Age just a number – why calls to ignore Gayle, Edwards, Bravo for Windies selection make no sense

By Sports Desk May 23, 2021













The selection of a trio of West Indies veteran player, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, and Fidel Edwards to an 18-man squad that recently began preparations for the upcoming World Cup has been met with very strong resistance in some quarters.

For some, the inclusion of these players, to a preliminary squad, mind you, is an indication that the Cricket West Indies selectors have staggered upon the unwise path of stifling abundant youth talent.  On closer inspection, however, it's hard to see how anyone looking to substantiate that particular claim could possibly do so.

At ages of 41, 39, and 37, there is no disputing the fact that Gayle, Edwards, and Bravo are no longer in the prime of their careers.  What is, however, it seems, in doubt, at this particular moment in time, is whether their contributions can still rise to the level of helping the West Indies attain its ultimate objective, in this case winning a third World Cup.

With that in mind, what CWI has done by calling these players is give them the opportunity to prove the degree that the aforementioned contributions can still rise to, and it's hard to argue against that, reasonably anyway.

As for the case of leaving talented young players out of the mix, and this point was made expertly by the team’s captain Kieron Pollard, many of those players have had ample opportunity to prove their value to the West Indies T20 team.

Between the end of the 2016 ICC World Cup, which was won by the West Indies, and the most recent T20I series against Sri Lanka, the West Indies have played 20 series.  In many instances, the squad consisted of a mix of young players with some senior players.  During the period, the team lost 11 matches, won 8, and drew 1, which precipitated a massive slide down the T20I rankings table to the team’s current position of 10th.

The losses weren’t all the fault of newer players but given the opportunity to step into the limelight and make the squad their own, they failed to do so.  Some did, and we can take note that the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, and a few others have been called to the current squad.

During that time, Gayle played 6 matches and Bravo played 5.  Between them, the duo boasts a number of T20 records and have captured two World Cups, surely, we can’t be arguing that all that experience should be shut out or not be given a chance to prove their value simply based on the date printed on their birth certificates.


Related items

  • Odean Smith smashes 32 from 11 balls as Deccan Gladiators hand Northern Warriors yet another defeat Odean Smith smashes 32 from 11 balls as Deccan Gladiators hand Northern Warriors yet another defeat

    Odean Smith’s 11-ball 32 proved instrumental to the Deccan Gladiators’ 19-run victory over Northern Warriors in the Abu Dhabi T10 League on Sunday.

  • Gayle scores 16-ball 30 as Team Abu Dhabi gets sixth win in Abu Dhabi T10 league Gayle scores 16-ball 30 as Team Abu Dhabi gets sixth win in Abu Dhabi T10 league

    Chris Gayle followed up his unbeaten 52 for Team Abu Dhabi late last week with a 16-ball 30 as Team Abu Dhabi scored a seven-wicket victory over bottom-placed Chennai Braves in the Abu Dhabi T10 league on Sunday.

  • Iyer and Saha fifties crucial for India as New Zealand set target of 284 Iyer and Saha fifties crucial for India as New Zealand set target of 284

    Shreyas Iyer and Wriddhiman Saha made crucial fifties on another topsy-turvy day on day four of the first Test between India and New Zealand.

    The hosts recovered from 51-5 in their second innings with Test debutant Iyer (65) following up an impressive century in the first, and Saha adding an unbeaten 61 before India declared on 234-7.

    Chasing a target of 284, New Zealand lost Will Young (2) early in their reply and needing 280 runs to win ahead of what promises to be a tense final day.

    Resuming on 14-1, India lost five wickets in a troublesome morning session with Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson snagging a pair of wickets and Ajaz Patel also doing damage.

    Iyer was once again his team's main protagonist, though, putting on partnerships of 52 and 64 with Ashwin (32) and Saha to turn the tide.

    He eventually nicked Southee behind to Tom Blundell but Saha, who had four fours and one six in his knock, continued to frustrate the tourists and an eighth-wicket stand of 77 with Axar Patel convinced stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane to call it.

    As the light began to dwindle, only four overs were possible in New Zealand's reply, but there was still enough time for Ashwin to trap Young (2) lbw, who was too late calling for a review that would have shown the ball missing leg stump.

    Debut to remember for Iyer

    In a Test match relatively short of runs, the 170 across both innings from Iyer has been vitally important for his team, and is particularly impressive given he last played a multi-day match nearly three years ago.

    Iyer hit eight fours and a six from the 125 balls he faced on Sunday, but most importantly, he dragged India back into the Test match and will be a strong contender for player of the match should his team complete the job on day five.

    New Zealand unable to keep India down

    It was the second time in as many days that New Zealand forced themselves into an excellent position, before allowing India to regain control as the day progressed.

    After collapsing from 197-2 to 296 all out in their first innings on day three, the Black Caps had India reeling with only five wickets remaining and a 100-run lead, before allowing them to add a further 183 with the next two wickets before the declaration.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.