Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy have questioned the selection of the West Indies ODI squad for the tri-series involving Australia and South Africa in June. They expressed surprise at Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine being in the squad despite not meeting what they considered to be one of the WICB’s criteria for selection – playing West Indies’ domestic 50-over competition.
Gayle, Bravo and Sammy did not play the Nagico Super50 in January because they were playing the Big Bash League in Australia at the time. Pollard and Narine also did not participate in the Nagico Super50, though. Pollard was injured during the Ram Slam T20 in South Africa in November last year and only regained fitness in time for the 2016 IPL, and Narine was not allowed to play because his bowling action had been declared illegal. He was cleared to bowl by the ICC only in April.
In a series of tweets and retweets, the players who had been left out of the squad expressed their incredulity at the selection. “@KieronPollard55 & #SunilNarine selected for WI Tri-Series. How is that possible @westindies?” asked Gayle on Twitter. “WICB stop Sunil from playing super 50 and now they pick him. If @KieronPollard55 was fit he would’ve play the B Bash just like the rest of us!!”
Bravo called the development “magic” on Twitter. “Joke of the day: WI selectors. One minute Pollard & Narine were not good enough & now are perfect for Tri Nation series? It’s like magic! One minute we have to be available for domestic super 50 to be selected and the next minute, it seems we don’t. Magic! Get serious people!”
Sammy, while congratulating Pollard, asked him how he had managed a comeback: “@KieronPollard55 great to see u back in odi team but tell me how did u qualify for selection having not played the super50 or ODI since 2014.”
In response to Sammy and the others, Pollard seemed to say he did not know why he had not played an ODI since October 2014: “Bingo, or I should say Pingo. Numbers shuffled and up popped P55!! Or should I [say] lucky days!! Think the truth, or real reasons of expulsion will finally come out??? Have been baffled for 15 months. Then Pingo.”
Andre Russell was the other high-profile omission from the West Indies ODI squad. He too did not play the Nagico Super50 and played the Big Bash League instead. It is not known, however, whether the injury he sustained during the IPL played a part in his non-selection. None of these players – Gayle, Bravo, Sammy and Russell – were contracted by the WICB earlier this year, but all four were part of West Indies’ title-winning squad at the World T20 in India.