WICB clears air on selection policy
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)?is urging the eight million cricket fans of the Caribbean to look at the bigger picture when it comes to their new selection policy.
That policy has come under serious criticism from all parts of the region since last week, when veterans Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, all three former Windies skippers, were left out of the team named by the WICB to oppose Pakistan in the first One-Day match on Saturday at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia.
Yesterday, the WICB’s CEO Dr Ernest Hilaire was forced to draft a letter to Guyana’s Minister of Sport Dr Frank Anthony who last weekend had chided the board for the absence of Chanderpaul and Sarwan in the team.
Anthony had written chairman of selectors Clyde Butts seeking clarification on the status of Chanderpaul and Sarwan in West Indies cricket.
Hilaire felt it necessary the board give their side of the story.“It is necessary to make it clear from the outset that at no time has the WICB declared or insinuated that any senior player will no longer play for the West Indies. We urge you and cricket fans in Guyana not to fall prey to wild media sensationalism,” Hilaire said in his response to the Guyanese minister.
The CEO noted that the team selected was for the first and second Digicel ODIs. “The selection committee will meet shortly to deliberate and select the squad for the remaining Digicel ODIs and later the two Digicel Tests,” the WICB chief added.
Hilaire said the WICB could not take a narrow and parochial view to the process of rebuilding West Indies cricket.
“Having established in your mind what the core of your team is that you will build around, you now need to find the other players who will fit into the squad, and that is what the selectors are seeking to do.”
“As part of the WICB medium term plan of action to win the 2015 Cricket World Cup we have recognized that we need a broad pool of experienced players. Only 11 players can play at any one time and as the WICB seeks to expose more players some of the proven international players will be rotated,” Hilaire said.
He noted the reaction to the non-selection of Chanderpaul and Sarwan had been unnecessarily extreme but did speak to the passion which existed in Guyana for the cricket – a fact which had always been recognized and appreciated by the WICB.
“I would like to urge a reasoned approach to the WICB’s strategy of strengthening West Indies cricket, which is now emerging from a period of under-achievement, and also patience with the process. Let me assure you that the WICB has no plan, intention or directive to end the career of any player.
“Fans in every country, inherently, want to see their countrymen perform on the international stage on their home ground. We know it is no different in Guyana. “however the WICB must, from time to time, take some decisions, in the wider interest of West Indies cricket, for the benefit of the sport and the entire region. We do not have the luxury of parochialism,” the CEO concluded. (BA/PR)