Monday, January 22, 2018

WICB not budging on Narine

Roberts’ intervention fails

West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron said the Board will not back down on the decision not to consider top spinner Sunil Narine for the upcoming three-Test series against New Zealand.

Cameron was responding to a letter from Minister of Sport Anil Roberts, who was pleading for the regional body to reconsider its position on omitting Narine after he failed to arrive at the pre-series training camp in Barbados by the June 1 deadline. Narine remained in India to play for his Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) franchise in the final of the Indian Premier League.

Roberts wrote the WICB president on May 31 last week, asking the Board to reconsider its decision to drop Narine, who helped the KKR to the IPL Premier League title on Sunday.

But in a brief response dated June 2, Cameron stated that the WICB “stands by its processes where players are selected to represent the region in various formats of the game.”

Cameron wrote: “A few months ago, the Board of Directors, West Indies Players Association and the Territorial Boards agreed (on) a way forward regarding our management of the sport with the aim of getting us back to number one.”

He added that the parties arrived at a “transparent” consensus that places the players as a priority as the WICB seeks to grow the game.

“We are cognizant of the emotions which run contrary to the process. We ask that other administrators respect our position and when the time is appropriate, (the WICB) will seek your valued input,” Cameron stated.

On Tuesday, Roberts, replied that he was extremely disappointed with the WICB’s rejection of his proposal.

The Minister said the WICB should have taken many factors into consideration, including the athlete’s desire and commitment to the regional team.

“It is passing strange that despite the player’s expression of interest and the club’s concession to fly him back to the West Indies immediately after the IPL final, the WICB instead forced the player to choose between abandoning his club at their greatest time of need and attending the first few days of a training camp deemed compulsory by mere administrators. In my respectful view, the decision was inconsiderate, brutish and uncompromising in a situation that warranted more robust negotiation,” Roberts said.

Roberts said the WICB contradicted its own policy by still allowing him to be eligible for the T20 series, in spite of not being able to reach the training camp by the stipulated date and time.

Roberts said it was a pity that the harder-to-sell Test matches will not benefit from Narine’s demonstrated drawing power.

“In the end, it is the West Indies team that suffers for the lack of a fully-stocked arsenal, it is the athlete that suffers for lack of Test playing experience and it is the fans that will suffer for lack of entertainment from the best spin bowler in the world,” Roberts wrote.