Denesh Ramdin was part of West Indies squad for recently concluded Tri-Nation Series © AFP
Denesh Ramdin was part of West Indies squad for recently concluded Tri-Nation Series © AFP

Former West Indies p;ayers – Jeff Dujon, Deryck Murray and Kackie Hendricks – have stated their surprise and disappointment on exclusion of Denesh Ramdin from West Indies squad for upcoming home series against India. Although the West Indies squad is yet to be announced, Ramdin had made it public indirectly on his Twitter account of his axing by Courtney Browne, new selection committee chairman. The three wicketkeepers’ stressed on the fact about Ramdin’s inconsistency in scoring runs. In Test, he has been asked to bat at No.6 position whereas he has been asked to bat at No.5 in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). ALSO READ: Denesh Ramdin’s tweets against WICB chairman of selectors; hints non-selection for India series

 

 

Speaking to cricbuzz.com, Dujon told “While I can vaguely understand the explanations by selectors regarding his average, especially when comparing it to other keepers around the world, but in the current context of the West Indies team, his exclusion, at this time, doesn’t make sense.” Murray added his point as well, “If this is true, I’m very disappointed and confused. (It) brings into the question what really is the selection policy and their understanding of the importance and role of a wicket-keeper. Call me old fashioned, but I maintain the belief long after my playing days that you always pick your best keeper first – even more so in Test cricket. All other factors regarding batting ability or otherwise is secondary.”

He further reasoned, “Recently, the CPL game that the Trinbago Knight riders were playing, Umar Akmal, a makeshift keeper, missed a stumping from Sunil Narine to dismiss Chris Gayle before he scored a hundred. How do you equate that moment when a wicket-keeper makes such a blunder against how much runs you want from him when batting?” Dujon added, “Considering how experienced an opposition India is, his experience and his value as a good player versus spin are still key. He is the best equipped keeper-batsman right now in West Indies, the batting and balancing of the team has been weakened for a long time by them placing him to bat too high in Tests. So to drop (him) before this series, you are in effect making the batting line-up more brittle. (I) don’t know if the new chairman is trying to make some statement, but it’s clearly not wise.”

Dujon also mentioned “I’ve been a little bit at sea at what the selectors are doing for a fair while now”, noted Hendricks, the West Indies keeper during the 1960s. “The teams are so unbalanced, which is forcing Ramdin to bat out of position. So if the issue is not with his wicket-keeping, the selectors need to focus more on the top-order batsmen who aren’t scoring runs consistently.” Murray questioned on changing Ramdin’s positions across formats, “You asking him to bat in positions that specialist batsmen should be in and when he struggles – you drop him because he not making runs? I hope to hear a clear explanation from the selectors on this, however such things are usually not forthcoming from WICB, but that’s another story.” ALSO READ: Jason Holder all praise for Denesh Ramdin

This ill treatment by West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) towards Ramdin was followed by the abandoned West Indies tour of India in 2014. On return from that tour, the Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board controversially took away his domestic captaincy. The board jumped to conclusions claiming he displayed poor leadership in India. WICB on completion of their investigation concluded that the players, WIPA were equally at fault. In 2015, he was then stripped of Test captaincy after the home series loss to Australia, despite leading the Windies to a 1-1 draw against England in the previous series.

Also another shocking part was when WICB’s took unusual decision in February to disallow contracted players to be part of Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and now exclusion from WI squad will cost him financially. Just weeks before CPL 2016 began, WICB released few players on the intervention of Phil Simmons. This indecision meant that Ramdin was unable to continue his role as captain for CPL team Guayana Amazon Warriors and further get full franchise contract. This has lead to opportunity for New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill as their skipper. At the moment, Ramdin has been signed up for St.Kucia Zouks franchise on per-per-play contract and unless Zouks first-choice keeper, Andre Fletcher, is dropped or injured, Ramdin is unlikely to play and will end up missing out on significant Test and CPL remunerations.