Somewhat interesting, scathing commentary by Andre Baptiste.
Chris Gayle is still the wrong man for the job of West Indies captain. Let me repeat, for those whose hearing may be prejudiced by incessant reggae music: Christopher Henry Gayle is not the person to lead West Indies into a bright and prosperous period of cricket. People, 2010 will soon be upon us, and must we all get confused and lose our senses because Gayle decided to concentrate (for once) and carry his heavy bat through an entire innings in the second Test in Australia. My concern, and my questions to Chris Gayle, when next I interview him will be: “Chris, why now, dear Sir?” and “Why not before? Why not when Brian Charles Lara was captain?”, and “Why not when Shivnarine Chanderpaul was captain?” and recently, “Why not when Daren Ganga was captain and needed your help the most?” It would be revealing to hear his answer and, if he answered sincerely, what would it be?
Having had the opportunity to interview him on many occasions, one senses this captaincy issue deep down in his heart means a lot to him, even if in subsequent interviews he may have said otherwise. If Gayle is a true West Indian captain, he must demonstrate this level of dedication, application and discipline consistently from the second Test to justify he has any right to remain skipper. We in the Caribbean are too easily pleased by one innings, one performance. The truth is Gayle was under tremendous pressure from the Caribbean with well known former cricketers calling for his removal. Gayle knew despite his support from certain members of the West Indies Cricket Board, his job as captain was in jeopardy and tenuous. We must not, therefore, ease the pressure because of his 165 not out because even in that Test there were glaring captaincy mistakes. The most blatant was the inexplicable decision not to utilise Dwayne Bravo earlier in Australian’s second innings, and after capturing the first wicket, to remove him from the attack.
This team, we all are aware, has the talent, but it has always been the ability to fight that is lacking. Without a doubt, the four T&T players have brought in their own individual ways, a fighting spirit and a mental toughness borne out of confidence achieved during tournaments in India and Guyana, under Ganga, the most astute captain in the region. There is nothing in the leadership style of Chris Gayle that would suggest anyone can learn anything of value from him. Gayle has an attitude problem, and the West Indies captaincy is about having the proper temperament for any and all situations, even when things are not in your favour. Gayle has demonstrated he makes selective decisions based on who is involved and how important he believes they are to the West Indies cause and not necessarily whether it is right or wrong. That sort of leadership is from the dark ages and if the current West Indies manager, Joel “Big Bird” Garner does not realise that, then we can understand why he is still a member of the WICB.
So let us not lose sight of the greater picture, that West Indies cricket is still rudderless and without a quality leader at all levels, and until that changes, nothing will happen positively for the long term in West Indies cricket. Therefore, whatever happens in in Perth, we must remove Gayle, if our cricket is to improve. To do anything less is to show signs of cowardice and to further hinder the progress of West Indies cricket. Chris Gayle will be 31 in 2010. He made his Test debut in 2000 against Zimbabwe and some ten years later he has only 11 Test centuries to his name after 84 matches and 148 Test innings. In other words, he cannot change, so please let’s change him before it is too late.