Gail Alexander and Joel Julien
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Sammy under pressure as WICB directors meet on Ramdin today
T&T wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin is set to be chosen to lead the West Indies team for the upcoming three-Test series against New Zealand. Whether or not he replaces Darren Sammy, the standing captain, all hinges on the outcome of a teleconference that will be held among the directors of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) this evening.
Sources close to the situation told the T&T Guardian that the pint-sized Ramdin has been chosen by the West Indies selection committee chaired by Guyanese Clyde Butts to replace the St Lucian Darren Sammy who was at the helm for the past few years. Ramdin has served as his deputy on occasions and has handled the team well.
This decision by the selectors has to be ratified by the WICB and no position has been taken by the regional cricket body on the selection just yet. The president of the WICB Dave Cameron will convene a teleconference this evening involving all his directors and then a vote would be taken on whether the Preysal-born player will call the shots on the West Indies team.
According to the source, Ramdin was contacted by the West Indies selectors over a week ago.
“Denesh received a call from chairman of the selection panel Clyde Butts, who asked him whether or not he was interested in leading the regional team in Test cricket. Denesh indicated that he was willing to take on the challenge and this message was passed on to the WICB for ratification. By the end of the teleconference tonight, the region would know who will be at the helm for the New Zealand series.”
It is understood that Sammy’s failure to bring positive Test results over the last year sparked the move by the selectors and Ramdin will now have to take a team that is ranked eight on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test ratings and look to move them up the ladder.
He could see immediate movement with a Test series win over the Kiwis because it will give the West Indies enough rating points to jump them in the rankings. New Zealand currently sits in position number seven. The only regular playing Test team that is ranked below the West Indies is Bangladesh and they will be coming to these shores in the second part of the Caribbean cricket season to play Tests as well.
The source ended by saying: “Although the WICB has not made a decision on whether they will go with Ramdin or stick with Sammy, it seems that the all rounder is under serious pressure this time around. He has not commanded a place in the team outside of being captain and some see his inclusion as one that has thrown off selectors when it comes to getting the right 11 on the park.
“His record has not been up to par in recent time and this will do him no favours when the directors give their two cents at this teleconference. Ramdin, on the other hand, has improved tremendously with the bat over the last year or so and is tactically a better leader than Sammy.”
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