On Target
November 12, 2004
Deighton: Answering the call to serve

Deighton Butler will have to continue his excellent run if he is to make it onto the 14 for the VB Series.

The fact of Butler’s inclusion in the 25 member training squad is a revelation of his hidden talent. He has been one of those dedicated behind the scene cricketers. {{more}}

However, opportunities always seem to have eluded him. He had to dangle in the shadows of accomplished Vincentian speedsters before he was able to surface on the Vincentian squad. Even with consistent displays and obvious signs of all-round ability, he served on the reserves of the Windwards squad for many a year.

Then it was a seesaw issue with him, for even after his inclusion in the full Windwards squad, he was often the fall guy, omitted at will. Whose will, will be a matter of another discourse.

His omission had nothing to do with the conditions of the wicket, balance of the squad, or strength of the Windwards party. Most times it had to do with insular factors, where Vincentians were given the sharp point of the stick. But Butler persevered, motivated by a self-belief, and anxious to do well for himself.

The year 2004 will be a water-shed one for him. Earlier, he was an uncertainty in a Windwards bowling attack that boasted a variety. His left arm swing bowling was to his advantage, but not many persons in the Windward hierarchy seemed to have appreciated his qualities.

He even found himself in competition with another Vincentian seamer of similar delivery style, and with Kenroy Peters having distinguished himself at the West Indies Under 19 level, jostling at the local stage heightened. It continued at the Windwards stage.

With the new liberalism apparent in the West Indies Cricket Board, efforts to return the West Indies to a position of high pinnacle in world cricket has taken on renewed urgency.

Suspicions over questionable selection policy are being erased with the era of boldness, which the cricket authorities are willing to embrace.

The avenue is open for Butler. One hopes he grabs it and serves up some good stuff.