Team structure, conditions ruled Permaul out- Harper

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By Avenash Ramzan

Team structure and conditions have been proffered as the reasons behind Guyanese spinner Veerasammy Permaul missing out on a place on the West Indies squad and reserve list for the England tour.

Chairman of Selectors, Roger Harper, on Tuesday evening sought to explain the rationale behind the non-selection of the Guyana Jaguars lead bowler, who had another outstanding season with the ball.

Permaul was the leading wicket-taker of the West Indies Four-Day Championship 2019-2020, claiming 50 wickets in eight games.

The Championship was cut short by two rounds owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the franchise-based tournament began in 2014, Permaul has picked up 290 wickets in 55 matches at an average of 16.90.

Despite these outstanding numbers, the 30-year-old could not find a spot on the West Indies squad of 14 or even a list of 11 reserves for the three Test matches against England, the first of which starts on July 8.

The Harper-led Selection opted for the off-spin pair Rakheem Cornwall and Roston Chase in the Test squad, and Jomel Warrican on the reserve list.

CWI Chief Selector Roger Harper

The decision not to select Permaul did not sit well with the Guyana Cricket Board, the Berbice Cricket Club and the Albion Cricket Club, who all asked for an explanation from the authorities.

“With the sort of performance that Permaul has had this season and over the years, that’s (the public discourse) not surprising. Like I said, Permaul has been performing exceptionally well over the last few years, so I’m not surprised (by the reaction),” Harper said.

Appearing on Mason and Guest Radio show on Tuesday evening, Harper sought to put the matter into perspective.

“If you look at the structure of the team, you know the Test squad and the reserves, you realise there aren’t a lot of spinners in the party. Going to England, we looked at the sort of conditions that you’re likely to face there and the sort of bowlers you know we’ll need in the squad, and Cornwall was selected as the spinner in the Test squad from his last performance in his last Test,” Harper explained.

He added, “Looking at reserves, we thought we’d look at replacements for positions and places in the team and picked one spinner as a direct replacement and the Panel went for the incumbent, who was on the last tour.”

It is understood Permaul was initially part of a longlist of 30 players who were told to get in shape for the impending tour.

While Permaul himself hasn’t publicly offered a comment on behind overlooked this time, he has previously expressed disappointment with missing out on international selection despite being among the leading wicket-taker every season since 2014.

The series will feature three back-to-back Test matches for the Wisden Trophy. The first Test will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton (July 8-12) with the second and third matches at Old Trafford in Manchester from July 16-20 and then July 24-28.

Test Squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach.

Reserve Players: Sunil Ambris, Joshua DaSilva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas and Jomel Warrican.

Team Management: Phil Simmons (Head Coach), Rawl Lewis (Team Manager), Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach), Rayon Griffith (Assistant Coach), Floyd Reifer (Batting Coach), Dr Praimanand Singh (Team Doctor), Ronald Rogers (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Denis Byam (Physiotherapist), Neil Barry Jr (Physiotherapist), Zephyrinus Nicholas (Massage Therapist), Nkoyo Meade (Massage Therapist), Donald LaGuerre (Team Psychologist), A.R. Srikkanth (Team Analyst) and Dario Barthley (Media & Content Officer).

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