By Neto Baptiste
Out of favour West Indies and Guyana batsman Shimron Hetmyer, must put in the work required if he is to recognise his true potential and regain his status as one of the region’s premier cricketers.
This is the assessment of iconic former captain and batsman, Sir Viv Richards, who believes that Hetmyer must first recognise the veracity of his potential.
“You’ve got to put in the work [because] if you take half measure, then you are going to get half measure results for sure. Shortcuts in this particular profession is of no substance and I am not sure if what I am saying here now will get to him [Hetmyer] at some point, but the individual is a talented individual and there are times when I see him on the field and he is pretty playful like he is still a kid and he actually has to be a little more mature at this stage now. The guy has got too much talent and I think that if this talent goes to waste, it would be a huge loss, not just maybe to himself but to world cricket on a whole,” he said.
Hetmyer was one of 11 players not given central contracts by Cricket West Indies (CWI) for 2021-2022. The contracts are expected to take effect from July 1.
He has not played an ODI since January last year, while he has not featured in a Test for the regional squad since November, 2020. The explosive right-handed batsman has not featured in a T20 International since the tour of New Zealand last November.
Sir Viv suggests that the Guyanese player looks deep within himself to find the motivation and drive he displayed in the earlier stages of his international career.
“If he really wants to make this sport his profession and to get the maximum result that everyone feels he has in him in terms of the talent then he has got to really start looking at himself in the mirror and start to think. I think he is [24 years old] now, so he has got to be serious. When you hear some of the stuff like they fail a fitness test and all that sort of stuff then that is just totally unprofessional,” the former player said.
The Antiguan, who amassed 8540 runs in Test and 6721 in ODI cricket, believes however that the recent shake-up regarding contracted players sends a warning to those senior players who may have become comfortable or complacent.
“We haven’t had this for quite some time and there were some folks who were rather settled in their position with sometimes failures, but what I think would have taken place in Bangladesh would have opened the eyes of many of these individuals. It is up to them now personally that there are people fighting for positions to get the things that are in place in order for them to get themselves back where they believe they should be,” Sir Viv said.
In a recent statement, CWI announced that Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Akeal Hosein and Kyle Mayers have been awarded international contracts for the first time in their careers.
Newly appointed Test skipper Kraigg Brathwaite gets a contract for red-ball cricket, while veteran batsman Darren Bravo is handed one for white-ball cricket.
All-rounder Roston Chase lost his all-format status, while Shamarh Brooks and Shane Dowrich missed out on red-ball contracts.
Numerous West Indies stars like Sheldon Cottrell, Keemo Paul, Oshane Thomas and Hetmyer, amongst others, have missed out on their white-ball contracts.