PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Cricket West Indies (CWI) has overhauled its selection system to feature team-specific panels, selection analysts and a new policy aimed at creating transparency and efficiency in the process.
In a departure from the current system, the men’s, women’s and junior squads will now benefit from separate selection panels headed by an executive selector, and comprising another selector and the head coach.
The changes, which were announced here Monday at a CWI media conference, resulted from recommendations put forward by a CWI selection task force headed by vice-president Dr Kishore Shallow and which included director of cricket, Jimmy Adams.
CWI president Ricky Skerritt, who said selection panels would be staffed shortly, explained the new changes were aimed at creating the “best possible practices that could lead to the best possible outcomes”.
“They (task force) presented their report with recommendations included. Over the past four months they carried out a comprehensive review of the system of selection, with the intention to identify the best possible practices that could lead to the best possible outcomes,” Skerritt told media here.
“We want the best possible cricketers performing at their best at all times and we’re confident if we can achieve that consistently, you will see the winning results and you will see the West Indies teams moving back up the ladder from where we presently lie at the bottom in every version of the game.”
A selection analyst will be attached to the panels while the men’s panel will benefit from three scouts who will undertake the role of monitoring players throughout the region.
Dr Shallow said in the past there had been little analytical approach to the selection of players, and it had not augured well for player development or performance.
“What we believe is that our selection system going forward should revolve around a data-driven system,” he stressed.
The captain, along with the head coach and the executive selector, will choose the final playing XI but while the captain will be involved in squad selection, he will not have a vote.
Despite this, Skerritt contended, the captain still retained a key role in the selection process.
“Don’t believe the captain is not involved in selection. He’s very involved as influencer in terms of the final squad and he’s completely involved with a vote to choose the final XI that goes out onto the field,” Skerritt explained.
Player selection will now have to satisfy six criteria – form and performance, fitness (based on a new approved fitness and conditioning policy), team balance, mental capacity, technical ability and commitment.
This, CWI said, would guarantee greater transparency and create a more effective means of choosing the best players.
Skerritt, who swept to power last March after dramatically ousting three-term incumbent Dave Cameron at elections in Jamaica, said the overhaul of the selection process was in keeping the agenda of change on which he was elected.
“I want to make it clear that all strategic decisions are made in the best interest of the future of West Indies cricket and are designed to bring back a sense of pride and aspiration to West Indian teams that has been too often absent in recent times,” he said.
“Nothing that I preside over as president will be for my own well-being or for my own promotion. Everything that I preside over in my time as president will be for achieving the objectives in our Cricket First Plan including our promise to evaluate the selection system as a first order of priority.”