Despite being the leading wicket-taker in the last Cricket West Indies Regional Four-Day tournament and being the third highest the previous year, Veerasammy Permaul still seems to be unable to earn a recall to the West Indies test team after three years of continued dominance.
The left-arm spinner finished this season with 50 wickets at an average of 18.90, taking nine more than his previous outing but did not receive consideration for the senior team, nor the West Indies A.
However, Devon Smith earned himself a recall to the highest level after a three-year absence, scoring seven and 20 in his two innings of the just concluded first test between West Indies and Sri Lanka while the ever-dependent Shivnarine Chanderpaul continues to be sidelined.
Out-of-favor West Indies spinner Permaul has been an integral part of the Guyana franchise in the Regional Four-Day tournament that has won the last four seasons but Guyana continues to apparently be limited to a maximum of three players in the senior squad with only two playing at a time.
Recently only 21-year-old Shimron Hetmyer seems to be in consideration for a test place although he did not make the final XI against Sri Lanka even after scoring 66 in his last international test innings.
A comparison of Chanderpaul to Smith will show Smith justifying local pundits’ criticisms about his inability to
convert domestic form to the international stage where even leg spinner, Devindra Bishoo outscored him.
Chanderpaul, who last represented the West Indies in 2015 continues to be a mainstay in any long-format playing cricket team. Despite being 43-years-old, the ‘Tiger’ continues to show his dedication to the game, scoring an unbeaten century one week ago in England.
Smith on the other hand, who is 36-years-old, struggles with only one century and six fifties while the veteran Chanderpaul has chalked up 30 centuries and 66 half centuries at an average of 51.
Chanderpaul is the eighth highest run getter in tests with a total of 11,867 runs and second amongst West Indians, only behind Brian Lara by 86 runs.
Even though Permaul donned the maroon colours in April for a T20I, where he suffered an injury, he was never in contention for the West Indies A regardless of his stellar performance in the longer format. Permaul, 28-years-old, has taken 444 wickets in his first class career and also proving himself capable with the bat, notching up three half centuries with a best of an unbeaten 86.
But Permaul and Chanderpaul are not the only Guyanese to be overshadowed of late.
Wicket keeping batsman, Anthony Bramble finished the four-Day Tournament as the leading wicket keeper with 45 dismissals while blasting 613 runs at an average of 47 and a best of 196 not out, the highest score in the competition.
Bramble compared among the other wicket keepers finished as the third highest run scorer behind Dinesh Ramdin and Devon Thomas.
But Ramdin and Thomas played three and two innings respectively more than Bramble. Leon Johnson, the left handed batsman and four-time Four-Day winning captain averages higher than Devon Smith but yet cannot find himself in a West Indies A team.
If the standard for Test selection comprises of performances in the domestic competition including the Four-day tournament where Smith finished as the leading run scorer then what more does the leading wicket taker have to do to merit consideration?
If age is a factor and West Indies looks to the future in youths then why is a 36-year-old considered but not a 43-year-old or a 21-year-old?