Foster: ‘Why aim for Grade A when Grade E does the work’


President of the Berbice Cricket Board, Hilbert Foster, has once again questioned the non-selection of left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul to the West Indies squad for the three-Test series against England.

Permaul, the experienced 30-year-old Guyana Jaguars bowler with 536 wickets from 121 First-Class games, could not find a place in the squad of 14 or the list of 11 reserves for the tour.

It is understood he was part of the initial longlist of 30 players contacted by Cricket West Indies Selection Panel to prepare for the series.

The Panel opted for the off-spin pair Rakheem Cornwall and Roston Chase in the squad and left-armer Jomel Warrican on the reserve list.

Berbice Cricket Board President, Hilbert Foster

Permaul was the leading wicket-taker of the truncated West Indies Four-day Championship 2019/2020, claiming 50 wickets in eight games to take his tally over the last six seasons to 290 wickets from 55 matches.

“One is left to wonder why should we aim for Grade A when Grade E does the work,” Foster said.

The BCB head said Permaul has been outstanding in Regional cricket, and that alone warrants his selection, since performance is a key criteria when selecting a player.

“Whether Permaul is Regional bully is a matter up for discussion, but Permaul could only be good enough as the batsmen he has to bowl to, and these are the same batsmen that the West Indies Cricket Board (now CWI) are selecting,” Foster added.

“Permaul cannot be old at 30 when you’re calling up (Nkrumah) Bonner for the first time at 31. I’m not pointing fingers at individuals, but I would like if (CWI) in their own way could let us know if they consider Permaul too old.”

“We brought back a guy, I think at 34-35 (33 to be exact) to captain our One-Day team, so Permaul has about five years to catch up to that stage.”

Foster made it clear that the BCB is “unhappy” with the treatment meted out to the Albion cricketer.

CWI Chief Selector Roger Harper

The explanation 

Earlier this week, team structure and conditions were proffered as the reasons for Permaul’s non-selection by CWI Chief Selector Roger Harper.

“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.

“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.”

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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