Sydney, Nov.4 (ANI): Noted cricket columnist Peter Roebuck has criticised the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for re-appointing Jamiacan star Chris Gayle as the team's skipper for the tour Down Under, saying that he was an undeserving candidate for the post, and that Trinidadian Darren Ganga would have been a better choice.
In a scathing article for the Sydney Morning Herald, Roebuck takes Gayle to the cleaners for what he calls his unprofessional approach to matters cricket in the Caribbean.
"Chris Gayle's nomination as West Indies captain for the coming tour Down Under is beyond comprehension. Far from standing firm, the West Indies Cricket Board has capitulated in the most craven manner. Never mind that their captain and senior players have let them down badly and repeatedly," says Roebuck in his article.
"Gayle is a busted flush. Sympathisers say he cares about West Indian cricket. If so, he has a curious way of showing it. Appointed on a wing and a prayer by authorities desperate to stop the inexorable slide in West Indian cricket, the languid Jamaican has been a profound disappointment. If nothing else, his abject performance during last winter's Test series in England ought to have cost him his job," he adds.
"Given the honour of captaining the party and therefore following in the footsteps of Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Garfield Sobers and Clive Lloyd, the sun-glassed opener promptly signed to play for the Kolkata Klowns (or whatever) in the IPL and arranged to join the team a week before the first Test. Eager to put even more plunder in his pocket, he lingered longer, played an extra match and arrived a couple of days before the series began. So much for leadership. So much for the tradition of West Indian cricket. So much for Test cricket," Roebuck says.
"Now, Gayle has been recalled and reappointed. He did not even succeed in the IPL. Apparently he was hard to handle, refusing to take part in team activities, hardly scoring a run or taking a wicket, contributing little on and off the field. No wonder NSW spurned him this summer. Gayle has become a mercenary. It does not seem much of a way to lead a team let alone a proud cricketing collection," he adds.
Roebuck endorsed Ganga as West Indian cricket's truest leader. He also described him as a tactician with a proven record and an ability to unite his players, and lamented the fact that he has not made the touring party.
"Trinidad and Tobago's performance in India reminded all and sundry about the glories of Caribbean cricket and made its collapse all the more painful," Roebuck says.
"Perhaps Gayle will set the series ablaze with brilliant batting. He has the capacity. Perhaps his players will rally to the cause, whatever that may be. For now, it's hard to avoid thinking that an opportunity has been missed," he concludes. (ANI)