Row erupts over WI selection


ST JOHN’S – The West Indies Players’ Association has accused the West Indies Cricket Board of failing to be transparent with the selection of teams for the opening matches of Pakistan’s tour of the Caribbean, in a media release late on Saturday.
This follows the exclusion of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, and Ramnaresh Sarwan from the West Indies team for the Twenty20 International on Thursday at the Beausejour Cricket Ground, as well as the first two One-day Internationals on Saturday, April 23, and Monday, April 25, at the same ground.
“While WIPA is clear that teams should be picked on performance, potential, playing conditions, and preparedness, it is concerned that there may be an appearance that there were other unknown factors being taken into account,” said WIPA in the media release.
“If so, all players should be aware of what those other factors are.” The exclusion of Chanderpaul, Gayle, and Sarwan, who have a combined experience of 303 Tests, 662 One-day Internationals, and 60 Twenty20 Internationals, has prompted typical widespread condemnation in the Caribbean of the WICB, its selectors, and its selection policy.
It has also led to speculation that the days of the three former captains under the maroon cap are numbered. But Chief Executive Officer of the WICB Ernest Hilaire said last week that reports of the senior players being dropped permanently have been greatly exaggerated.
He said that the WICB, under their new selection policy, intended to give as many untried players as possible exposure in international limited-overs matches in the next two years. The ultimate goal was to win both the 2014 World Twenty20 and the 2015 World Cup, but WIPA was not impressed.
“While WIPA wants to see that young players with potential are incorporated into the team and blooded, this should not be at the expense of the overall team performance or of the obligation owed to the players to deal with them fairly and justly,” the media release said.
The three players scored a combined 439 runs at an average of 31.35 in the recent World Cup in Asia, where West Indies crashed out at the quarter-final stage. Gayle and Chanderpaul have not scored an ODI hundred in the last two years, and Sarwan has scored one in the last five years – against ICC Associate nation Ireland in April last year.
The players’ association concluded its media release by suggesting that the three players would now pursue playing options outside of the Caribbean. “In light of this, WIPA now hopes that there will be no impediment to the three senior players mentioned, or any other players seeking other options to earn a living or demonstrate their continued mastery of the game,” the media release said.