The sight of Marlon Samuels running towards the stand where Chris Gayle was watching the last ODI was a powerful signal to those watching that he and his teammates were with the player who has not been in the West Indies team.
Perhaps not all players felt that way since we will never know the impact Gayle has in the dressing room but certainly the player of the series in the IPL had another supporter in Kieron Pollard who also waved his bat at him first and then at the dressing room after the winning hit was struck.
Windies tour brimming with long-term benefits
Ramnaresh Sarawan also acknowledged his half century with a wave of the bat towards Gayle so quite clearly three players who have some time or the other been at odds with the West Indies Board were showing where their sympathies lie. As of writing the matter is still unresolved and it looks unlikely that Gayle will be part of the Test team for the series unless of course West Indies lose the first one badly and there is a clamour for his recall.
Gayle is from Jamaica and the series was already decided by the time the last ODI in Jamaica came about, so there was no reaction from the crowd and the thrilling win would have helped douse any fires that may have been started for Gayle's absence in the Test match that starts at Sabina Park, Jamiaca in a day's time.
India of course won't be complaining that Gayle is not in the opposition since it means a game changer is not part of the problem that they have to solve, so the problem becomes smaller for Dhoni and company. However from a spectacle point of view it takes away a great deal and while a win is a win, Dhoni and his team will feel just that little less satisfaction than if Gayle was to be part of the opposition.
Clashes between players and officials have been there in all sports ever since sport began. The competitive element in a sportsman's psyche relishes a challenge not just on the field but off it too and in any case youngsters have a fire in their belly which often gets out of control.
It is here that the administrators must play their part. Since almost all the administrators are experienced men who are having a successful career away from sport, they must should be the ones who should be more understanding of the competitive juices flowing in a young sportsman and they should be the ones who should cool the situation down.
They are the elders in the game's family and if they play their role then many an ugly situation can be nipped in the bud and not allowed to get out of hand. One of the reasons why the BCCI has not had too many issues with players is because the elders in the administration have taken the fire out of the equation and have sorted out the problem to everybody's satisfaction. Sure there will always be the odd problem that may linger but the animosity is hardly ever carried to an extreme.
There were two outstanding performers in the just concluded one-day series, Andre Russell and Rohit Sharma. Sharma may have pipped Russell for the man of the series award with his consistent batting but Russell ran him close despite missing out on the earlier one-day games. He may have missed out on the player of the series prize but he is the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week for his all-round deeds in the one-day series.
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