Sports

New selection policy sign of 'tremendous progress', says Shallow

Sunday, October 20, 2019

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Cricket West Indies (CWI) Vice-President Dr Kishore Shallow believes the new administration headed by President Ricky Skerritt has made “tremendous progress” in its first seven months in charge, and has pointed to the new selection policy as proof of the robust work being undertaken.

Shallow and Skerritt toppled three-term incumbent Dave Cameron in CWI elections last March, and have since then embarked on sweeping changes in an effort to institute their Cricket First Plan, which they campaigned on.

One of the major changes have come in the area of selection where separate selection panels for the men, women and youth teams have been constituted. Shallow said this, along with a new policy to guide the selection of those squads, is a reflection of the enterprise of the administration.

“It has been challenging but it was all anticipated,” said Shallow, who recently chaired a CWI Task Force which reviewed regional selection policy.

“I think that we have made tremendous progress, particularly in establishing a selection policy — which we've never had in the past — [wherein we] now having different panels covering our cricket.

“One of the complaints we've heard over the last few years was that the females were not being priorities and selectors were not observing female cricket. So we're happy that we're in a place where all our players feel as if they are priority and that they will be observed.”

Shallow said one of the key components of the new selection policy was ensuring there was transparency in the process.

He also said that selection needed to be driven by performance based on data, in an effort to bring a more strategic approach to the building of Windies representative teams.

“[It is important] to have a selection policy where players will now have confidence that if they perform, they will be selected…they don't have to perform two, three or four years,” Shallow pointed out.

“You come out with an outstanding performance over a period in a tournament, you should be given an opportunity while you're in form. We think that these things are remarkable achievements in our first six months in office.”

He added: “There can be someone that has tremendous potential but doesn't achieve it, and we have seen that over the years in our cricket; while persons who have been performing have been sidelined because this individual [or] this player who we believe have remarkable talent has to be given an opportunity.

“What we are saying now with this system [is that it will] reward performance — and both [lead selector] Roger Harper and Miles Bascombe demonstrated their full understanding of that.”

Harper, former Windward Islands batsman Bascombe, and newly appointed Head Coach Phil Simmons will comprise the men's senior panel; while Anne Browne-John, former Windies batsman Travis Dowlin, and West Indies legend Gus Logie will constitute the women's panel.

The sweeping changes of selectors and coaching staff has drawn some criticism from various quarters, but Shallow said the overhaul had been done strategically and managed professionally.

“I think the decisions made so far have been backed by research and have been very calculated,” he stressed.

“I can't think of anything we could have changed or done differently. I'm just happy with the progress and the professionalism. The management team is working tremendously hard.”


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