IN what may well have been an unprecedented move, the Jamaica Scorpions squad, which fell by the wayside at the ongoing Cricket West Indies (CWI) Super50 Cup, was not chosen by selectors formally appointed by the board of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA).
Chief executive officer of the JCA, Courtney Francis, told the Jamaica Observer on Tuesday that the squad was selected by Head Coach Andre Richardson, Assistant Coach Nikita Miller and Captain Rovman Powell.
That trio also chose the much larger squad which played a series of trial matches in August and September.
That’s because contracts for the Junior Bennett-led selection panel came to an end in June and were not immediately renewed, Francis said.
Bennett’s panel included former Jamaica opener Delroy Morgan and respected Coach Burtram Barnes.
As explained by Francis, the unusual situation came about after CWI moved to change its annual contractual cycle for contracted players across the region from July 1-June 30, to October 1-September 30.
“This was in order to bring contracts in line with the CWI budget year,” Francis explained.
He said that pending the renewal of CWI contracts with players, there was a 50 per cent reduction in monthly allocations to regional franchises, for July, August and September. That was ahead of a new memorandum of understanding between the CWI and West Indies Players Association (WIPA) starting October 1.
“This was agreed to by all parties,” Francis said.
Faced with a resulting resource shortfall in mid-year, Francis said the JCA executive chose not to renew the selectors’ contracts immediately.
According to him, the situation was “compounded” when the CWI brought forward the Super50 tournament from November as was originally scheduled to October — ahead of England’s white-ball tour of the Caribbean set for December.
Francis said a new selection panel to be decided on by JCA board members will now be appointed ahead of the annual regional four-day tournament scheduled for early next year.
In 2022, the Rovman Powell-led Scorpions recovered from a poor start to play brilliant cricket and win the Super50 tournament.
However, in their just ended 2023 campaign, the Scorpions — without injured West Indies batter Brandon King — played dismal cricket throughout, to lose six of their seven games. The seventh was ruined by rain.
Jamaica Scorpions closed their 2023 Super50 campaign in last place with just seven points. The semi-finals and final of the regional one-day tournament is scheduled to take place Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday in Trinidad and Tobago.