Why the West Indies didn’t make the Champions Trophy cut

Will Cuckson Roar Rookie

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    While all of the big gun international teams are battling it out for another piece of silverware, the West Indies are playing a 3-match T20 series against Afghanistan.

    Any person would wonder why the West Indies aren’t competing for their second Champions Trophy title, and it makes a fair bit of sense if you think about it.

    The West Indies’ squad for the T20 Series was pretty strong, made up partly by their stars that are valued highly in T20 leagues such as the BBL and IPL.

    The squad contained Carlos Brathwaite, Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels, all of whom featured in the just-completed BBL and IPL seasons.

    The rest of the squad included Jerome Taylor, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams and untried quick Ronsford Beaton.

    While this is still a more-than-capable squad, there are still some big names missing.

    Chris Gayle for example.

    Gayle hasn’t played an international match since last year’s T20 World Cup, and his last ODI was in the 2015 World Cup. And for anyone wondering if he’s injured, the 37-year-old big-hitter played nine times in the IPL this year, registering scores of 32, 6, 22, 77 7, 8, 0, 0 and 48.

    West Indies’ Chris Gayle raises his bat

    (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

    Dwayne Bravo, Similar to Gayle, Hasn’t featured for his national team since a T20 last September due to an injury sustained in the last Big Bash season. He also hasn’t Played a One-day International since late 2014.

    Andre Russell was slapped with a one-year doping ban earlier this year, and missed out on half of BBL|06 with a combination of hamstring and knee injuries. Russell last played for the Windies in a T20 against India in August last year, and hasn’t played an ODI since November 2015.

    My point is that the West Indies’ big gun players don’t play for their country enough, and while Russell and Bravo’s cases are somewhat excusable, the option of playing for their countries is not lucrative.

    England’s Ben Stokes was bought for $2.8 million AUD ahead of the 10th IPL season. Similarly, the West Indies’ players are bought out for less expensive but still crazy prices that don’t pay anywhere near as much as playing for their nation.

    If the West Indies had their most talented XI playing frequently, they would definitely be competing for the 2017 Champions Trophy title and quite possibly succeeding in the group stages so far.