Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 26th 2014 Contents A54
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, December 26, 2014
PORT ELIZABETH---After Christmas
lunch, West Indies will have a talent show
and they re not talking about the Boxing
Day Test in Port Elizabeth.
It is a tradition in their team to entertain
each other with singing, dancing and even
the playing of the saxophone over the festive
season as they put cricket aside and cele-
bration in front.
"Perhaps you should save the performance
for the field," some of the media suggested
when Denesh Ramdin revealed their plans
for their day off. The West Indies captain
smiled politely in response, because he had
already described their discussions for a
must-win---or must save-face as it being
spoken of here---match.
"We ve stressed on the guys who got
starts in the first innings that they need to
Carry on so the team won t be under pres-
sure," Ramdin said. "And then we need to
bowl a bit fuller on these pitches. The South
African guys play pretty good with the short
stuff. The crowds want to see exciting crick-
et, the style of cricket we play but we are
not consistent. We need to work on those
A more compete performance from his
team required what Ramdin called a mental
shift. "We need to believe in ourselves a bit
Although Ramdin acknowledged that
Kemar Roach s withdrawal from the tour
through injury was a blow, he had full con-
fidence in the men who may replace him.
"We have Shannon Gabriel and Kenroy
Peters and either one of them could come
into the team. They are both good enough
to do the same job as Kemar."
Similarly, Ramdin thought his batting
line-up is equally equipped to deal with the
South African pack, especially as a strong
showing could earn them some much-need-
ed kudos. "When you do well against a team
like South Africa, you get a lot of credit for
it. Hopefully the guys will look deep into
themselves and pull out that magical per-
There has only been one previous example
of that by West Indies in South Africa. They
won the first Test of the 2007-08 series,
which was also played in Port Elizabeth.
Ramdin was part of that win and although
he remembers it for what it can teach the
current crop, he has tempered his recollec-
tion with realism, which suggests he knows
where the real talent show is.
"It was a good match for us. It was an
overall team effort. Going forward, we need
more team effort, being more consistent
and having that self-belief---knowing we
can give South Africa a fight. Seven years
ago, we had a result against them but that
was seven years ago. They are the No. 1
team in the world."
field first black
PORT ELIZABETH---Temba Bavuma is set to
become the first black African batsman to play
for South Africa when the second cricket test
against the West Indies gets underway at St.
George s Park today.
With Quinton de Kock ruled out of the remain-
der of the three-match series with an ankle lig-
ament injury, Bavuma will take his place in the
Proteas lineup if the selectors continue their policy
of fielding seven batsmen.
The 24-year-old s potential debut is a big deal
for South Africa, which has fielded only five black
African players since readmission in 1991, and
has not had any since fast bowler Makhaya Ntini s
last test at the end of 2009.
Despite the fact that almost 80 percent of South
Africa s population is black, Ntini is the only crick-
eter to have held down a regular place in the
national side, taking 390 wickets in 101 tests.
Fast bowlers Monde Zondeki, Mfuneko Ngam
and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, and wicketkeeper Thami
Tsolekile, all managed a combined 17 tests.
"I ve come to realise that there are a lot of
people out there that I represent---I m not just
playing for myself," Bavuma said on Wednesday.
"I am aware, but it doesn t really change the ball-
game for me."
Born in Langa, Cape Town s oldest township,
Bavuma was educated at a leading cricket school
in Johannesburg, and played for South Africa
He has forged a successful first-class career,
scoring 3,631 runs at an average of almost 36, and
hit a career-best 162 against Australia A during
a South Africa A tour in August.
South Africa is likely to make one other change
to the side that thrashed the West Indies by an
innings and 220 runs in the first test as it prepares
for different conditions in Port Elizabeth.
The Proteas fielded an all-seam attack at Cen-
turion, but the St. George s Park pitch is tradi-
tionally drier and slower, and so legspinner Imran
Tahir will be included, most likely at fast bowler
Kyle Abbott s expense.
Left-armer Robin Peterson, who was the original
spinner in the squad, was ruled out of the series
after splitting his left index finger during a training
drill on Tuesday.
Left-arm seamer Kenroy Peters has joined the
West Indies after the injured Kemar Roach returned
home, but Shannon Gabriel is the most likely
replacement for Roach in the playing XI.
The visitors have major concerns around their
batting after they were bowled out for 201 and
131 in the first test, but do not have any options
available to them.
Left-hander Assad Fudadin was withdrawn
from the squad after breaking his right little finger
during a warm-up drill, and his replacement,
Narsingh Deonarine, is still waiting on travel doc-
KINGSTOWN---St Vincent and the
Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gon-
salves Wednesday called on the West Indies
Cricket Board (WICB) to reverse its deci-
sion to axe three senior players, including
former captain Dwayne Bravo, from the
West Indies One Day International (ODI)
In a two-page letter to WICB President
Dave Cameron and copied to regional leaders
as well as the president of the West Indies
Players Association (WIPA), Wavell Hinds,
the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime
Minister said the WICB had given an under-
taking that the players would not be vic-
timized following the controversial tour of
India earlier this year.
Gonsalves reminded Cameron of the
meeting held in T&T to resolve the issues
surrounding the aborted tour of India and
the "solemn undertaking by the WICB"
that the selection of the teams (Test, One
Day, T-29) for the imminent tour of South
Africa would be done on merit from the
available pool of players, including the "India
"Your solemn undertaking was honoured
by the WICB in the selection of the test
team for South Africa. But it is evident to
all objective observers that the WICB has
dishonoured that undertaking in respect of
the recently announced touring party for
the One-Day International series in South
Africa," Gonsalves wrote in the letter that
was also copied to Queen s Counsel Ralph
Thorne, the players representatives and
CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La
Cameron said earlier this week that the
decision by the board to approve a recom-
mendation for rookie fast bowler Jason
Holder to be appointed new one-day captain
WICB selectors, chaired by Clive Lloyd,
recommended the 23-year-old Barbados
pacer as captain of the ODI squad ahead of
the five-match series against South Africa
and just two months before the ICC World
Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Holder takes over the reins of team from
seasoned all-rounder Bravo who has been
sacked after just 19 months in charge and
also dropped from the 15-man squad named
to face the South Africans.
"I don t have anything to say. I think you
should speak to the selectors," said Cameron.
"I don t pick the team...You will have talk
to the selectors and they will give you their
philosophy on why they picked the team.
It is not for the president to talk about".
Holder has played one Test and 21 One-
Day Internationals since making his inter-
national debut in February last year.
In his letter, which was released to the
media, Prime Minister Gonsalves said the
"preemptory removal" of Bravo from the
captaincy and the non selection of Kieron
Pollard and Darren Sammy "reeks of village
vengeance, discrimination and victimisa-
Sammy has since been recalled to the
team, but Gonsalves said "it is inconceivable
that on the cusp of the World Cup, such
a decision of folly could have been made
"Since the decision glaringly lacks crick-
eting merit, reasonable persons are left to
conclude that there is more in "the mortar
beside the pestle .
"There are those who may ask instinc-
tively "What does a politician or Prime
Minister Gonsalves know about cricket?
The simple response is that cricketing deci-
sions, such as the one of which I complain,
are not akin to advanced nuclear physics,
these decisions are not so abstract or esoteric
as to be beyond the comprehension of nor-
"Ordinary persons up and down our
Caribbean know that the decision to drop
Messrs Bravo, Pollard and Sammy from the
ODI squad is plainly wrong, the casting
aside of Mr. Bravo as our ODI captain is a
travesty of justice," Gonsalves wrote.
Gonsalves said he is also aware that the
"fig leaf excuse is trotted out by the admin-
istrators of West Indies cricket that the
selection of the ODI team is done by selec-
tors and not the WICB itself.
"The sensible answer to this formalistic
doctrine is that there is not such a wall of
separation between the WICB and the selec-
tors as to amount to a suicide pact.
"At the end of the day you and the WICB
are responsible for this farce which is inju-
rious to West Indies cricket," Gonsalves
wrote, adding "this absurd decision relating
to the ODI team is likely to make healing
in the cricketing fraternity a forlorn hope".
He told Cameron, parenthetically, it is
unlikely to aid your cause with the BCCI
(The Indian cricket Board) and its US$41.9
Gonsalves further told Cameron "it is not
too late for you and the WICB to correct
this egregious error in respect of Bravo, Pol-
lard and Sammy," adding: "I urge you to
initiate steps to effect a reasonable correc-
"The days of men riding horses with cork
hats across plantations are, metaphorically,
over. The WICB must stop functioning as
a virtual private club and be responsible
and responsive to the people of the region,"
Gonsalves added. (CMC)
Ramdin calls for self-belief
Temba Bavuma...set to make Test debut.
West Indies batsman Devon Smith play through the onside during the first cricket test
match against South Africa at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday. AP PHOTO
Bring back Bravo, Pollard says Gonzalves
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