Zone disagrees with panel’s Gayle-Warner pairing for Ultimate T20 openers

By August 08, 2020
From left: David Warner, Chris Gayle, and Rohit Sharma From left: David Warner, Chris Gayle, and Rohit Sharma

A panel of experts has decided that a pairing of Christopher Henry Gayle and David Warner would represent the best openers the T20 game has ever seen.

According to Zaheer Clarke, statistician, Chris Taylor, cricket umpire and commentator and noted cricket commentator and journalist, Fazeer Mohammed, Gayle’s body of work over the course of his career in the T20 game made him the first name on any list of all-time greats in the format.

The panel were picking from a final six after 13 shortlisted players were whittled down on Wednesday.

The six who made the final were Gayle, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Aaron Finch, David Warner, and Brendon McCullum.

While Gayle was a shoo-in on all the panellists books, there was a little difficulty in picking who would partner him.

According to Fazeer Mohammed, Finch would make a good partner for the big left hander, while Taylor and Clarke felt that Warner would do more damage up front with the Universe Boss.

The panel’s decision counts for 40% of the overall vote on who makes the SportsMax Ultimate XI, while the SportsMax Zone, like an online voting audience, has a 30% stake in proceedings.

This means there are still some decisions to be made with Gayle, by virtue of bagging votes from the Zone and the panel being selected as one of two Ultimate XI T20 openers.

The uncertainty about who will make up the other part of the pairing lies in the fact that the SportsMax Zone did not agree with the panel on who should partner Gayle, instead going with India’s Sharma.

Gayle stands head and shoulders over every batsman to ever play the T20 game with 13,296 runs behind his name at a healthy average of 38.20 from 404 games. Gayle strikes at an incredible 146.94 and has a whopping 22 centuries and 82 half-centuries in the format.

Sharma, who the Zone has picked, from 328 games has 8,642 runs at an average of 32.24 and has scored six centuries and 60 half-centuries.

Warner has not played as many games as the two, but enjoys a 142.20 strike rate from his 280 games, and has scored 9,218 runs, inclusive of eight centuries and 75 half-centuries already.

The choice is tough and may come down to who you like, as Lance Whittaker says, he is a Sharma fan.

To make your choice regarding who makes the SportsMax Ultimate XI, click here. Maybe like George Davis, you think the Zone is crazy for not picking Warner. If you want to learn more about the players, you can click here.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Related items

  • GCB investigating why CWI denied quartet retainer contracts GCB investigating why CWI denied quartet retainer contracts

    The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) has written to Cricket West Indies requesting a copy of the criteria used to award international retainer contracts and the report submitted by the selection panel on which the decision was made not to award international retainer contracts to Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd as well as Veerasammy Permaul.

    The missive to the CWI comes on the heels of the recent announcement by CWI of 18 players who were offered retainer contracts for the year July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022. Among those who were awarded were newcomers Kyle Mayers, Joshua Da Silva and Nkrumah Bonner, who had standout performances against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

    However, there were no contracts for the four Guyanese players, a troubling development for the GCB.

     “The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) notes with great concern the information that Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd were not awarded International Retainer Contracts by the Cricket West Indies (CWI),” the board said in a statement Friday.

    “The GCB is also concerned with the non-award of an International Retainer Contract to Veerasammy Permaul.”

    The GCB said it is not aware and was not informed of the criteria used for the award of international retainer contracts nor were any reasons given for the non-award contracts to the four players.

    “The non-award of International Retainer Contracts to these players by CWI is a matter of extreme concern to the GCB and to the Guyanese public and the GCB intends to fully investigate this matter,” the GCB said.

  • 'They must earn it' - CWI chief selector Harper insists players can only be rewarded for consistently high levels, if team is to progress 'They must earn it' - CWI chief selector Harper insists players can only be rewarded for consistently high levels, if team is to progress

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors, Roger Harper, believes it is an absolute necessity for players to get used to the idea of having to perform at the very top of their games in order to secure top-class retainer contracts.

    The omission of the likes of Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamarh Brooks, Shane Dowrich, Sheldon Cottrell, Rovman Powell, and Oshane Thomas from the international retainer contracts lists, for the upcoming year, has rubbed a few supporters the wrong way.  Particularly, based on the fact that fewer contracts were handed out this year.

    However, according to Harper, some players did not meet the minimum criteria for selection or simply did not display the quality need.

    “We have to accept that these are performance-based contracts.  So, the contracts are awarded based on performance during the evaluation period, as well as the selection panel must feel that the players must play a major role or form the nucleus of the team going forward,” Harper told members of the media on Thursday.

    “The players who were not awarded contracts their performances over the period did not meet the necessary criteria as well as you had new players who came to fore and performed, so they were offered contracts,” he added.

    “Going forward as a culture, if we want to see our team progress, if we want to see our team compete with the best in the world.  We have to be more conscious of the fact that we have to earn our stripes and we have to perform consistently.  I think our retainer contracts are given on that basis.”

    In addition to playing at least 50 percent of the games during the evaluation period, to be considered, batsmen must average at least 30 in Test and ODI cricket.  For T20Is players the player’s batting average and strike rate combined must be a minimum 150.

     

  • Centurions Abid and Azhar dominate before Muzarabani hits back for Zimbabwe Centurions Abid and Azhar dominate before Muzarabani hits back for Zimbabwe

    Abid Ali and Azhar Ali each hit centuries to put Pakistan in control on day one of the second Test in Harare before three late wickets from Blessing Muzarabani hauled Zimbabwe back into the contest.

    Opener Abid carried his bat through the day to reach stumps on 118 not out and Azhar struck 126, having combined in a mammoth second-wicket stand of 236.

    But after toiling on a sluggish surface for most of the day, Zimbabwe and Muzarabani (3-41) made the second new ball pay, as skipper Babar Azam and Fawad Alam followed Azhar back to the pavilion in short order and Pakistan closed on 268-4.

    The hosts could at least reflect on having bookended the day effectively.

    Pakistan, who handed a debut to veteran seamer Tabish Khan, batted after Babar won the toss, although Imran Butt scratched around for two runs from 20 deliveries before miscuing a pull at Richard Ngarava (1-35).

    Given how Ngarava and Muzarabani impressed in their initial burst and what followed, it appears how each team uses the new ball will be vital on a benign Harare pitch.

    Although Abid was the more circumspect throughout, the two centurions picked up the pace after lunch as Zimbabwe's discipline began to wane – Azhar enjoying himself backward of square and through midwicket, while Abid showed lovely timing through the covers.

    After Zimbabwe persuaded the umpires to change the ball in the 53rd over, slow left-armer Tendai Chisoro (0-80) dropped short and Abid smashed the ball into Roy Kaia's knee, forcing the short leg from the field after lengthy treatment.

    Azhar was the first to three figures off 198 balls, while Abid followed from his 224th delivery before a mini-collapse from 248-1.

    Muzarabani drew Azhar into a drive on the up, seeing him pouched at gully by Milton Shumba, before Babar edged to Kevin Kasuza in the cordon and Alam dragged on after struggling under a barrage of short deliveries.

    Abid and Azhar set up Pakistan for series win

    Abid would not have envisaged being joined by Sajid Khan to see out the day, but he will resume alongside the nightwatchman on Saturday having put questions over his place in the side to bed. The opener had a top score of 26 in his 10 Test innings preceding this tour, meaning he needed to back up a 60 in the initial encounter with something more substantial.

    There were no such doubts over the 36-year-old Azhar's credentials, but his century was also a redemptive one after being sacked as captain last November.

    Babar fed up of counting his Blessings

    Azhar's successor Babar has generally become Pakistan's sure thing across all formats and was in blistering form during the recent white-ball trip to South Africa. Not here, though, as he followed up a first-ball duck in his team's innings victory last time out with another single-figure score.

    Muzarabani appears to be a big part of the problem. Since returning to international cricket last year, the seamer has removed Babar on six occasions.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.