Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 5th 2014 Contents A63
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Recently, I had the pleasure of looking at 14 days
of Test cricket and began taking interest in what
was on offer in terms of Test talent in the Caribbean.
The West Indies of course, went down 1-2 to New
Zealand in the three-Test series.
At the end of it all, I looked back and penned my
thoughts on all the players who wore white during
the series. At the end of this exercise, I asked myself
whether these guys were the best we could offer for
the five-day format.
I came to the conclusion that the selection panel
should be removed and replaced with a "new think- ing" team of administrators. We have a chairman in
the form of Clyde Butts, who has been there longer
than Caribbean Airlines. The man would have flown
around the region looking at players since the days
of BWIA. While the team continues its downward
spiral he remains fixed as the head and even after
glaring mistakes, no one is held accountable on that
I agree that it is the most thankless job in the
region, but the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)
must take the blame for allowing the problems of
poor selections to hurt WI cricket, by keeping those
I read that executive member of the T&T Cricket
Board (TTCB), Patrick Rampersad was not in agree-
ment with the team that was selected but quickly
added that the cupboard was bare.
I want to disagree with Rampersad on the second
point because there is talent but they cannot select
themselves. I would like to use Kieron Pollard as an
example to show just how "excellent" this selection
Pollard is known all over the world for his exploits
as a Twenty20 cricketer. I agree that he s quite brilliant
in this format but Pollard made his name in the
region based on his performances in First Class
cricket. When he came onto the scene, was brutal
in recording centuries in the regional First Class tour-
nament. Yet, he has never been given an opportunity
as far as red-ball cricket is concerned. The man has
publicly stated that he would trade some of the mil-
lions he earned in T20 cricket to just play a Test
His record in First Class cricket reads 26 matches,
42 innings, 1,536 runs with a highest score of 174
and an average of 38.40. The 27-year-old has been
around cricket for quite some time and added to his
batting, he can also offer medium-pace bowling and
he is one of the best fielders in the world.
Guyanese chairman, Butts, decides to bring in the
Guyanese middle-order batsman Leon Johnson who
just shy of 27. The stocky left-hander has played 50
First Class matches, batted 87 times, scored 2,754
runs and averages 33.18---which is less than Pollard
and he cannot offer the option of bowling some
overs. Added to this, I saw him in the field as a sub-
stitute fieldsman in the Test series and he was not
one of the better West Indian fielders, let alone in
How do you explain his inclusion ahead of a man
who has the added experience of being in a profes-
sional cricket setup at the Mumbai Indians? A man
who has been highly rated by the former Barbadian
and West Indies legend Desmond Haynes and who
breathes confidence into any team he plays for.
Was age the difference here? No, Pollard is just a
few days older than Johnson so that theory is weak.
Maybe Johnson has a better average than Pollard?
Clearly the answer is no. Is he is a better fieldsman?
We all know better.
Pollard has been rated a top man by the former
South African fielding legend Jonty Rhodes, with
whom he works, at the Mumbai Indians.
Well, Denesh Ramdin can probably turn to Johnson
to send down a few overs in an effort to break part-
nerships, as Pollard doesn t really offer this option.
I feel the statisticians lie as Pollard only has a total
of 310 wickets in all formats of the game.
I am finished with my point but by the way, does
anyone know where Johnson lives? I wonder how
far away from Butts?
A case for Pollard
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