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Browne should step down


HAYDN GILL

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FROM the time Courtney Browne became chairman of the Barbados selection panel two years ago, it became an issue to some.Their grouse is that as an active player for LIME in local competitions, he could not adequately fulfil his duties as a selector.I was, however, among those who saw the advantages of a player serving as a selector. His presence at a ground was guaranteed – a pertinent point against the background that for several years selectors were accused of not watching enough cricket.Secondly, as a player, Browne is in a position to observe those he has to pick from a closer distance and can see more than he can see from beyond the boundary. Browne was recently appointed a West Indies selector and yet again, it has been the subject of another debate.The question that is now being asked is if he should be a Barbados selector and a West Indies selector at the same time?On the surface, it might not appear to be a conflict of interest, but there is a conflict of some sort.As a Barbados selector, Browne has an allegiance to the team. He is in some ways, an extension of the team management. He will be part of team strategy and team discussions on occasions.As a West Indies selector, if he sits down to watch a match between Barbados and Jamaica, he is supposed to do so with a neutral perspective. Can he, therefore be, completely unbiased since he already has a connection to the Barbados camp?As a West Indies selector, he might be assigned to watch a match between Leeward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago in Antigua at the same time that Barbados are playing Windward Islands at Kensington Oval. Do you want your chief Barbados selector to be somewhere else when his charges are playing in their own backyard?As a Barbados selector, Browne picks teams with one eye on winning and another with a view of getting players in the West Indies team. In other words, he is identifying players for the West Indies selectors. There are two distinct roles that should be held by two different people.Browne’s two-year term as a Barbados selector is about to come to an end and I hope he thanks the Barbados Cricket Association board of management for giving him the opportunity to serve in the position before informing them that he will not be interested in continuing in the role because of his new responsibility as a West Indies selector.If he is torn between two minds about wanting to simultaneously hold both positions, he should be guided by the events of more than a decade ago when the current BCA president Joel Garner was in a similar situation.Garner had been a Barbados selector for almost two years in 1998 when he was appointed as a West Indies selector. When the new Barbados selectors were appointed a few months later, he was no longer on the panel.No more needs to be said. The ball is in Browne’s gloves.• [email protected]

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