And Gibson wasn't the coach, John Dyson was. Give my Dyson any day - the man WICB couldn't even be bothered to offer a formal contract to.

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    T Dilshan Avg 40 in test 35 ODI, I Bell Avg 47.18 in test 34.04 ODI, K Pieterson Avg 48.89 in test 41.84 ODI, Y Khan Avg in test 52.44 in test 32.60 ODI, VVS Laxman Avg 45.97 in test 30.76 ODI, If these batsman are not good i agree R Sarwan is not good but if they are good something wrong because he career is 40.01 in test 43.41 ODI and not in WI setup

  • Vineeth on May 25, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Well Said holding!....If shiv chanderpaul wasn't there...all these test matches would have been ended within 3 days.....so don't boast much about giving fight back....its bcoz of him only....and now we have better bowlers also..not due to any sammy \ottis magic...

  • Robin on May 25, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    I don't condone the mindset or the way the Board have gone about their business in regards to the treatment of Seniors, but this decline in the Caribbean has been going on for well over a decade and not just since the appointment of Otis Gibson, as some on here would like to think. I'll never forget when the Windies were humiliated at Sabina Park in 2004, with our superstar players and how did they take the defeat, to go and celebrate in the Red Stripe crowd afterwards. Does that sound like individuals who care about the team? I remember watching several of our "superstar" players practicing in warm-ups, with their hands in their pockets and lounging around like a friendly get-together of beach-cricket. I also recall when our superstars were in England in 2009 and lost the match in 3 days. I don't doubt that we need their experience and talent back in the side, but i've also given three examples as to why their influence in the team is not necessarily the be-all and end-all either.

  • Lou on May 25, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Gayle and Sarwan don't make that much difference to the results of the team, especially overseas. This current West Indies team looks like a team, I haven't seen them look like one for the last two or three tours of England. It's especially noticeable in the ground fielding and catching. They look like they really care. That in itself is a real gain for West Indies cricket. Sammy isn't a great cricketer but he at least wants to be skipper, which Gayle never seemed to want to be and Sarwan and Shiv seemed to actually hate.

  • Shadab on May 25, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    The same way Pakistan wasted their talent like Mohammad Zahid or Asif Mujtaba, a long list can be prepared. Unfortunately, WI team is not one country, its combinaiton of islands. They will take more time to recover but I think there is no chance for reaching past glory in next 10 years. Cricket is not No.1 sports in these islands since late 90s. Their 1st class sportsman doesn t select cricket instead play basketball or football. Its a long debate, will need some space and time to conclude.

  • Mohammed on May 25, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    Gibson and Sammy are moulding the West Indian team into a team that plays cricket like the English! This is completely out of character with the natural Caribbean personality - as exemplified by the great Viv Richards, Marshall, Weekes, Kanhai, Sobers, the list is endless. It is as illogical as trying to mold Brazil to play football like the Germans. It is a formula for disaster - and world cricket does not need that. Gibson needs to be replaced by a coach with flair and innovation, a person who understands cricket and one who loves to do it the West Indian way. In this context, both Gibson and Sammy need to be replaced. Sorry to say that Sammy as a cricketer is not good enough to even play in the Lancashire League - although he may be a great trier.

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