West Indies chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd bears no ill will towards players opting to take part in Australia’s domestic Twenty20 tournament rather than playing Test cricket.
Windies stars Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Bravo and Samuel Badree have put in a series of eye-catching performances in the Big Bash League this season, while the West Indies have struggled to compete with Australia in their three-Test series.
West Indies great Lloyd said on Friday he understood the motivation of those choosing to play the shorter format of the game to the longest. “You can’t fault them,” he said. “We’re from the islands and the point is, with the money that is being paid in these shorter games its obvious that players are looking towards their future and unfortunately we’re missing out. All those guys who we groomed have now left so were left with a vacuum and we now have to fill that.”
Lloyd said he believed the core of the side that trails Australia 2-0 ahead of the third and final Test starting at the SCG on Sunday had the potential to be competitive in the years to come. But the absence of those stars was hurting them badly. “That’s the situation we have, we have guys like Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle, Bravo and these fellas, they’ve retired from the longer form of the game,” he said. “Somebody like Russell surely we would have had a chat with him, but he has a problem with his knee and he’s just playing one day cricket.
“Lendl Simmons too would have been a nice guy to have in the middle there because he’s an opener he plays spin very well, he would have fitted in fine with our batting. But he’s not involved so we’ve got to look somewhere else. It’s a bit of a sad situation but I’m sure that our cricket will get better.”
Lloyd left the door open for Gayle, 36, to return from his effective retirement from Test cricket. “That’s up to him, you have to play in our four-day competition before you’re selected for the longer game,” Lloyd said. “So it’s entirely up to him to do so, if he chooses to play one-dayers then that’s his choice and we’ll have to choose accordingly.”
“But to play in the one-day game you have to play in the one-day competition and to play in the Test matches you have to play in the longer form of cricket at home.”