Age just a number – why calls to ignore Gayle, Edwards, Bravo for Windies selection make no sense

By Sports Desk May 23, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The selection of a trio of West Indies veteran player, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, and Fidel Edwards to an 18-man squad that recently began preparations for the upcoming World Cup has been met with very strong resistance in some quarters.

For some, the inclusion of these players, to a preliminary squad, mind you, is an indication that the Cricket West Indies selectors have staggered upon the unwise path of stifling abundant youth talent.  On closer inspection, however, it's hard to see how anyone looking to substantiate that particular claim could possibly do so.

At ages of 41, 39, and 37, there is no disputing the fact that Gayle, Edwards, and Bravo are no longer in the prime of their careers.  What is, however, it seems, in doubt, at this particular moment in time, is whether their contributions can still rise to the level of helping the West Indies attain its ultimate objective, in this case winning a third World Cup.

With that in mind, what CWI has done by calling these players is give them the opportunity to prove the degree that the aforementioned contributions can still rise to, and it's hard to argue against that, reasonably anyway.

As for the case of leaving talented young players out of the mix, and this point was made expertly by the team’s captain Kieron Pollard, many of those players have had ample opportunity to prove their value to the West Indies T20 team.

Between the end of the 2016 ICC World Cup, which was won by the West Indies, and the most recent T20I series against Sri Lanka, the West Indies have played 20 series.  In many instances, the squad consisted of a mix of young players with some senior players.  During the period, the team lost 11 matches, won 8, and drew 1, which precipitated a massive slide down the T20I rankings table to the team’s current position of 10th.

The losses weren’t all the fault of newer players but given the opportunity to step into the limelight and make the squad their own, they failed to do so.  Some did, and we can take note that the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, and a few others have been called to the current squad.

During that time, Gayle played 6 matches and Bravo played 5.  Between them, the duo boasts a number of T20 records and have captured two World Cups, surely, we can’t be arguing that all that experience should be shut out or not be given a chance to prove their value simply based on the date printed on their birth certificates.

 

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