West Indies cricket is in the news for all the wrong reasons again. This time it is not about a tour pull-out or some pettiness displayed by their cricket board. It’s about the omission of two high-profile players — Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo — who have been left out by Clive Lloyd’s selection committee for next month’s 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
While Lloyd insists that Pollard and Bravo are not been victimised for last year’s India tour pull-out, several followers of West Indies cricket believe that their exclusion indeed centres on the fact that they were part of the infamous rebellion which led to the team leaving India prematurely, something that did not go down well with the mighty Indian cricket board either.
However unconvincing he sounds to the supporters of Pollard and Bravo, Lloyd doesn’t appear to be guilty of blatant injustice. While both players are splendid Twenty20 players, they have not displayed great form in 50-50 cricket. Bravo scored only 27 runs and claimed only three wickets in three games against India. In the previous series against Bangladesh, he could manage only 14 runs. He was better with the ball — five wickets, including a 4 for 32 at Grenada. Sure, experience is a vital cog in a team’s wheel, but so is performance. Pollard scored only 48 in three games against India, and 125 in the previous series against Bangladesh.
Lloyd has made an unpopular choice and he must be given credit for sticking his neck out. It must be remembered that it is this man who brought about the revival of West Indies cricket in the 1970s and made it an unbeatable force for nearly two decades. A lot of big-named cricketers have got involved in West Indies cricket in recent years and gave up. So, to have Lloyd in a decision-making role must be treated as a blessing. He can make a difference and get West Indies cricket back on track, something almost every cricket lover wants to see.
And Pollard and Bravo can get over their disappointment and get back to where they belong. Clive Hubert Lloyd is too experienced and great a player — as well as captain — to keep ignoring ability.