Trinidad and Tobago’s chief selector, Tony Gray, believes Denesh Ramdin remains the best gloveman in the region, despite the rise of several other wicketkeepers in recent years.
The 35-year-old Ramdin’s 217 Test dismissals from 74 have left him third on the all-time list of West Indies wicketkeepers, only behind Jeff Dujon (270) and Ridley Jacobs (219).
However, the Trinidadian has not played a single Test nor one-day international (ODI) in four years, and after being overlooked for recent T20 series against Ireland and Sri Lanka, his international career appears all but over.
His snub this week by his native Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) for the upcoming Caribbean Premier League campaign also raised eyebrows, but Gray said Ramdin’s skills behind the stumps remain unmatched even if he was no longer the best wicketkeeper-batsman available.
“I think Ramdin is still a very good player, a good all-round player,” the former West Indies all-rounder told the NewsDay here.
“It is not easy all of the time to be motivated but once he can be motivated – and perhaps a novelty item playing somewhere else will help – I think he could still contribute immensely to any franchise once the motivation levels are there.”
He added: “I think he is still the best gloveman. I am not sure that he is the best wicketkeeper-batsman, but I think that he is still the best gloveman in the Caribbean.”
Ramdin also lies third on the all-time West Indies list for ODI dismissals with 188, again only behind Dujon and Jacobs.
In recent times, Barbadian Shai Hope has sewn up the spot as the Caribbean side’s first-choice wicketkeeper in ODIs, notching 93 dismissals from 78 matches.
More important, though, Hope is one of the world’s leading ODI batsmen, averaging 52 and already scoring nine hundreds.
And with the in-form Nicholas Pooran having taking over duties in the T20 International format, there has been no place for Ramdin in the Kieron Pollard-led unit.
However, Gray said Ramdin’s departure from TKR should not be viewed as anything other than the usual transfer activity ahead of a new season, but warned that replacing his experience could prove difficult.
“That is the nature of franchise cricket. You see it all over the world … sometimes a player has a better deal in another franchise,” he explained.
“When you looking at organising and structuring a team you have to look at the best fit and sometimes you have to look at the balance of the team.”
He added: “I think [it could be difficult] to a certain degree … it depends on the wicketkeeper that you get.
“If you’re playing Amir Jangoo, he is very young in the business still, and the intensity level of a T20 game would mean that he will have to improve very quickly.”
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