After making his debut in December ‘17, the Guyanese made an instant impact as Shimron Hetmyer became a central figure of West Indies’s ODI squad over the next couple of years.
His exile from international cricket almost coincided with the onset of the pandemic. Since 2020, he has featured in only four ODIs – the last of which came over 20 months ago in July ‘21.
“It is only fair to stick with guys who did well in South Africa,” is what Desmond Haynes, West Indies’ selector, had to say on Shimron Hetmyer’s omission from the West Indies Squad for the WCQ.
In the T20 format, he’s established himself as a dependable finisher – a rare commodity in these circles.
Since donning the maroon jersey last August in a T20I, he’s gone on to play several T20 franchise leagues – CPL, ILT20 and IPL.
It doesn’t help that he hasn’t made matters any better for himself. Despite being a proven entity in the shortest format, he didn’t feature in last year’s T20 World Cup Down Under because of missing a flight.
And before that, he missed the T20I series against India in Feb ‘22 on grounds of “lack of fitness”.
Coming to 50-overs-cricket, a format that West Indies once used to boss over, Hetmyer hasn’t really done much of note.
Last edition’s Regional Super50 saw Hetmyer bat in all six games at a sub-30 average and a strike rate of 96 – nothing to write home about.
In the recent past, West Indies Cricket Board has been notorious for not getting along with their big name players. Hetmyer is just another casualty, at best.
Several players have gone on record about the lack of communication with the Board about several issues.
Andre Russell had said,
“where I was, a few years ago, KKR actually made things happen for me where they sent me to get proper treatments on my knees. That’s something special to me to be honest. No other franchise or even my country never really invested that much in me.”
“There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff going on, which I don’t really want to get into, but I mean, everybody would love to represent their country,” Sunil Narine had said while talking about his potential comeback to international cricket.
However, if we are to go by what Daren Sammy had to say in his first press conference as the WI coach, all might not be lost for the southpaw.
“I’ve had conversations with both Hetty. Having played not too long ago and understanding the complaints of players – and the lack thereof of communication – I think it’s important for us to communicate.”
“It sounds simple but I understand that just clear communication makes the process better and it gives you a better understanding. So, yes, I’ve had in-depth conversations with Shimron about his mindset, his plans, and where they see West Indies cricket in line with themselves in it.”
At 26, Hetmyer still has age on his side. And Caribbean fans will only be hoping that, unlike most of their T20 superstars, he goes on to play a lot more for the national side.