I have something on my mind that I need to get off, and I really would like to have someone who can answer me to do so either in person or via the media. Whichever chosen is fine with me. Now cricket is in the air and Sri Lanka is the worthy host of the Twenty/20 World Cup. Rain seems to be having the better of some games and Duckworth and Lewis has to be used to finalize some of these games much to the demise of some teams. Now my issue is not with Duckworth or Lewis but with the selection system the West Indies has in place.
I am by no means any great cricketer, but I have had my moments laying for my school and also for Carlton and I cannot forget the entertainers and last but not least, the tip-me-run village games. I know how taxing it can be on you and today I am feeling some of the effects of trying to be a Malcolm Marshall for too long. I only managed to look real good running to the wicket but not nearly as good as Malcolm but I knocked over a few and broke off a few edges too with my balls swinging in and out. I also know that it will be very hard to step out on a field and perform 100 per cent plus every time you do. The human body is such that must be maintained and the opposing team can turn your great efforts into mediocre with a few flashes of brilliance from a couple of their players. I have seen it happen over and over and I know it will be happening for times to come.
I managed to see the game West Indies versus Australia, and what a game it was turning out to be until Mother Nature decided she could not take anymore and rained on the whole parade of athletic cricketing displays. Gayle did his thing so too did Marlon Samuels, but our local boy Dwayne Smith failed with the bat and then dropped a catch which seemed rather simple by any standard.
Now this is game number one, but by the time number two comes up he is treated as he did the catch. I am asking why. Now I know that form of the game is one that will not allow mistakes to go unpunished by the opposition and you must be at full throttle most of the time but I still want to know if Dwayne deserved to be dropped. The inclusion of Russell is one I am totally in agreement with but not for Smith. Dwayne is one that can win games for you and can do just as a Chris Gayle or Samuels did as far as hitting the boundaries and sixes with the greatest of ease. He is probably the fittest cricketer I have seen and always tries to give that 100 per cent in the field. How does the pickers of the team expect an opening pair to gel or for a player of Dwayne’s talent to regain confidence after just giving him one game? You can’t shelve such talent like that all the time.
I was wondering who it was that Dwayne has angered or if he carried away someone’s girlfriend or ate the last sandwich during tea break or what. He has to have done something to somebody in the picking system that he is shelved as soon as he makes a mistake. There are some on the team which is on paper the best, so they say, fielded this toss.
I can tell you straight up that I would have played Dwayne instead of young Charles, Russell for Rampaul, and Simmons for Ramdin. Why? Dwayne is more experienced than Charles and has the ability to win games. He has shown it before and despite dropping a catch, I challenge anyone to say when last he has misfielded or dropped a catch; Russell can bowl and is a very good fielder and can surely bat; Simmons can keep and he surely can bat too. I don’t see Ramdin doing much in Sri Lanka besides keep wicket and make a number. You don’t need anyone just making a number in Twenty/20 cricket. South Africa has done it with AB de Villiers as a keeper and we know he is a prolific batsman.
I remembered when people were calling for the head of Greenidge and he responded with a double century. A similar thing happened with Brian Lara as captain and he saved our pride against Australia with a century when wickets were falling all around him. I guess Dwayne Smith has to do such to save his place or I don’t think he will have much of a chance as some others have had. I am backing the West Indies to do well in this tournament no matter what, but the selectors need to examine what they are doing. I believe if cricketing management was treated as they are in football, more efforts would be made to see the team do well. Instead of halting the growth and careers of young cricketers, we need to weed out some of the ones at the head first. They are the ones who need to be dropped. Good luck to the boys as they go for this elusive Twenty/20 trophy.