ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Five players that held West Indies Cricket Board retainer contracts last year have been ignored for the upcoming contract year.
CMC Sports Wire has been able to independently confirm that left-arm spinners Sulieman Benn and Nikita Miller, as well as left-handed batsmen Brendan Nash and Devon Smith, along with all-rounder Dave Bernard Jr have all been overlooked for retainers which usually range in value from US $80,000 to US $120,000 annually.
The list of 18 also does not include Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, and Kieron Pollard – all of whom were not on the retainer contract list for the past year – neither Lendl Simmons nor Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Benn and Miller seem to have fallen out of favour with the selectors, having not been selected for West Indies since returning from the World Cup in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh earlier this year.
Form eluded Nash, who was omitted from the Test squad to Bangladesh and has chosen not to play for Jamaica in the WICB Super50 competition.
Lack of form could also be the reason to justify the omission of Smith. He struggled to cope the Pakistani spinners during the home series earlier this year, subsequently losing his place, and the selectors have also dealt harshly with him. Fortune appeared to have Bernard last year when he got the retainer contract and he failed to play in any form of the game for the senior team in the last year, although he secured a few A-Team appearances during the period.
Gayle, Bravo, and Pollard turned down retainer contracts last year to pursue other professional playing pursuits, and it is not clear if they were again offered.
Lendl Simmons has made a successful return to the West Indies side, but he and Sarwan have been subject to a recent arbitration with the WICB concerning unfair treatment in the award of previous retainer contracts.
Marlon Samuels and Fidel Edwards returned to the West Indies team during the last year following personal setbacks for contrasting reasons, and they have also been offered the retainers.
Samuels returned to the international game following a two-year ban for inappropriate links with an alleged Indian bookie, and Edwards came back from a career-threatening back injury to take his place as the spearhead of the attack.
Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shannon Gabriel, Kieran Powell, and Devon Thomas all had development contracts in the past year, but have now been offered retainer contracts.
Other players offered retainers are: current West Indies captain Darren Sammy, Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh Jr, Darren Bravo, veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Nelon Pascal, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, and off-spinner Shane Shillingford, who has overcome problems with his action and is set to return to the international game during the tour of Bangladesh this month.