By Abhishek Roy
New Delhi: Nov 8, 2011
Leading wicketkeeper-batsman of yesteryear Jeffrey Dujon, who never played in a losing series when the West Indies ruled world cricket, feels there is a lack of will on the part of both the players union and the regional cricket board in resolving the imbroglio that has left former captain Chris Gayle out in the cold.
"I think there is always a solution to any problem, it is all about will to sort the matters out. I won't rule Gayle out, but I don't see any quick solution," the Jamaican told IANS.
Dujon, himself a key cog in the players association in the 1980s, said the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) is doing a great job for the players, but not for the sport in the Caribbean.
"They are doing a great job for the players, but I don't think it is helping West Indies cricket. They have antagonised the board, behaving more like a trade union and not as an association of players. I don't think either WIPA or the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has shown willingness to resolve the issue and work as partners in the development process of cricket in the Caribbean, they are more confrontational in approach."
The 55-year-old Dujon said Gayle, who enjoys the backing of WIPA, is indispensable for West Indies cricket and the issue must be sorted out at the earliest.
Gayle was left out of the West Indies team after the World Cup for making inflammatory remarks against the board. The WIPA has also filed a $20 million lawsuit against the WICB for refusing to issue No Objection Certificate (NOC) to Gayle, Dwayne Smith and Kieron Pollard for taking part in lucrative Twenty20 leagues.
Dujon said problems of Gayle and the veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul with the WICB are a distraction for West Indies cricket. Earlier this year, Chanderpaul alleged that the selectors were forcing him to retire from the ODI.
"These issues need to be sorted out immediately so that cricket can become the priority," he said.
Dujon believes there is a misunderstanding between Chanderpaul and the West Indies selectors.
"I think it was all due to a misunderstanding. The selectors indicated to Shiv what their plans are for him in the one-day cricket. They are trying to build a new ODI team and it would have been more important for his Test career to last longer. But I am glad to see that he is back in the team and is scoring runs. He is a very important figure in West Indies cricket."
Dujon sees no harm in selectors discussing retirements of players, but the players should be given more respect.
"At some time a discussion has to come up in terms of cricket going forward. But players should be treated with more respect than what we have seen," he said.
On the present state of West Indies cricket, Dujon said he wouldn't read too much into the Test series win against Bangladesh after eight years, it is not an achievement.
"Bangladesh are ranked lower than the West Indies. There is still room for improvement for West Indies. We have some young players in the team, which is going through a building process. We can call it a start, but we still have a long way to go in terms of development and producing good players," he said.
Asked what went wrong with the West Indies, Dujon said: "Everything went wrong from the start of the 80s. When we were successful there was no foresight in producing and developing quality cricketers to maintain the standard of West Indies cricket."
"The standard has obviously gone down for some time now. Internally West Indies have not been in a settled situation."