Tag Archives: sarwan

West Indies need some old heads in their young side: Nasser Hussain

West Indies must find room in young side for a few old hands

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UPDATED:

22:05 GMT, 28 May 2012

West Indies have played much better cricket and pushed England much harder than India, who arrived here last year as the No 1 team in the world.

For all the talk about India’s batting superstars, West Indies have already managed to provide a much tougher test for the England attack.

Darren Sammy’s side are well drilled and have shown a lot of character, fight and discipline with so many star names missing and they did it again on Monday to make England wait for their win.

Plenty of character: Darren Sammy has a good team but needs some older heads

Plenty of character: Darren Sammy has a good team but needs some older heads

They are very professional but what they just need now is to be sprinkled with a bit of stardust because they can’t keep on collapsing to something like 40 for four and expect to win.

It’s all well having 11 committed young players but every team needs its older heads, and just as I wanted Mike Atherton and Alec Stewart in my England side, it could well be that West Indies need to bring back one or two of those on the outside.

Return Chris Gayle would be an asset if he buys into what the West Indies are doing

Return Chris Gayle would be an asset if he buys into what the West Indies are doing

Their results were hardly better when Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan were in the side and there were times when they did not seem committed, but it is all about man-management and the way Sammy and coach Ottis Gibson handle them.

People always told me what Andy Caddick and Phil Tufnell couldn’t do when I became England captain but I was more concerned with what they could do. Sammy and Gibson need to think now about what the missing players could bring to their side.

If Gayle, or whoever, returns they will have to buy into what this West Indies side are doing but, again, that is a challenge for the captain and coach. And if they come back but won’t comply then it would be a case of thank you and goodbye.

Marlon Samuels is the classic example of what West Indies can achieve. He’s been around since 2000 and has always been talented but now the penny has dropped that he needs to make the most of that natural talent.

The penny has dropped: Marlon Samuels is an example of a player who has improved

The penny has dropped: Marlon Samuels is an example of a player who has improved

I spoke to Marlon at the team hotel the other night and told him to keep going. He said, ‘I’ve been through too much and missed too much cricket not to keep going now.’

Yes, he’s a bit eccentric and kept on chatting to England players again yesterday but, apart from maybe Jimmy Anderson, I think England like him. We need characters in this game, not clones.

England, meanwhile, have been thoroughly professional again here at Trent Bridge from the captain all the way down. They are turning every home Test ground into something of a fortress and it will take a very good side to beat them in home conditions.

Bumble at the second Test: Freddie weighs in

Bumble at the second Test: Freddie weighs in at boxing

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UPDATED:

21:52 GMT, 27 May 2012

FREDDIE WEIGHS IN

It was great to see local lad Carl Froch walk away with the IBF super-middleweight belt in Nottingham on Saturday night – but a little more surprising to spot Andrew Flintoff in the audience. I know he’s tried his hand at most sports, but is he planning a raid on the heavyweight division

Ringside view: Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff was in Nottingham to watch Carl Frampton and Carl Froch

Ringside view: Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff was in Nottingham to watch Carl Frampton and Carl Froch

More from David Lloyd…

Bumble at the second Test: Beefy's Tony award
25/05/12

Bumble at the Test: Lord's stay-aways have got me stumped!
21/05/12

Bumble at the Test: Sky guys are in knots but my experience saves the day
20/05/12

Bumble at the Test: No Gayle, Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo or Taylor… it's a crying shame
18/05/12

Bumble at the Test: My new hairstyle, Rooney or Clooney
17/05/12

Bumble's world: Tasty bowling attack gives West Indies chance to upset England
16/05/12

Five things Bumble loves about the County Championship
01/04/12

Bumble's team-by-team guide to the County Championship: Division Two
01/04/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

GOT THE HUMP

I’d like to protest in the strongest possible terms about the treatment of national icon Engelbert Humperdinck at the Eurovision Song Contest. We need to get radical and ask Half Man Half Biscuit to sew up the eastern European vote with a rendition of All I Want For Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit.

CURRYING FAVOUR

I’ve been in three curry houses so far this Test and they’ve all got the same sign up: ‘Voted best curry in Nottingham.’ They can’t all be right, can they Anyway, my vote goes to Chutney: cheap, cheerful and with generous portions. I went for the hot meat followed by a sparky lamb jalfrezi and a bit of lime pickle.

PUSH CAME TO SHIV

There was a lovely vignette of the sort only Test cricket can provide. Kirk Edwards’ illness meant that England could have a go against Shivnarine Chanderpaul with the new ball. It was cracking stuff — and Stuart Broad won the battle when he had him hooking to fine leg.

Bounced out: Stuart Broad won the battle by taking the wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Bounced out: Stuart Broad won the battle by taking the wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul

SAFETY-FIRST BATTY

Breaking news: You can’t buy a cricket bat at Trent Bridge! Someone I know tried to get one and he was told it’s classed as an offensive weapon! They’ll be taking the bats off the two blokes in the middle next. And what about equipping spectators with helmets Got to love health and safety…

ROACH EYES LIFT-OFF

Kemar Roach was working hard before play yesterday with some of West Indies’ coaching staff on his run-up after his plague of no-balls on Saturday. I remain convinced that his problem is at the point of take-off — not where he starts his approach. But it was good to see Roach trying to rectify the problem.

Working on his delivery: Kemar Roach needs to cut out the number of no balls he bowls

Working on his delivery: Kemar Roach needs to cut out the number of no balls he bowls

SEED OF AN IDEA

We had a wonderful interlude when the groundstaff came on to repair one of the foot-holes just before tea. They had all sorts of ultra-modern equipment. It must have been gripping for the crowd. They were there that long I thought they were shoving in some Jersey Royals.

Get some potatoes in there! Ground staff repair wicket during the game

Get some potatoes in there! Ground staff repair wicket during the game

Michael Holding: West Indies must sort their act out

EXCLUSIVE: No Holding back – West Indies coach and board must sort their act out

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 23 May 2012

It takes a lot to rile Michael Holding. But you’ll know when he’s riled. In 1976, he responded to England captain Tony Greig’s promise to make the West Indies ‘grovel’ with a quietly furious fast-bowling performance to rank with any.

Four years later, he kicked over two stumps – elegantly, of course – in Dunedin out of frustration at some shameless home-town umpiring against New Zealand.

More than three decades on, when we meet in Newmarket – his home for half the year while he indulges his love of Flat racing – to discuss the plight of the current West Indies team, it is clear the fire has not left him.

Winning smile: Michael Holding has a home near the gallops at Newmarket to indulge his love of Flat racing

Winning smile: Michael Holding has a home near the gallops at Newmarket to indulge his love of Flat racing

Legend: Holding was a mainstay of arguably the greatest Test team ever

Legend: Holding was a mainstay of arguably the greatest Test team ever

He smoulders. And Michael Holding could smoulder for Jamaica.

West Indies, a team which in Holding’s day went 15 years following that unhappy trip to New Zealand without losing a single series, can now barely win a single Test. And Holding’s sights are trained unerringly on the West Indian administrators and coach Ottis Gibson.

‘We have a chief executive, Ernest Hilaire, who thinks he owns West Indies cricket,’ he tells Sportsmail. ‘He has the wrong attitude. He’s very arrogant. He thinks he is always right and he doesn’t listen to anyone.

‘Ottis Gibson needs to understand that the West Indies cricket team is not a boot camp. He needs to learn how to man-manage.’

This last issue is at the heart of Holding’s beef. Few press conferences on this tour have passed without Gibson or captain Darren Sammy being asked about the players who are not in England. The list is heartbreaking: Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Jerome Taylor.

For some of them, the lure of the IPL dollar has proved too great, and Holding says there’s little the West Indies Cricket Board can do – although he would like to see more players make compromises, as Marlon Samuels has done by giving up half his contract with Pune Warriors to play in the Tests.

Time for change: West Indies' board and coach have hindered their progress

Time for change: West Indies' board and coach have hindered their progress

THE 5 MISSING

Chris Gayle
Age: 32 Tests: 91
Runs: 6,373 at 41
Wickets: 72 at 41

Destructive opener regarded by the board as a destructive presence in the dressing room. Hopes to play in the one-day matches which follow the three Tests.

IPL deal: 357,000 with Royal Challengers Bangalore

Ramnaresh Sarwan
Age: 31
Tests: 87
Runs: 5,842 at 40
Wickets: 23 at 50

Former captain made the scapegoat for last year’s World Cup failure. Says Ottis Gibson’s coaching left him not knowing ‘which was my back foot and which was my front foot’.

County deal: believed to be on a six-figure salary at Leicestershire

Dwayne Bravo
Age: 28
Tests: 40
Runs: 2,200 at 31
Wickets: 86 at 39

All-rounder who wants to play Tests, but can’t make the team because of Darren Sammy. Now an IPL regular.

IPL deal: 128,000 with Chennai Super Kings

Jerome Taylor
Age: 27
Tests: 29
Runs: 629 at 15
Wickets: 82 at 35

West Indies’ most promising fast bowler since the glory days has been sidelined by management. Destroyed England in Kingston in 2009 but hasn’t played any senior cricket in over a year.

Sunil Narine
Age: 23
Tests: 0

Mystery off-spinner who recently bamboozled Australia in a one-day series, but couldn’t afford to turn down a lucrative deal to play in India.

IPL deal: 446,000 with Kolkata Knight Riders

But it is the ongoing failure of the administrators to make peace with their star players, whom they view as troublemakers, and what Holding regards as the dictatorial methods of Gibson, that have persuaded him to speak out.

‘A lot of the senior players who should be playing in England have a very bad relationship with the board,’ he says. ‘They are unhappy with the treatment that has been meted out to them. It’s about time the board realised that the people they are dealing with are human beings – they are not commodities. They need respect. They need to be treated properly.’

Gayle, the most talented of the absentees, remains hopeful of playing in the one-day series that follows the Tests. It would be the first time he has represented West Indies since March 2011, when he upset the board with some critical remarks in a radio interview.

Since then, he has been a Twenty20 bat for hire – and it needed the intervention of the Prime Ministers of St Vincent and Antigua to get the board and Gayle talking again.

‘Chris Gayle has to know there are repercussions if you’re critical of the board in public,’ says Holding. ‘But the board have behaved like schoolboys. Instead of sitting down with him and trying to sort things out, they keep condemning the man and asking him to apologise.’

Gayle, Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were all implicitly criticised by Gibson following West Indies’ disappointing exit from the World Cup last year. ‘The fact is,’ said Gibson, ‘the senior players haven’t performed.’

Sarwan is now playing for Leicestershire, where he has made some caustic remarks about Gibson’s coaching methods.

And Holding says Chanderpaul, the world’s No 1 batsman and scorer of 87 not out and 91 during the five-wicket defeat in the first Test at Lord’s, only ensured the continuation of his international career by threatening to sue the board after demanding an explanation for disparaging remarks made by Hilaire about the senior players.

‘I have no issue with Ottis trying to get discipline back into the team,’ says Holding. ‘But it is the way he has done it. As soon as someone says anything he doesn’t particularly like, he doesn’t want them around.’

Holding applauds Gibson’s harmonious relationship with Sammy but, like many in the Caribbean, questions the captain’s place in the team.

‘They want Sammy as captain, irrespective of whether it’s good for the team balance or not,’ he says. ‘West Indies cannot afford to carry anyone while they are struggling in Test matches.’

But he reserves some of his most scathing criticism for the treatment of Jerome Taylor, the fast bowler who took five for 11 to help dismiss England for 51 on his home island of Jamaica three years ago, but has not played for West Indies for nearly two years.

Holding believes Taylor was unfairly branded as a troublemaker who failed to stay fit, prompting the board to issue a press release in May 2011 stating that Taylor had to complete a full season of domestic cricket before he could be reconsidered for international honours.

Looking up: Holding (right, with Lawrence Booth) hopes West Indies can progress

Looking up: Holding (right, with Lawrence Booth) hopes West Indies can progress

Looking up: Holding (right, with Lawrence Booth) hopes West Indies can progress

76,000

The basic annual salary for a top, contracted West Indies player. They receive an additional 5,000 (approx) per Test and 3,000 per ODI, plus bonuses. Their English counterparts are on 450,000 a year plus 5,000 to 10,000 per Test match.

‘That is the bad handling I’m talking about. Instead of that press release, why not just say, “Jerome, we’re not satisfied with your fitness levels. You will not be selected to play for West Indies until you have proved you are fully fit”.

‘Don’t give the man a time span that is going to ruin him. They want to get rid of him, because that is their foolish way.’

If, as expected, West Indies lose the second Test in Nottingham, and with it the series, they can’t say they haven’t been warned.

West Indies weakened by wealth of IPL: Nasser Hussain

Sadly, the West Indies have been weakened by wealth of IPL

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UPDATED:

21:58 GMT, 16 May 2012

You've got to feel a bit sorry for West Indies. When the first Test starts at Lord's today against an England side in their own conditions and ranked No 1 in the world, they'll be doing so with one hand tied behind their back.

Several guys who could be here – the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell – are all busy in the Indian Premier League, while Ramnaresh Sarwan appears to have fallen out with the West Indian board.

That's four or five players who could make a serious difference.

Hamstrung: Sammy has his work cut out if he is to win the series

Hamstrung: Sammy has his work cut out if he is to win the series

I appreciate that captain Darren Sammy and coach Ottis Gibson are making the most out of limited resources. But the fact that the West Indies Cricket Board are struggling financially means they are always going to lose players to the IPL.

It's sad for them and it's sad for the world game. As a captain, though, I wonder how much sympathy you'd have for guys who are happy to cash in elsewhere rather than play Test cricket.

Sure, you can't necessarily blame the likes of Gayle and Kieron Pollard for going to the IPL. But if you're looking to build a side who are willing to do the hard yards, you're looking for guys who put West Indies cricket first and buy into what the coach and captain are trying to do.

If they refuse to buy into that, then they're clearly not the sort of characters you want. But if they're willing to listen, then it comes down to a question of man-management. And that's what worries me slightly.

Missing in action: Bravo (left) and Gayle (right) are playing IPL cricket

Missing in action: Bravo (left) and Gayle (right) are playing IPL cricket

Missing in action: Bravo (left) and Gayle (right) are playing IPL cricket

There's talk of a breakdown in relations between Gibson and some of the players who aren't in this squad. But, for me, part of the art of being a captain or a coach is to accommodate as much talent as you can, regardless of whether they are difficult customers.

People have been talking about a revival, but let's be honest here. Two wins in 30 Tests since they skittled England in Jamaica three years ago is a very limited sort of revival.

It's true that, in the right conditions, their bowling attack can be handy. But with their batsmen, you always feel a collapse is just round the corner. And that's why England are red-hot favourites.

Andrew Strauss will be saying to his team that a breakthrough is never far away. And he'll point out that West Indies rarely manage to string two substantial innings together in the same game.

There is some serious talent in this West Indies squad. Shivnarine Chanderpaul will bat all day, and Darren Bravo has got all the shots. But they've got to learn how to string it all together over five days of a Test. If they don't, England will be licking their lips.

Final preparations: The Windies squad were at Lord's on Wednesday

Final preparations: The Windies squad were at Lord's on Wednesday