West Indies' Test captain Denesh Ramdin believes he has been axed as captain of the Trinidad & Tobago squad for the forthcoming domestic four-day tournament and has alleged, in an interview with Trinidad Express, that he is being "victimised". Allrounder Rayad Emrit has been named captain of the T&T side. Patrick Rampersad, a vice-president of the Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB), has denied Ramdin's allegation.
Ramdin said he had met the TTCB executive on November 3 to discuss the forthcoming season and admitted the move had come as a shock as he had anticipated continuing his tenure as captain.
"It [the meeting] was to talk about playing for Trinidad so I told them [TTCB], 'Yes I will be available for Trinidad,' and I said, 'Yes, no problem, I will be at training tomorrow [November 4],' and then they said I am no longer the captain," he said.
"So I said how could I be West Indies captain and play for T&T under somebody else. When I was captain for the four-day and the 50-over teams and Dwayne [Bravo] was captain for West Indies' one-day squad, the guys said because he is one-day captain, it would look bad if he comes back to play for T&T under somebody else, so he captained the team for the Super50. Now it is the same situation, if I am captain for West Indies and have to come back to play under somebody else."
Ramdin alleged he was being victimised and said that he had been asked about the abandoned India tour during the meeting with the TTCB. Ramdin believed the team was moving in a different direction, but said that his removal served as a motivating factor.
"In moving forward they are trying to go in a different direction," he said. "I am axed as captain and they announced Rayad Emrit will be captain going forward for Trinidad & Tobago. I think it is more victimisation because they were asking me questions about India and my lawyer said not to talk about it so I think they were trying to get more information on that aspect.
"I think they are trying to victimise me and some of the other players, but I am not going to let it disrupt me mentally. I am just trying to get back into the right frame of mind to play and I know we [T&T] have a couple of games before going to South Africa so I will just try to get myself mentally prepared. We have a game against Barbados at the Oval so that is my main focus right now, to get out there and be playing cricket again."
Rampersad reportedly told Trindad Express that the executive could not have removed Ramdin as captain without a recommendation from the selectors. Alec Burns, head of the selection panel, told the paper that the panel had made recommendations but could not reveal them. He said the panel could only make recommendations and that the final decision rested with the TTCB executive. Azim Bassarath, the board president, also said that players "cannot be victimised" for abandoning the India tour.
Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. @RenaldoMatadeen