Chris Gayle, Chris Gayle, Chris Gayle.
It’s all about the West Indian opening bat.
Will he ever play for the Windies again?
The solution to this riddle may lie with Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The heads of government opted to resurrect the prime ministerial sub-committee on cricket to resolve the dispute.
For uninterested outsiders, it becomes harder and harder to sympathise with the Jamaican player. Not because the decision taken by the West Indian Cricket Board is fair but because it seems he’s crying himself hoarse despite being richer to the tune of $265,000 plus his RCB fee of $400,000.
Being a free agent has its perks when you’re Chris Gayle.
Dr. Ernest Hilaire and Dinanath Ramnarine are the other high-profile faces of the warring sides in this drama. The man in the centre of the storm is Ottis Gibson, the West Indian coach.
Gibson is a former player from Barbados who played a couple of Tests snaring three big wickets in Alec Stewart, Darren Gough and Jacques Kallis.
Gayle appears to have more than a few issues with the current coach, a common thread repeated by Shivnarine Chanderpaul among others. A resolution to the crisis can only happen if Gibson is shown the door. Every predicament has a scapegoat.
It is enlightening and entertaining for cricket aficionados the world over that in this age of instant communication—Facebook and Twitter—the best of West Indian talent reverted to the old-fashioned art of letter-writing to make their grievances public.
I guess, there’s nothing like a good, long rant.
The Chris Gayle issue is not the only instance of divided loyalties among fans. English cricket fans are ambivalent whether to welcome back Eoin Morgan with outstretched arms or lament the overlooking of Ravi Bopara, who ostensibly sacrificed a lucrative IPL season to play county cricket instead.
Indian team’s performance and selection
No such dilemma for Indian fans. The men in blue continued their winning ways despite the absence of stalwarts in the ODIs and Tests against the West Indies in the Caribbean.
Suresh Raina is the find of the tour so far. His exemplary leadership helped the Indians to a 3-2 triumph in the one-dayers. He surprised one and all with his application in the Tests to chalk up a couple of crucial 50s.
The Test batting lineup still relies on the likes of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
MS Dhoni and his merry men should be grateful that the West Indian bats were woefully inadequate to the task of capitalizing on Indian batting failures.
Abhinav Mukund promises much and is rewarded with a berth for the English tour. Ishant Sharma hit his strides. He may have missed the World Cup but the break was a disguised blessing.
He is back to speedy ways, clocking 140 kmph consistently. His match-haul of 10 wickets in the second Test is a warning to the Poms not to take the Indian bowling lightly.
Virat Kohli missed out on an opportunity to stake a place in the Test side but he will have his chances. He is young and has the right attitude.
Dravid and Laxman were classy as ever. Praveen Kumar is the other sensation. His selection was fortuitous ,his success an unexpected bonus. He will be even more of a handful on English pitches— known to assist swing bowlers. Quiz Manoj Prabhakar, quiz Terry Alderman.
Munaf Patel is expected to be fit for the Tests.Bowling coach, Eric Simmons, has promised to get the bowler cranking out 140s as well. Should Munaf regain much-vaunted pace, he will be a potent weapon indeed—given his immaculate control.
Wriddhiman Saha is the reserve wicket-keeper in the Indian side. The selectors—in their wisdom—insist on persisting with him while Parthiv Patel, Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Kartik find themselves shunted in and out of the team.
Unsurprisingly, Saha never gets to play.
Virender Sehwag will return to the Indian side only after the first two English tests. Shades of the tour Down Under in 2008, when Sehwag returned to the side after missing out the first two Tests only to cream the Australian attack all over the park.
He was returning from the wilderness then. There will be a question mark over his fitness this time. Can he rebound quickly?
Nepotism raised its ugly head in the selection of the India "A" side. Question marks have been raised about the inclusion of Anirudha, Krishnamachari Srikkanth’s son. K Srikkanth is the chairman of selectors.
Quote of the day:
What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books. – Thomas Carlyle