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  1. #1
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    "Selectors need to make it clear to Gayle that no player is bigger than the game" : Fazeer Mohammed

    In his latest exclusive blog for PakPassion.net, Fazeer Mohammed writes about his disappointment with the West Indies ICC World Cup 2019 campaign, Chris Gayles future with the side and the changes needed for success in the future.




    Where did it go wrong for the West Indies at the World Cup?

    Ironically, the trigger for the slide was the demolition of Pakistan in the opening match in Nottingham. To put it simply, the bouncer barrage plan worked so well, in fact too well, to the extent that everyone associated with the team bought into the idea that the Caribbean side’s array of muscular fast men would rampage their way through the tournament.

    Pakistan are always dangerous opponents, and they may actually look back on that annihilation at Trent Bridge as the one which ultimately cost them a place in the semi-finals, given the winning run of form they established from the moment they settled down and started picking the players who were talented and versatile enough for the varying conditions over the nearly six week of group action in England.

    And that’s precisely where the West Indies eventually fell flat on their faces: lack of versatility and adaptability. They also had Australia on the ropes in their second match and should have won that one as well, except that the defending champions refused to bow down to the aggression from Jason Holder’s men, either with the ball or the bat.

    From that point the whole campaign started to unravel. There was that bad stretch of weather which didn’t help as the West Indies might have expected to easily get the better of a South African team rocked by defeats in their first three games and the unnecessary distraction of news leaking out that A.B. de Villiers had advised the selectors of his availability the day before the Proteas announced their squad.

    But from the next match, against England, the West Indies’ one-dimensional strategy was exposed with the home side romping to an eight-wicket victory with 15 overs to spare. True, the batsmen were also inconsistent, as reflected in the final numbers from all in the top order, however the manner in which Joe Root and company flayed the fast bowlers to all parts of the Hampshire Bowl sent a clear message that the two-time former champions needed to find another strategy if they wanted to remain a factor in the tournament.

    Surprisingly, they failed to do so, consistently omitting their most experienced and economical fast bowler, Kemar Roach (the shortest of all the pacers), even as their flawed tactics were repeatedly exposed. There were subsequent defeats to New Zealand (despite Carlos
    Brathwaite’s batting heroics), India and Sri Lanka (where Nicholas Pooran’s flailing blade just couldn’t bring the match home) but it was the loss to Bangladesh in Taunton which was the low point of this 2019 campaign.

    Insisting on the short-ball tactics, Shakib al Hassan’s second hundred of the tournament and Liton Das’ excellent support saw Bangladesh race to what appeared a challenging target of 322 with more than eight overs to spare and seven wickets in hand. By the final few overs of that forgettable experience the West Indies looked totally lost with a half-fit Andre Russell (his selection was gamble which backfired) barely able to walk, Chris Gayle a virtually immobile spectator at various close-in positions in the field and the other bulky fast bowlers – Shannon Gabriel and Oshane Thomas – still banging in short balls only to be hooked and pulled repeatedly and mercilessly.

    By the time they finished up at Headingley in holding off a determined Afghanistan team to win by 23 runs in defending 311, the issue was not so much about what could have been with better tactics but how do the West Indies learn from this immensely disappointing experience where they finished second-from-bottom in the ten-team standings?

    First and foremost, the selectors need to make it crystal clear to Chris Gayle that, after 19 years of international representation and several outstanding individual performances, he cannot be part of their One-Day International plans going forward. Gayle’s apparent decision to rescind his previous announcement to retire from ODIs after the World Cup, and to even go to the extent of wanting to play a farewell Test in his native Jamaica, is ridiculous in the extreme.

    No player is bigger than the game and if the selectors were to entertain those demands it would mean them essentially sacrificing any proper rebuilding program until the 39-year-old finally decides to call it a day on his West Indies career. Bottom line: it is not his choice to make and it is not in the best interest of the West Indies, as far as building towards the next World Cup in India in 2023, to continue to with him.

    In fact, if you look at this 2019 World Cup team, there is a nucleus of young batting talent in the likes of Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Pooran to which the experienced Darren Bravo can be added along with a replacement for Gayle (someone like John Campbell for example) to have a solid, consistent batting line-up over the next four years.

    Then there are young all-rounder and fast bowling talents in the shape of Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell and Alzarri Joseph who can be introduced sooner rather than later alongside Thomas, the youngest of the pacers from this World Cup team. He may be under pressure at this time but there appears to be no viable alternative to Holder as captain, especially as he is still only 27.

    However, the same cannot be said for the coaching staff and it is believed to be only a matter of time before Floyd Reifer, who filled an interim role at the World Cup and will do so for the home series against India, is replaced by Phil Simmons, who is seen by many in the region as the obvious full-time choice as head coach now that his contract with Afghanistan has come to an end and, more importantly, Dave Cameron, the man who terminated his first stint as head coach, is no longer president of Cricket West Indies.

    Interesting days are certainly ahead for West Indies cricket but if the administrators handle this disappointment properly it could lead to a much more competitive and flexible team by the time the next World Cup rolls around.
    Last edited by MenInG; 6th July 2019 at 16:05.


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  2. #2
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    Gayle should retire. Old man is now a liability.


    BANGLADESH FAN
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  3. #3
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    He definitely needs to call it a day. No point holding on to a spot in the 11 when your fitness level is not even club level.

  4. #4
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    I watched Gayle play England and After 10 overs Gayle was scoring at SR above 100 but the teams run rate was 4.1

    You would think he was doing his job as an opening batsman but he screwed his own team. Hope who was batting at the other end could not get any quick singles. Hope was frustrated because Gayle was happy to just play for the boundries and not do the hard work running between wickets and helping his batting partner build an innings. Chris Gayle plays for Chris Gayle and nothing else.

  5. #5
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    West Indies need to move on from Chris Gayle. He rarely fires now and is a passenger on the field. Also it's been a little embarrassing that their is always so much fuss about a player who is past it playing in all formats.

    One of the great entertainers , but West Indies need to move on.

  6. #6
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    I get this vibe that Gayle takes West Indies spot for granted. I feel that West Indies shouldn't allow players in team who don't play in domestic league.


    BANGLADESH FAN
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  7. #7
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    He makes a good point a few of their players are rather bulky and need to get more lean. Gayle, Thomas, Gabriel and even Braithwaite.

  8. #8
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    "Selectors need to make it clear to Gayle that no player is bigger than the game" : Fazeer Mohammed

    I find it incredibly sad seeing how Gayle´s career panned out towards the last decade or so. Till late 2000s, he was amongst my favourite batsmen. Alongside Tendulkar, Gilchrist and Jayasuriya, he was the one to occupy the spot of being my favourite openers in ODI cricket.

    It´s a pity really that I can´t remember a single ODI innings from him of note or in any crunch match after his stunning century over South Africa in the ICC Champions Trophy Semi-Final 2006. It was one of the greatest ODI innings ever. He literally tore apart Shaun Pollock and forced him to bowl with the keeper up to the stumps, which didn´t used to happen every day. What made that match all the more memorable for me was the fact that I´d kind of a bet running with my father and my elder brother that the West Indies will win the semi-final, as they both maintained that it´ll be a one-sided contest in the favour of South Africa. I won obviously due to almost one-man brilliance. I still think that they should´ve won the final too against the mighty Australians. Being 49 for none off five overs, and then 80 for two off nine overs, no way on earth that you can be all out for 138! So it was a massive opportunity missed.

    Sadly though, Gayle never remained the same in ODI cricket after that, whereas it should´ve been the making of him. In T20I cricket though, he wasn´t just a batsman. He was a batting line-up all by himself. There´re so many blistering knocks to choose from, but one innings that I´ll never forget was 88 off 50 balls, from World T20 2009, against a very capable Australian pace attack comprising of Brett Lee, Johnson and Bracken. He really smashed them that day, and particularly took Lee to the cleaners. There was one mind-blowing six off Lee over mid-wicket which I think landed in Germany! One of the most brutal displays of batting ever in T20 cricket! I felt like clapping that day.

    He was thrilling to watch on his day. He really bossed the IPL too at his prime in the early 2010s. However, now might just be the time to go I suppose from international cricket. I too got the feeling sometimes that he took his place for granted in the West Indies team. The West Indies ODI team needed more from him.


    "It sounds like you have a great strength of character and strong will" - Ellyse Perry about me.

  9. #9
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    Im pretty sure he knows lol, its just a bit of fun

  10. #10
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    Gayle has been a legend for West Indies cricket. Gayle said he wanted to play India ODI series & a test. I think he should have made it clear by saying one farewell ODI match (actually series) & one farewell test to avoid the confusion & such criticism.

  11. #11
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    Gayle does not even appear fit. Always struggling to take singles or doubles hitting boundaries or sixers is all he is interested in. Totally wrong attitude to play this way for any batsman.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  12. #12
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    Seems to be the seniority issue like Pakistan cricket.

    Senior player fancies playing in a tournament, senior player gets picked for all matches.



  13. #13
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    Chris Gayle the West Indian Hafeez!

  14. #14
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    Well whether he retires or not, why would West Indies pick him? He hasn't been playing international cricket for a while.

  15. #15
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    Everyone has a shelf life, he should call it a day! He was a great servant of the game but he started to call himself The Boss! Never abuse the game! We are all due to the game not the other way around. Arrogance is brutal evil. Look what happened to India in the WC!

  16. #16
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    As if they have not made it clear to him but he still gets his way.

    Such is the power of Universe Boss


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