Baugh deal makes no sense

The West Indies Cricket Board has
excelled itself again in making ridiculous decision by adding the out of form
wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh to fill one of the three vacant spots on their
central retainer contract list.

The 28-year-old Jamaican, who has
been repeatedly snubbed by regional selectors, joins all-rounders Dave Bernard
Jr and Andre Russell as the new players to hold contracts.

This comes after West Indies
captain Chris Gayle, along with all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard
turned down contract offers recently. Gayle, who initially sought and was
granted an extension to the deadline date for signing the contract, was the
last of the trio to indicate he would not take up the deal.

Baugh was named by the board to
take up a Grade C contract six years after playing the last of his five Tests.
His 30 One-Day Internationals have been scattered over a five-year period and
he has not played one in over two years. In recent years, Denesh Ramdin has
been preferred as the Windies first choice keeper, but the 25-year-old
Trinidadian was overlooked for a contract due to his ailing form with the bat.

Bernard, who was relegated to a
developmental contract, has been upgraded once again, while the talented Russell,
who was outstanding on the recent A team tour of England, has also been elevated
to the top tier. The list of players holding developmental contracts have been
reduced to eight as the board opted not to replace Bernard and Russell.

Despite the disappointment of
losing Gayle, Bravo and Pollard, the board remained upbeat about the players
who had signed on. “The WICB is delighted to have a full complement of players
on central retainer and developmental contracts,” said WICB chief executive Dr
Ernest Hilaire.

“We see this as a clear
demonstration by the players themselves that they are committed to working with
the board towards the development and success of West Indies cricket. The board
is encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response from the players and we
look forward to working very closely with each of them in the coming year.”

Central retainer contracts are
awarded on three tiers, with Grade A deals worth and estimated US$120,000 a
year, Grade Bs worth $100,000 and Grade Cs worth $80,000. Developmental
contracts are worth around $24,000 per year.

Veteran left-hander Shivnarine
Chanderpaul is the only player signed on a Grade A contract with fiery left-arm
spinner Sulieman Benn and all-rounder Darren Sammy holding Grace B contracts.
The remaining 12 players have been signed on Grade C contracts.

Chanderpaul, Sulieman Benn, Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach, Brendan Nash, Adrian
Barath, Darren Bravo, Shane Shillingford, Nikita Miller, Devon Smith, Ravi
Rampaul, Nelon Pascal, David Bernard Jr, Andre Russell, Carlton Baugh Jr.

CONTRACTS — Kirk Edwards, Gavin Tonge, Andre Fletcher, Chadwick Walton,
Devendra Bishoo, Assad Fudadin, Imran Khan, Kevin Stoute.