Get it right, selectors!Monday, September 20, 2021
As a fellow Jamaican I'm proud of Chris Gayle's tremendous achievements and contribution to West Indies cricket. He's probably the greatest Twenty20 (T20) batsman to ever play the game. And no one can change or challenge that.
Don't take my word for it, the statistics speak for themselves. Having said that, at 41 going on 42 no one should tell Gayle when to retire. If he feels up to it and still can perform at the highest level then kudos to him. However, I think that the entire selection panel of the West Indies selectors should resign with immediate effect — they should be ashamed of themselves.
The various governments around the region should make sure this happens. Next month the West Indies will be defending its T20 title and we should select the strongest team with the intention to win. Jason Holder is the leading all-rounder in the Caribbean and one of the very best in the world. To select Gayle and others over him is an outright insult. He shouldn't be a reserve but in the actual team.
Selection, in my view, should be based on talent and performance in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL). This convenient fitness argument the selectors keep offering as a reason for the non-selection of players is questionable. How can you give senior guys medical exemptions and then talk about fitness to the younger guys in the same breath. If one is fit enough to perform, they are fit enough to be selected to play.
How can the selectors justify not selecting youngsters such as Sherfane Rutherford, a consistent performer, though out competition, or Romario Shepherd? Are they saying non-performers, such as Oshane Thomas, are more deserving?
To make matters worse, these guys weren't even on the reserve list. It is not easy selecting any team because not everyone will be happy. But when the selection effort is so glaringly weak one cannot help but speak out.
These selectors should tell the region, if not performance and talent, what are the criteria used for selecting the team?
Experience can only take you so far, what we need are young, talented, consistent performers.
Gayle was once in this group.
Westchester, New York, USA
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