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Cricket West Indies — The floodgates are open

BY Philip Ayoung-Chee

Thursday, August 31, 2017

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In a mad rush to ensure automatic qualification for Cricket World Cup 2019 an amnesty is granted to allow anyone to be chosen. This includes cricketers who have not played in that format of the game for years.

Therefore, commentators will now be calling for the selection of any person, especially from their respective territories, and the result will be name-calling such as territorial bias and insularity. There are presently questions about the number of Barbadian cricketers on tour to England, chosen by a Barbadian-led selection panel, according to the commentators. But Eldine Baptiste, Travis Dowlin and Lockhart Sebastien (3/4) are not Barbadians. As usual, no-one suggests alternatives and better yet, who should be removed from the team.

Without any criteria, such as the need to participate in the regional tournaments, the regional tournaments will now be neglected and relegated to non-importance.

While two cricketers have jumped to immediately accept the opportunity to return to West Indies colours in the one-day format, others have declined until they have sufficient practice in the one-day format.

As the post-mortem continues following the first Test match loss in England, commentators, both regional and foreign, are quick to put forward names of players without recalling the last time such people have played a four- or five-day match — Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy.

Again, I ask, which selector, a serious true selector, is willing to select players who have not played in that format of the sport within recent time?

Further, why is the Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams, and the Lead Coach Stuart Law, and Captain Jason Holder not part of the selection panel? In fact, the director of cricket and the lead coach should be leading the selection panel, which should comprise the sub-coaches, the captain and maybe others, if necessary.

And now that the West Indies have won the second Test Match, jump on the win wagon.

But remember we still have an issue with the hierarchy of Cricket West Indies starting from Dave Cameron. After the first Test loss, Dr Sammy of Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board stated that Dave Cameron was not on the field of play and should not be blamed for the loss. After the second Test win Dave Cameron also was not on the field of play. Following this second Test win, let them accept the kudos for the win, but Dave Cameron and others must go and must go now for West Indies Cricket to improve.

But, as we scramble to try to gain automatic selection for Cricket World Cup 2019, we will descend into permanent (not temporary) mayhem, forgetting about organised plans, if such exist, for development programmes.

Maybe, just maybe, one step forward, if we can get around the corner, but definitely three steps backwards.

Philip Ayoung-Chee is a consultant and urological surgeon in Barbados. Send comments to the Observer or ayoungcheepkv@gmail.com.

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