Benn still has work to do, says chief selector

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Chairman of selectors Clyde Butts says combative left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn has not yet shown that he is serious about playing for West Indies.

Sulieman Benn

Benn has been overlooked for selection since the World Cup earlier this year due to disciplinary issues and was not a member of the 14-man squad named Tuesday for two Twenty20 Internationals against England next month.

Butts said the 30-year-old Barbadian was yet to prove to selectors he had “reformed”.

“I think Sulieman Benn would tell you point-blank that he is available for selection but of course you know what happened when Sulieman Benn went to the World Cup with us,” Butts said in a television interview Tuesday.

“We had some issues with Sulieman Benn and nothing has happened since then to show us that Sulieman Benn has changed his ways and certainly wants to play for West Indies.
“I think Sulieman Benn, if those things had not happened, certainly would have been considered for selection for West Indies.”

He added: “Sulieman has got to show us now that he has changed and wants to play for West Indies and he has to go out there and do the things we would love to see him do.”

Benn was the regional side’s frontline spinner up until the World Cup in Asia where he took 12 wickets to be one of the leading West Indies’ bowlers.

However, he was overlooked for the quarter-final against Pakistan and on return to the Caribbean, missed out on consideration for the Test and one-day series when Pakistan and India.

“I know the Board has been trying to put some things in place for him and one just hopes he can reform and he can start thinking slightly different now and look at himself as a man who actually has been performing fairly reasonable for West Indies and would want to go on and play for West Indies for a long time,” Butts said.

A former West Indies off-spinner, Butts said last May that Benn had received a poor report from team management coming out of the World Cup. He did not divulge details of the alleged indiscipline.

“He did not have a very good report from the World Cup and we felt he needed some time to recuperate from that World Cup and all the situations … (there were) reports from the management team from the World Cup and his actual behaviour,” Butts said at the time.

Benn has had several run-ins with cricket authorities during his short international career, and was banned for two one-day matches for a spat with Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin in the third Test in Perth two years ago.

He was also suspended last year for entering South Africa’s dressing room during the ill-tempered third Test in Barbados.

Benn has taken 51 wickets from 17 Tests, and 29 wickets from 25 one-dayers.

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