West Indies news January 13, 2016

Uncontracted players still eligible for selection - WICB

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The WICB has said that Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy are eligible for World T20 selection, provided they meet the selection panel's criteria © ICC

Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Darren Sammy will be eligible for selection for upcoming tournaments, including the World Twenty20, despite not being given annual retainer contracts by the West Indies Cricket Board. The only condition the WICB has placed is that the players will need to meet criteria set in place by the selection panel, led by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd. The six players are not part of the group of 15 who were given retainer contracts for the period between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016.

According to Michael Muirhead, the WICB's chief executive, the selectors had shortlisted 15 players for the contracts based on certain criteria that were drawn keeping in mind the future of West Indies cricket. Muirhead pointed out that the aforementioned six players - including Sammy who captains the West Indies T20 side - did not fit into the selection panel's vision and hence were not given a contract.

"The selectors did the retainers based on where they saw West Indies cricket going and the philosophy which they wanted to encourage and adopt, principally being loyal to commitment and really build for the longer form of the game," Muirhead told ESPNcricinfo on Tuesday. "Lloyd had previously said how and where he was projecting our cricket to go, and how he wanted to build it."

According to Muirhead, the 15 players were shortlisted by the panel and endorsed by the WICB based on the "combination of their performances in the regional tournaments as well as their attitude".

Still, Muirhead insisted the six players should not misread the situation as they would be eligible for forthcoming series, if the selectors deemed fit.

Some of the six players have failed to feature in the list of contracted players in the past, for reasons ranging from disputes with the WICB to voluntarily declining the retainer. In January 2015, Gayle and Narine had refused the retainer contracts as they wanted to focus on playing domestic Twenty20 leagues around the world, where they are marquee players.

"When Chris Gayle and Narine refused our retainer contracts some years ago it was so that they had the freedom to do what they wanted," Muirhead said. "But they are eligible to play all our games if they meet our criteria. This not a penalty."

Muirhead said most of the players had made the decision to make themselves unavailable because they wanted to be free to play in T20 leagues to earn more. "And they took that business decision to do so," Muirhead said.

Muirhead also stressed that most of the six players had already made public their intentions of not playing Test cricket. "Many of those players have withdrawn from the long form of the game officially and are not interested in playing for the West Indies in all formats," he said.

In the last two years, Bravo and Sammy announced their retirement from Test cricket. Pollard has never played Test cricket and is seen by selectors as a limited-overs specialist. Although Lloyd has always been keen for Russell to play Test cricket, the allrounder told the chairman of selectors he would like to play only limited-overs cricket due to a bad knee. Narine, who has played six Tests, is busy remodelling his bowling action after he was suspended by the ICC in November last year. Only Gayle, a 103-Test veteran, has openly stated he is still keen to return to Test cricket in 2016.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricinfouser on January 20, 2016, 2:17 GMT

    . Gayle is bigger than cricket. Hé claims to have built. T20 cricket worldwide. Are you going to pick him because hé is bigger than the game?

  •   Matthew Wiltshire on January 19, 2016, 15:01 GMT

    Those who not from the caribbean shouldn't talk as if they know... the unnecessary pressure these players receive from the former players on the cricket board is not fair and sorely uncalled for... Especially The players from Trinidad & Tobago... This problem against our players(in T&T) going on long time since when the great Brian Charles Lara was playing. Gayle fell out of favor with the WICB when he spoke against them not carrying certain players to the world Cup... and sadly Sammy did the same and sided with his players... even more recently Phillip Simmons (a Trini) was suspended because he said in an interview that he wasn't pleased with the team that was selected for a tour... seems to me as if you can't say anything against them(WICB) without the retaliating... Is like this... The WICB wants everybody(players & staff) under there control & to suck up to them... Trinis don't get their tongue brown to please anyone... And they are totally correct to refuse contracts when they can

  • delboy on January 15, 2016, 8:10 GMT

    WI have 5 WORLD RANKED T20 players - Bowlers Badree and Narine, batsmen - Gayle , Allrounders = DJ Bravo and MARLON SAMUELS. Marlon must have done something to be ranked 5th, 2 places above Bravo. His game is in decline and he will not be able to bowl. I would include him in the squad but he has two chances to save his international career in ALL formats.

  • mngc1 on January 14, 2016, 20:05 GMT

    @joshfromjamrock. What special performances to get into the squad? No matches have been scheduled. Especially if you go with the 2 spinners like I suggested earlier then Ramdin is the keeper and not Fletcher as there are already 7 power hitters and any more should be unnecessary in just 20 overs or the side would be in trouble already. Sammy has not had form with both bat and ball for a very long time (over 2 seasons) and was not retained by his IPL team so I would not play both him and Holder. One inning steadier in Darren Bravo who has form and can accelerate as seen in last CPL.

  • Rally_Windies on January 14, 2016, 18:42 GMT

    Sammy, Sammy , Sammy...

    how dare you side with Bravo in India ...

    Your sole role in the WI team was to back WICB .. runs and wickets were "optional" ,,

    now that you are siding with Bravo,, I am afraid guys who score even less runs than you and take even few wickets are now eligible for selection and you are not longer required ....

    such is life in the WI

  • BRUTALANALYST on January 14, 2016, 17:11 GMT

    @alexpugliese89 How many NZ players are in BigBash OVER NZ duty ? How many in Bangladesh premier league over their domestic duty ? WI T20 stars need to show some inclination it's one thing to let player play in IPL but how can you be in every t20 league season round ? It takes two to tango right now WI problems are still unsolved on both sides.

  • JoshFromJamRock on January 14, 2016, 15:35 GMT

    Gayle, Fletcher, Simmons, Bravo, Pollard, Russell, Sammy, Brathwaite, Holder, Badree and another spinner... Anything less than runners-up for WI in the T20 WC will be considered a big disappointment to many... Smith, Darren Bravo, Samuels, Taylor, Rampaul, Narine, Santokie and Cotterell have to put in special performances to get into the squad much less the playing XI... WI must resist picking on reputation or else Smith, Samuels, Santokie and Narine will all be picked without having to do much

  • cricuscrazy on January 14, 2016, 12:58 GMT

    Sammy I believe gave his all to whatever role he was given with whatever skills he had.

  • PaddyRasta2 on January 14, 2016, 9:22 GMT

    @TheLight and Wazir Pollard's Don't get me wrong, I really like Pollard and believe that he has Test potential, more so than much of the budding batsmen or recently contracted players. I would however like to see more than words from him and other T20 specialist players - Expressing that you want to play Tests is not enough. I would like to see him do a Kevin Pietersen and earn the right to play by spending at least half an English season play FC cricket. KP was messed around by the ECB, but if WICB have any brains they would try to get the guy to play Tests by dangling the carrot in front of him. Playing a couple of FC matches/ year for T&T is not really showing commitment or developing conditioning for the rigours of Test cricket. And he is not exactly setting the world alight when he does play FC cricket of late.

  • alexpugliese89 on January 14, 2016, 4:48 GMT

    I recently saw an interview with Clive Lloyd in Australia and the more I hear him talk the less impressed I've become with his administrative abilities. In all honesty, the West Indies administrators have put themselves into a corner. They should have adopted the New Zealand approach and struck a balance between the 20/20 tournaments and playing for the region. Tony Cozier is right in his recent article in that regard, West Indies are making this so much harder than it should be. I believe that Pollard, Bravo and Narine would still be available in all formats if their situations were handled better (Bravo has since retired from First Class cricket). Gayle has played over 100 tests already so he deserves to choose where and when he plays. Russell is a different story, I don't think he has the fight to play the longer format. But West Indies cannot dictate terms to these players when they don't have alot of suitable replacements. Lloyd's policies are reactionary, out dated and inflexible

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