Former Windies opener Philo Wallace insists opener John Campbell should consider himself lucky as he did not merit selection for the team’s upcoming tour of New Zealand, based on his most recent performance in England.

Campbell, in truth, did indeed struggle to make a strong impression at the crease against England in July.  The left-handed batsman averaged a paltry 16.8 while tallying only 84 runs in six innings as the regional side lost the three-Test series 2-1.  Campbell was caught behind twice, while in the first innings of the final Test he was caught for 32 when attempting to negotiate a steep short delivery from Jofra Archer.  Wallace believes those struggles should have cost the batsman his spot.

“John Campbell is a very lucky man, I wish him all the best but it’s 'very best' in common letters.  He struggled in England and then came back and said why he struggled, and we are taking him for another tour of New Zealand, which is said will be tougher,” Wallace said on the Mason and Guest radio program.

Campbell was far from the only batsman that struggled in England, but Wallace believes that is a part of the broader issue and called for tougher decisions to be made when it comes to selection.

“We pick the same batsmen that struggled in England and are sending them to New Zealand, saying New Zealand is going to be a bit tougher.  How are we going to get these guys to perform?  These guys have no confidence and the selection panel is going back with the same guys tried and tested,” he added.

"There are some players that are biting at the bit to get a play and we are rewarding people with mediocre performances.  They had all the opportunities in England.  The board sent them up there a month before, they played wonderfully well in the first Test, they messed it up in the second and third and you are rewarding them for mediocrity with a tougher Test?”

Former West Indies opening batsman, Philo Wallace, is confident the selection panel has made the right decision to omit struggling batsman Shai Hope from the WI squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand.

The 26-year-old has long been touted as one of the region’s brightest prospects but has struggled mightily at the crease in recent years.  A quick look at the player’s statistics makes for jarring reading.  Hope has averaged 19.48 since December 2017 and just 14.45 since February 2019.  In the 2-1 defeat against England, he averaged below 18.  Such dismal form has seen his 34 Test average slip to 26.27.

Even so, the debate has raged on over the player’s continued inclusion in the team, with plenty of ferocity on either side.  His proponents will point to performances like Headingley when he steered West Indies to a famous win over England in August 2017.

“He’s a great talent but Shai Hope needs to go back to the drawing board.  What the selection panel has done is correct,” Wallace told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“He has struggled for three years in Test match cricket.  He looked out of sorts in England and he deserves to be in Barbados working on his game,” he added.

“The lead selector said that the coach has identified a program for Shai Hope.  We don’t know who will be working with him, but in Barbados, they have lots of good coaches…when we see Shai Hope again playing red-ball cricket, his physique should be different, his mentality should be different and obviously, his ability to bat and bat long should be back above even where he left off.”

I’ve never been a fan of politics.

The term has a number of definitions and I abhor involvement in any of the variations.

Former Cricket West Indies boss, Dave Cameron, is now in the thick of a political fight he is not likely to win because he, like myself, may not be a fan of any of the definitions either and has not played the game well.

The first definition of politics is basic. It speaks simply to activities associated with the governance of a body, area, country, whatever.

That would suggest that part of being in a leadership role (governance), is being an effective politician.

But politics also speaks to views. Your views on governance are your politics.

Whenever your politics aren’t popular, you had better find a way to massage them into a room.

Dave Cameron believed Cricket West Indies should be run like a business. He was well on his way to achieving that when he was ousted, but his politics and approach to seeing them through, meant he alienated many along the way.

Included in that alienation were heads of government in the West Indies as well as the current CWI board.

Now Cameron wants to run for International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman and on the face of it, it looks like the former CWI president is missing the power he once wielded and seeks a way back.

However, an aspect of his politics that has gone unchallenged, even while he was president of the CWI, is his wish to see an end to the ‘triopoly’ in world cricket.

Cameron has made that issue the lynchpin of his argument for a seat at the head of the table.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and Cricket Australia (CA), dominate world cricket and all policies at the ICC level, including those involved with financial remuneration, seem to favour this big three.

It is no wonder then, that the frontrunners to replace Shashank Manohar hail from two of the three powers. Saurav Ganguly is president of the BCCI and Colin Graves, the man touted as favourite for the quasi-vacant role, Colin Graves, is a former ECB boss.

Here is where I part ways with politics. Well, we were never going in the same direction really.

Cameron would like the support of the CWI to run for ICC Chairman and while the organisation has not given a response one way or the other, it is largely expected that he will not get it.

Now the CWI board has had its issues with Cameron’s leadership style, with maybe his policies, but and this is a big but - Cameron represents the only chance for small teams like the West Indies to have their interests represented at the highest level.

There is no doubt that Cameron has a point, particularly in respect to the division of money from television rights. The big three, granted they provide the biggest audiences, corner a large part of that market and the ensuing imbalance makes it difficult for smaller nations to invest in their cricket and advance to the lofty heights of the big three, creating ‘forever minnows’.

Here is my question. Do you play politics ahead of issues, especially if that issue is as important to the future of cricket as it is?

Outspoken former West Indies batsman Philo Wallace has said Cameron’s conundrum is one of his own making, and he may be right.

Blessed or cursed with an incredible self-belief, Cameron comes across as arrogant, irreverent, and maybe a little despotic.

It cost him the presidency of the CWI but I don’t believe like Wallace does, that “Dave Cameron should just tell himself ‘I’ve run West Indies cricket for six years' and just leave it out and just be an observer now, because going up for the ICC job and looking for the West Indies support, it can’t work.”

I believe it should still be workable because what is best for West Indies cricket should be at the forefront of the minds of CWI president Ricky Skerritt and all the members of the board.

Therefore, Cameron’s transgressions should be considered water under the bridge in the wake of a bigger fight.

“It’s like trying to get a dumpling up a hill. Unfortunately, he isn’t going to get the support of Cricket West Indies and we all know it.  It’s very sad that a former president has come to this, a former president of West Indies cricket, but sometimes the way that you rule comes back to bite you, there is something called karma…he disrespected leaders and prime ministers in the region and that cannot work,” Wallace had said.

But I have no time for politics, petty grievances or Karma.

I do have time for a stronger West Indies cricket, whether or not I like the person who helps that process along.

 Former West Indies and Barbados batsman, Philo Wallace, believes the combative leadership style of former CWI president Dave Cameron means he will never get the support of the current board, in his bid for ICC Chairman.

Cameron has written to CWI, seeking its nomination to stay in contention for the position.  The former CWI boss had already received the nomination of The United States Cricket Hall of Fame for the post.

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) board is, however, yet to decide on backing its former chairman, with current vice-president Dr. Kishore Shallow suggesting the body’s support for Cameron would be unlikely.  Nor does Wallace, for that matter, believe it should be expected, based on the often-stormy tenure of Cameron’s presidency.

“I think it is going to be difficult for Cricket West Indies to support Dave Cameron in his bid to be ICC Chairman.  First of all, there is animosity between Cricket West Indies and Dave Cameron.  Those who are members or directors of Cricket West Indies will say there is, and he will find it very hard to get their support,” Wallace told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I honestly believe that Dave Cameron should just tell himself ‘i’ve run West Indies cricket for six years' and just leave it out and just be an observer now, because going up for the ICC job and looking for the West Indies support, it can’t work,” he added.

The ICC is yet to finalise a nomination route for selecting the successor of Shashank Manohar following his resignation from the post of ICC Chairman after a two-year tenure.  Should he receive support, Cameron could go up against Former England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) head Colin Graves and president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and former Indian skipper, Sourav Ganguly.

“It’s like trying to get a dumpling up a hill.  Unfortunately, he isn’t going to get the support of Cricket West Indies and we all know it.  It’s very sad that a former president has come to this, a former president of West Indies cricket, but sometimes the way that you rule comes back to bite you, there is something called karma…he disrespected leaders and prime ministers in the region and that cannot work.”

 

 

Former Barbados and West Indies opening batsman Philo Wallace has expressed that Chris Gayle should no longer harbour thoughts of representing the regional side.

Wallace, who is currently involved in broadcasting, weighed in on the matter after watching the West Indies romp to an easy victory this week, in their two-match T20 series against host Sri Lanka.

The Jamaican, who has opened the batting for the West Indies in all formats of the game for many years, has not played for the regional team in the shortest format of the game for the past year. His last T20 match was on March 8, 2019 versus England.

Wallace has observed that since that time, Lendl Simmons who recently returned to the team, as well as Evin Lewis and Brandon King, have been getting the job done.

“Gayle is 40 years old now, he doesn’t move around as swiftly as he used to and I think there is enough depth now in the team that they can move forward without a Chris Gayle,” said Wallace. He was speaking on a local radio show, the Calvin Alkins Delivery of the Day with Barry Wilkinson, in Barbados.

“The point is that the opening spots are sealed and the young men are performing, so he (Gayle) finds himself pretty hard to get into the side, to be honest,” Wallace added.

Gayle was scheduled to take part in Nepal’s Everest T20 league but the competition was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

He has ambitions of representing the West Indies in this year’s T20 World Cup where they are the defending champions.

“I respect Chris’ record but if you are preparing as a defending champion to win a World Cup, then you should be part of the process leading up to the production. Chris hasn’t played for whatever reason, so look, I would stick with this team, add (Sunil) Narine and the Windies look really strong,” Wallace concluded.

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