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West Indies in further strife
June 25, 2007 11:13 IST
The West Indians meet England at The Oval in a Twenty20 double-header on Thursday and Friday after losing the four-Test series 3-0.
Only the enduring excellence of Shivnarine Chanderpaul [Images], by no coincidence the last link with the great side of the early 1990s, kept West Indies competitive and limited overs cricket is not his forte.
The deep flaws in the structure of the Caribbean nations who ruled the cricket world in the 1980s were exposed last week when the management were forced to call on five players from local leagues and universities to make up their numbers for a match against Worcestershire.
Three of the West Indies' 14-man limited overs squad had arrived too late to get to Worcester in time.
Their absence helped persuade one-day captain Chris Gayle to go public with his criticism of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
"I think it's disappointing that we are struggling to find 11 players to turn out," Gayle said in his diary on the Cricinfo website.
"First and foremost, I am very disappointed with the West Indian Cricket Board for not having the guys here in England already and ready to play."
Gayle had further cause for dissatisfaction with the West Indies' ruling body.
The laid-back Jamaican had been chosen by the selectors to lead the one-day squad. His appointment was rejected by the WICB, who said they wanted Test captain Daren Ganga [Images] who had not even been selected in the one-day squad.
After a brief standoff the board backed down and Gayle was reinstated.
"As the captain I have to say that this is disappointing and it is not at all a good start," said Gayle. "I also have to mention that I was hurt and disappointed that after I was nominated as captain by the selectors, I did not initially get the support of the board."
To add to the disarray, an arbitration panel has found for the fifth time in as many hearings in favour of the West Indies Players' Association against the WICB.
The panel decided that the tour of England fell outside the Future Tours Programme and consequently the players are entitled to extra payments.