by Dyon Ravello
With the West Indies fielding a least two different squads in the limited overs competitions and Test, the WICB has seen it necessary to extend its contracted list from 15 to 20 players. A year earlier the IPL contingent of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Keiron Pollard refused to accept contracts with the WICB, which allowed for more flexibility in being available for the various T20 fanfares around the global. Others who were refused contracts included Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Sulieman Benn, Nikita Miller, Brendan Nash and Devon Smith. The 2011-2012 Contract List:
Grade A: Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Grade B: Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels.
Grade C: Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Kirk Edwards, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell and Shane Shillingford.
Development Contracts: Kraigg Brathwaite, Shannon Gabriel, Nelon Pascal, Kieran Powell and Devon Thomas.
With the West Indian cricket scope on the rise in the past year, some of the names retained last season may even benefit from contract upgrades. Looking at the now expired contracts of those listed in Grade A and B should be renewed without much hesitation. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, remain the Caribbean’s premier Test batsman surely deserves another Grade A package. Captain Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels have exceeded expectation this term. Short forecast, predict that Darren Sammy’s two year tenure at the helm of the West Indian unit will continue for the foreseeable future, especially so in the limited over versions.
Ravi Rampaul, and Fidel Edwards have remained vital parts of the bowling unit and the current Grade B package would be sufficient, no surprised if they both receive upgrades. In the bowling department Kemar Roach has been lethal in Test and like Shiv a Grade A pack is deserved. Tino Best should come in a basis Grade C but his return to international cricket could yield him a Grade B offer. Like the quicks off spinner Shane Shillingford has earned his wage in the last term and should be on cards for the coming season. Shannon Gabriel was rewarded with a developmental contract, for which he repaid the selectors on his brief tour of England. Gabriel, once fit is set to form part of a very robust bowling attack and he too would be in line for an upgrade.
In the batting department, Darren Bravo should maintain his current offer as he continues to shines as a long-term prospect in the middle order. Likewise Adrian Barath may benefit from the lack of competition for the opening positions and retain his offer. Developmental contracts received by Andre Russell, Keiran Powell and Devon Thomas, are likely to improve as their performances has been more than ample to warrant at minimum to Grade C. Denesh Ramdin, Narsingh Deonarine and Assad Fudadin will be keen once an offer is presented after solid performances in 2012. So too Limited overs specialist, Johnson Charles and Lendl Simmons will be keen to sign on the dotted line.
The unknowns, a la Gayle, Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine and to a less extent Dwayne Smith will all be keen to remain available for the continued T20 carnivals across the globe. Gayle and Narine have been key players in all three formats and for them to accept retainers will give the side more stability throughout the next season. As much as the IPL NOC’s have disrupted the stability of the team, it has made way for a number of players to come to the fore, most of whom have repaid the trust placed in them by the selectors.
As for Pollard, and the Dwayne Reigns their international selections have been limited to the shorter versions, and this has not adversely affect their commitment to both country and franchise. Dwayne Bravo would be under most consideration for his country as he is a proven campaigner in all formats as well as captaincy material. Pollard had matured into a sturdy limited overs bat but a place in the Test Arena has been most elusive.
Ramnaresh Sarwan has recovered his form at a time when his country could have use his stability at number three. However, Sars’ return was enjoyed most not my his test mates rather by his county following 0n the English first class circuit. Sarwan who recently won a his arbitration case against the WICB remains on the coaches blacklist, at least for the interim. Brendan Nash is another professional on the County circuit at peak form, repaying Jimmy Adams’ belief in him at Kent. Like Sars, Nash does not seem to feature in Gibson’s short or long-term forecast. A pace named Jerome Taylor rose to lead the fledgling attack, has now fade from grace. So much that he has not even feature for his native Jamaica in WICB competitions. From the backlist candidates most likely to return are Sarwan and Nash.
WICB have already received dividends from the investments made on the players listed as development retainers and more so from the Sagicor High Performance Center. From the A team Delorn Johnson and Verasammy Permaul have excelled strengthening the reserve pool. From the currently HPC camp Sheldon Cottrell, has been a consistent fast bowler since making his debut for Jamaica. Other names worthy of mention include; Kevin Mc Clean, Jonathan Carter, Kraigg Brathwaite, and Kirk Edwards.