‘Nice’ won’t cut it! - CWI president blasts previous administration’s selection policy

April 18, 2019
Windies captain Jason Holder (centre) celebrating with Keiron Powell (left) and Marlon Samuels.
Windies captain Jason Holder (centre) celebrating with Keiron Powell (left) and Marlon Samuels.

Newly appointed Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt says that unlike the previous administration before his, players' discipline will not be key in determining whether they are selected for the Windies team.

Skerritt is visiting Jamaica to meet with stakeholders of Windies cricket and said that the aim of selectors should primarily be to pick teams that provide the best level of competitiveness at a global level.

His comments refer to changes he has promised to CWI's selection policy for players, after many players have been left out of teams in recent years because of publicised disagreements between them and former president Whycliffe 'Dave' Cameron.

"What we're trying to do is widen the pool to increase competitiveness," Skerritt said. "If we don't increase competitiveness locally, how will we compete globally? You're not going to reward players because they're nice or because they're available locally. You have to reward them based on excellence. If the players are local and they're playing excellent cricket, they will get into the top teams. It's already happening. Several players in the team right now have come that way. The selectors will look at players wherever they can look at them and make a determination which is the best player available for that task at hand.

"We have to fit players for purpose. We cannot win globally, if we're putting a church choir together. We're putting together a team of cricket warriors, of cricket battle ready talented sportsmen. It's a slight difference. I think we need to know what we're picking players for. If you're going to the World Cup, for instance, you're not sending your best behaved players, you're sending the players most capable of winning cricket."

Skerritt said that neither he nor other CWI administrators, apart from its selection panel, will be involved in the decision making about who makes the teams. This has been a criticism levied at the previous administrators by many involved in the West Indies cricket fraternity.

"This is why we leave cricket to the cricket experts," Skerritt said. "The selectors will not just be pulling names out of a hat. They'll be discussing with the players, they'll be looking at data and they'll be coming to good cricketing decisions, not interfered with by politicians and administrators. That, we hope, will be the big difference, so that people who understand cricket, people who can make sensible cricket decisions, and people who can get together and come to a reasonable conclusion, will be the ones making those decisions, unencumbered by external forces."

Skerritt said that selectors have already made decisions on the players to be involved at next month's ICC Cricket World Cup from May 30 to July 14, in England and Wales. He said the team will also officially be named soon.

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