Sir Richie - Windies have to be Number 1
Jamaica Gleaner article.
Kingston, Jamaica - West Indies team manager Sir Richie Richardson believes the West Indies Cricket Board acted in an appropriate matter in omitting off-spinner Sunil Narine from the West Indies team for the first Test against New Zealand.
Speaking shortly after the team arrived in the country for Sunday's first Test against New Zealand at Sabina Park, Richardson pointed out that Narine knew of the rules relating to player availability for a series.
Narine, rated as one of the best off-spinners in the world, especially in the shorter formats of the game, was not considered for selection after missing the date to report for a Windies one-week training camp, as he remained in India to participate in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 tournament.
Players, based on the West Indies selection policy, are required to make themselves available for training camp at least seven days before the start of a series.
Narine represents the Kolkata Knight Riders, who went on to win the IPL final, which was played on Sunday.
It was mandatory for all players to report to the West Indies camp by Sunday, given that the Test series against India begins this coming Sunday.
"Rules and regulations are there. The players signed a retainer contract with the West Indies Cricket Board, making a commitment to West Indies cricket," said Richardson, a former Windies skipper.
"At the end of the day, if it was not for West Indies cricket none of us would have been here."
He added: "I understand players wanting the opportunity to go and play cricket elsewhere and I support that. I want players to be comfortable and make as much money as possible.
"But for me, personally, West Indies cricket has to be number one.
"What happens if all the players decide that they are going to play cricket all over the world and ignore West Indies cricket? Our cricket would die," he added.
Richardson, in the meantime, while calling the situation "unfortunate", pointed to ways he believes the situation could be remedied in the future.
"It's unfortunate that there is a clash (with the IPL). I think what perhaps should be done is all the countries around the world should get together and make sure that there is a clear window for IPL.
"This would ensure that there are no conflicts where the players are concerned," he added.
Meanwhile, as it relates to the upcoming Test, Richardson expressed satisfaction with the pre-series camp and believes the team is well positioned to beat New Zealand.
"We have a lot of guys in the team that are capable of beating the New Zealanders, especially playing in the Caribbean in conditions we play very, very well," he said.
"Sabina Park is normally very good to us and we plan to tuck in and play very good cricket, and starting the series with a win."
West Indies squad: Denesh Ramdin (Captain), Sulieman Benn, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford, Jerome Taylor.