Cricket West Indies (CWI) is set to revamp its selection policy in an effort to rid the process of “politics or petty emotional situations”, in a move geared towards having the best squad selected for the upcoming ICC World Cup.
New President Ricky Skerritt said their selection policy had come under heavy scrutiny ever since he and Vice-President Dr Kishore Shallow assumed the reins of the regional governing body two weeks ago, and it was now hoped that the changes would result in a broadening of the selection pool.
“There must be no reason for non-consideration other than cricket, or medical or physical health. No administrative issues, politics, or petty emotional situations must prohibit or prevent players from being considered for selection,” Skerritt stated.
Selection politics has remained a perennial issue in West Indies cricket but became a major talking point in recent years, as the relationship between senior players and the Dave Cameron-led CWI administration frayed.
Darren Sammy was inexplicably axed as captain and dropped from the squad five months after guiding West Indies to the capture of the Twenty20 World Cup in India three years ago, with many believing the move was as a result of his controversial public criticism of Cameron and CWI’s handling of player issues in the lead-up to the tournament.
Similarly, recently retired all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was never picked again in a one-day squad after playing a key role in the contentious abandoned tour of India in 2014. He was also sacked from the T20 squad in 2016 following the disastrous tour against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, which followed the firing of Head Coach Phil Simmons — a development subsequently criticised by Bravo.
Back in 2015, Simmons had famously criticised the selection process as suffering from “too much interference from outside”.
With the World Cup set to bowl off May 30, Skerritt said it was important to have a proper selection policy in place so that the Windies squad would be an ideal mix of youth and experience.
Only recently in the one-day series against England, veteran 39-year-old opener Chris Gayle returned to the side to plunder 424 runs at an average of 106, to be voted Player of the Series