It appears there will be a major shake-up in the West Indies Test squad for the imminent four-match series against India that starts on July 21 in Antigua.
Former captain and incumbent wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin has taken to social media to reveal that he has been axed from the West Indies Test team.
But the often combative Ramdin did not stop there. He went on to take a swipe at the West Indies cricket Board’s newly appointed chairman of selectors Courtney Browne, ridiculing the career of the former Barbados and West Indies wicketkeeper.
According to the 31-year-old Trinidadian, who has played 74 Tests for the West Indies, Browne indicated to him that he would not be selected against India as his Test average of 25.87 was simply not good enough.
“What a rainy day, lil heads up for shotta80 fans wouldn’t be playing in Test series vs India. New chairman says my average isn’t good,” Ramdin posted on his Twitter account.
Ramdin made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2005 and has so far made 2 898 runs with 166 the highest of his four Test centuries to go along with 15 half-centuries. While his ability behind the stumps has never been questioned, he has palpably under-performed in front of them during his 11 years in the side.
But in his tweets today, Ramdin compared his career for the West Indies with that of Browne’s.
“Life goes on man God is great. What I haven’t done in my test career is drop any batsman to score a double hundred vs WI,” Ramdin said.
Ramdin was making reference to Browne’s now infamous Test debut against Australia in 1995 at Sabina Park, Jamaica. With the series tied 1-1 and West Indies having not lost a series for 15 years, Browne dropped a simple chance offered by Steve Waugh on 40. Waugh went on to score 200, West Indies lost the match, the series, the Frank Worrell trophy, their Test match dominance, and have been in the Test doldrums since then.
But Ramdin wasn’t quite finished with his attack on the new chairman of selectors. He compared his batting average to that of Browne who played 20 Tests between 1995 and 2005, scored 387 runs at an average of 16.12 with one half-century in 30 innings.
“Man who’s telling my average is bad with 25.87 but his is 16 telling me about batting an has never scored international hundred shameless,” Ramdin tweeted.
In addition to his Waugh blunder, Browne’s Test career was unfortunately associated with a number of costly gaffes.
In the 1996 World Cup match against India in Gwalior, the hosts were chasing 174 for victory. They lost Ajay Jadeja and Navjot Sidhu within the first five overs. Then with India 32 for 2, Browne dropped a simple catch off Sachin Tendulkar who went on to score 70 and India won the game.
In the first Test of the 2005 series against South Africa at Bourda, Guyana, South Africa were made to follow on after double centuries by Wavell Hinds and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. They had to score 355 to make the hosts bat again. With South Africa 85 for 2, Jacques Kallis was dropped by Browne on 22 and went on to make an unbeaten 109 and South Africa drew the match. The visitors would go on to win the series 2-0.
Again in the 2005 home series against Pakistan, West Indies won the first Test in Barbados. Then in the second Test in Jamaica, with Pakistan on 113 for 3, Browne dropped Inzamam ul-Haq on nought. He went on to score 117 and West Indies lost the match and the series was drawn.
In his tweets today Ramdin referred to West Indies’ most recent Test series against Australia, suggesting he was being dropped despite making runs. His last Test was in January 2016. In that match he scored 62 as the West Indies made 330 all out in a match that ended as a draw.
“Last two innings over 60 vs Australia down under but not good enough to play anymore,” Ramdin tweeted.
This is not the first time Ramdin has reacted belligerently to former players who have shone the spotlight on his performances or lack thereof.
After making a century against England in the third Test at Edgbaston in 2012, he whipped a piece of paper from his pockets that was aimed at Sir Vivian Richards and stated: “Yea, Viv, talk nah”.
The Antiguan great had criticized Ramdin’s lack of productivity for the team, noting his performances had deteriorated in a “big way”. Sir Viv likened Ramdin’s century and his reaction to a football team losing a game 5-0 and scoring a goal in the 90th minute.
Attempts today to contact Browne for comment were unsuccessful. The official West Indies squad is expected to be named within days.
India will open their tour with a two-day game against the West Indies Cricket Board President’s XI at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts on July 9 and 10 followed by a three-day warm-up fixture at the same venue from July 14 to 16.