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Insularity within and without…

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Two West Indies teams head to Sri Lanka. An ‘A’ Team comprised of 15 players makes a corresponding tour with their Senior colleagues. The selectors have taken the decision to minimise the Test party so that those on the ‘A’ squad can serve as replacements.

Of the 28 players on that tour, one player from the Windwards found a place.{{more}}

That is an indictment of the policy of regional selectors. The Windwards have their peculiar insular trends, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have suffered.

SVG has been in the leadership of the Windwards Board over the years. Lennox John as president and Julian Jack chairman of the Windward selectors.

On examination, Vincentian players have been sacrificed in the interest of broadening the composition of the squad. Not that efforts were made to keep out other countries, but Vincentians rose to the occasion when tested.

When the opportunity was there for a national team to compete at the West Indies One Day level, attempts were engineered to frustrate SVG’s participation.

It appeared that a conspiracy was hatched to keep Vincentian players out of the Windwards picture. Lennox John and Julian Jack would dismiss those suggestions.

However, the situation is becoming blatant. It took a series of dismal performances by contenders at the senior level for Devon Smith to get a chance in the West Indies squad.

What about Deighton Butler, Darren Sammy, Kenroy Peters and Orlanzo Jackson?

Isn’t it strange that just about the time Jackson was featuring at the regional level, that he was eased out of the Windwards team.

Captain Rawle Lewis entertained thoughts of a recall to the West Indies party.

The way was cleared for Camilus Alexander. He however, was ill-prepared. It hardly mattered whether the Windwards sunk or floated.

How could Sammy have been selected to tour England, hardly given an opportunity to show his colours, and never asked to appear for a trial?

The same questions concern Deighton Butler. He feared admirably during the camp in preparation for the VB Triangular Series in Australia last December.

Butler was on standby when a boycott by members of the West Indies Players Association threatened to disrupt the first Test against South Africa earlier this year.

When the West Indies Under 19 team toured England, Peters emerged as a candidate with potential. It is known that he had problems, but there has not been an assurance that he is being preserved.

There is no doubt about Sammy’s quality as an allrounder, or Butler and Peters’ left arm seam bowling. Butler and Peters’ batting is above the average West Indian tail ender. Still they all have been overlooked.

It is a pity that journalists and commentators lobby for players from the respective countries. But that is the reality. Only that some nations are more aggressive.

That trend has been going on and is worsening. Those factors have contributed to our decline in status on the world stage. We revel in mediocrity as long as narrow and selfish needs are fulfilled.

Vincentians have been patriots, and have extended that appeal to the regional plane. Even though they have been snubbed at the Windwards level, their commitment has been unquestioned.

Without a representative at the West Indies stage, there is hardly a more dedicated regional supporter than the Vincentian.

Those in charge of West Indies cricket have to pick the best cricketers for the various teams regardless of which territory they come. But that does not seem to be a policy

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