Former West Indies batsman Bryan Davis is surprised that T&T fast bowler Ravi Rampaul has been omitted from the provisional West Indies 30-man World Cup squad, but believes his match fitness caused the selectors to look at other options.
Six uncapped players including the T&T pair of Evin Lewis and Imran Khan were selected ahead of Rampaul, whose fitness has constantly been under the radar in recent years.
Davis believes because Rampaul has not participated in the four-day regional tournament this season the selectors decided to look elsewhere. Davis stated: “I am very surprised (he has been omitted) because he has been doing well in ODI’s. I am wondering if because he did not compete in the four-day tournament, they (selectors) probably believe he is not fit.”
Rampaul, who asked for time off recently due to personal reasons, has not featured in the four rounds of the four-day tournament thus far, which began on November 14.
Davis drew reference to Jamaican fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell. After recovering from a hamstring injury that had the Jamaican sidelined for almost six weeks, the West Indies selection panel requested that Cottrell play against T&T in the four-day competition to prove his fitness before joining the Test team in South Africa.
“They made Cottrell play against T&T to prove his fitness. You have to keep playing cricket to be fine tuned. As a selector, they have no evidence to pick him (Rampaul) for the World Cup tournament. There is nothing to judge him on.”
Davis said he understands that every cricketer has a personal life and needs time off from the game, but he can not understand why professional cricketers miss so much of the game.
On the other hand, the former T&T selector is happy that spin bowler Sunil Narine, who was reported twice in the Champions League T20 tournament earlier this year for a suspect bowling action has been included in the squad. “I am glad to see that he has been given that encouragement. He has been working on his action at the Oval (Queen’s Park Oval).