Tough calls for greater
STRONG, TOUGH decisions had to be made if West Indies’ cricket is to move forward.
Coach Ottis Gibson made this assessment as he reacted to the selectors’ decision to strip former Chris Gayle and his deputy Dwayne Bravo of their leadership positions and bypass one of the team’s top batsmen, Ramnaresh Sarwan, for next month’s three-Test tour of Sri Lanka.
“The selectors have picked a teamin trying to chart the way forward for the West Indies in the coming years,” Gibson told reporters at a Press conference at the Jamaica Pegasus here yesterday.
“There have been some strong decisions made by the selectors and the (West Indies Cricket) Board, but the one thing I am very clear on is that we’re in the decision-making business, and West Indies cricket, from where it sits currently, needs strong decisions, and those are the decisions the selectors have taken,” he said.
Gibson admitted the exclusion of Sarwan was a difficult but necessary decision.
“He’s done well for West Indies over his time as a player. It was a tough decision, it was a decision that took some deliberation. It came down to whether we can continue to take Sarwan on tour and then have one of our best players not available to us for selection all the time.
“I was consulted, and it took a long time to decide which way we were going to go. ‘Sars’ (Sarwan) has had his issues with fitness before and the decision was taken to give him more time to get fit.
“I still think he’s got a lot more contributions to make to West Indies cricket and that gives him the opportunity to do the things he knows he needs to do to not just get fit but stay fit to make those contributions,” Gibson declared.
“He’s an elite athlete. That’s what cricketers are nowadays and they look after their fitness.
“That’s something that everybody else is doing and if it is proving successful for them, we have to get on board as well, and our players have to understand that,” he added.
New captain Darren Sammy also said he would welcome Sarwan back in the team.
“The selectors took a decision and I trust the judgement of the selectors but I know the character that Sarwan is and I have no doubt he will be back.
“He has bounced back in the past after injury and I have full confidence that Sarwan will be back and I will embrace him.”