call for WI selectors
musical chairs which have surrounded the captaincy of the
West Indies cricket team continued with the announcement
last week by Shivnarine Chanderpaul that he was giving up
the job, after 14 Tests at the helm.
The West Indies selectors must now find their eighth captain
in ten years.
The merry-go-round started in 1996 when Courtney Walsh took
over the post from Richie Richardson.
Walsh led the team in 16 Tests before the responsibility
was entrusted to Brian Lara in 1998.
The batting hero led the team for 17 matches before he gave
up the job to Jimmy Adams in 2000 who, in turn, was in charge
for 15 matches before Carl Hooper was made captain.
After 22 matches, Hooper called it a day and Ridley Jacobs
got a brief two-match spell before Lara was recalled for
Lara would probably have continued for a much longer had
it not been for the telecommunications war between Digicel
and TSTT which forced him out of the team and encouraged
the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to put Chanderpaul
Chanderpauls decision has surprised no one.
According to the Tiger, he wants to concentrate
on his batting.
Chanderpaul was a rock in the Windies batting up to his
elevation but he obviously did not possess the personality
traits, the intellectual and communicative skills needed
to lead a West Indies team which was going through a very
rough period in its history.
It was clear that he was out of his depth in handling the
many tasks that are the captains responsibility.
Several candidates have been advanced for the job. Among
them are the current vice-captain, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Daren
Ganga, Sylvester Joseph and Lara.
To date, no one has indicated whether or not Lara has been
approached but the batting maestro did indicate that he
was no longer interested in such a position.
If he maintains that stand, the job is narrowed to three
candidates, one of whomis Sylvester Joseph, not even a member
of the team. So it is difficult to see the selectors appointing
What this means is that the job comes down to a straight
choice between the incumbent vice-captain and Ganga.
Sarwan has already had a chance to captain the side and
in all fairness to him, he did a good job.
He is a naturally gifted player with a lot of flair and
an exciting batsman to look at. One wonders if putting him
in such a position may not be stifling his natural game.
Ganga, on the other hand, continues to distinguish himself
as a leader. He has been very positive and has led T&T
to the limited overs crown in 2004 and the regional title
He appears to be a natural for the job, once he continues
to make runs.
As it stands, the selectors must think long term and put
someone who understands what the West Indies is going through
at the moment and will have the resilience to understand
that things would probably get worse before improvement
It is a tough call. But whether it turns out to be Sarwan,
Ganga or Lara, the decision must be made only after careful
We certainly do not envy the jobs of the selectors.