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Please resign, Courtney Browne

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

“This is the worst cricket ever …these guys are playing like novices…some of them should learn the basics before they even travel with an international team.”

At the moment, the West Indies team is engaged in a series of matches against New Zealand and the words expressed above, I feel certain, may have been in the minds of the commentators but because of courtesy, could not be expressed openly.

In the first place, this Test series after the Zimbabwe ordeal, was not even mentioned in cricketing circles in this country, much less for the Caribbean most likely, except Barbados, my Bajan friend told me.

At the moment, the regional Four-Day series is in progress, although that in itself is a misnomer, as there appears to be “no progress” in terms of the standard of the games being played with small totals, cheap dismissals and at times inaccurate bowling. Even the new rules appear totally skewed, with fast bowling points being encouraged, even when the bowlers are not good and spin bowling being discouraged by the lack of points.

So in the Caribbean and in the great mind of some “Wizard of Oz” at the West Indies Cricket Board, this idea was conjured and then rolled out to the many servants of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) juggernaut all around the region. I have to enquire, how many of them actually read the script that they were given but instead were all more concerned with the level of funding.

It is a poor plan and makes nonsense of first innings points and the preparation of proper surfaces for cricket, in other words, it encourages mediocrity at all levels, from the grounds staff, to the so-called fast bowlers, to the batsmen who make runs against these poor bowlers, to the spin bowlers who decide it is better not to train because they will not be selected because teams get zero points for having a true quality spinner and if he gets all the wickets, there are no fast bowling points. All of this sounds like a recipe for madness by mad people but then again, we need to understand, what is the origin and purpose of this.

Consultation is also important and we need to know whether the territorial boards were properly consulted on this matter, albeit we know that in T&T, our cricket board is still engaged in a legal battle in the courts, which is heading for its second year.

Meanwhile, the West Indies team continue to embarrass the region with one poor performance after another, unfortunately the current selector panel led by Courtney Browne cannot seem to get anything right at the moment. In fact, in a conversation I had with a very close friend Ash Marisella, I told her West Indies best player was “The Rain”. He was cheap, did not cost much and more often than not could not be dropped no mater the board or selectors and always delivered …she laughed having great knowledge of sports but I was being serious.

If the West Indies are to improve, then this current core of players have to be removed and either replaced by the best players or the best available players, in this regard, it would appear that Browne and his team lack the will to do either.

Therefore, I recommend that Browne should do the honourable thing and resign and take his whole team with him. Jason Holder is not a good enough captain and while many of us knew that a long time ago, there was a hope that in the ensuing years since his appointment, he would make a mark, set his own pathway, develop his own positive style, unfortunately we have seen none of the above and his assistant the pedantic Kraigg Braithwaite is not much better, it would appear. 

Examining the list of players on the team, a number of them appear to be batting in the wrong position or just not good enough, the one century that Shane Dowrich scored against Zimbabwe in a match, the West Indies fail to win, cannot excuse his appalling glove work, he is probably the worst West Indies wicket-keeper ever in the last 20 years.

Thankfully Kyle Hope is no more…we hope, because as we have stated before, he was not of the required quality in the first place to play for the West Indies despite our weaknesses. There is also no way that Rolston Chase should be batting at number five as his weaknesses outside of the Caribbean have been greatly exposed.

There is so much wrong with West Indies cricket at the moment, that you just have to watch the lack of spectator interest in New Zealand for the West Indies, even though the home team is running rings around them.

At the moment, on the international and domestic scene the future is not bright for the West Indies and no intelligent sponsor would be willing to support this current product, unless there is a facelift in many areas but given the TV rights, the CWI team may not need sponsors now but when the cycle is completed in three years, I expect given our poor performances, that funding, that money may also change and by then it may be too late to change West Indies cricket parlous faith.


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