Chief selector recommends CWI seek help from former greats to prepare squad for T20 World Cup
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Chief selector the Most Hon. Desmond Haynes
Chief selector the Most Hon. Desmond Haynes

GROS ISLET, St Lucia (CMC) – Chief selector, the Most Hon. Desmond Haynes, has recommended to Cricket West Indies (CWI) that top former players be recruited to help the regional side prepare for the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup.

The legendary opener who took over as CWI chief selector in January, said West Indies must put the expertise and experience of recently retired stars, including Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo, and Darren Sammy to use.

“I believe that we should not go back into the situation like what is happening in today’s cricket, where West Indies sometimes struggle to include the past greats.

“I made a suggestion where I feel that people like Pollard, people like Gayle, people like Bravo, and people like Sammy should be included in our preparation for the T20 World Cup going forward because it is important. These guys have been there and done it and all you have to do is just seek knowledge, pick the brains; nothing wrong in that. I don’t think it’s gonna cost you a great deal of money either,” Haynes said, as he disclosed he had made the recommendation to CWI president Ricky Skerritt.

Haynes, who was speaking here during the second Test against Bangladesh, said he had also had discussions with white-ball captain Nicholas Pooran on identifying what roles players can have in the squad for the October 16 to November 13, 2022 World Cup in Australia.

“What I was saying to him is: I think it’s important for us to know now, who are the ones who gonna bowl in the first part of the game. who’s gonna bowl in the middle overs and also the batting as well … who’s going to play that role? Who’s gonna be the six-hitter for you! All of these things I think we should be thinking very seriously of doing now that we’re preparing for the T20 World Cup,” he added.

Before that one-month competition, West Indies will face Bangladesh in a three-match T20I series starting on tomorrow, followed by three ODIs that will be played July 10-16; a similar ODI series against India later in the month, along with five T20Is against the same opponent in early August; and a three-match T20I series and three-match ODI series against New Zealand right after that.

Haynes said selectors will be watching those matches to find “the people who can play the roles that we want them to play” in preparation for the World Cup.

“I think upfront, opening the batting in the T20 games, I feel that we need people who could bat but also be positive as well up there, giving us a good start. Batting in the middle, going to Australia it might be a situation where there might not be a lot of spin but you still want players in the middle there who can move around, manipulate the ball a little bit, get the singles, and also look to play shots in the middle,” he said.

“Over the years, the West Indies have been known for six-hitters, but it’s good to have people in the back that can get boundaries. I think those little things in the batting are what we’re looking for, and also the bowling … and who’s gonna be our wicket-takers. All these little things are what I’m looking for in the next couple of series,” Haynes added.

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