GCB aware of CWI’s selection criteria for international retainer contracts- Harper

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By Akeem Greene

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Chairman of Selectors, Roger Harper, has indicated that the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) is aware of the requisite criteria used for the allocation of international retainer contracts.

On May 5, CWI announced 18 retainer contracts for males, and the Guyanese trio- batsman Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounders Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd- did not make list after being contracted the previous year.

The GCB issued a press release on May 7, stating they will be “investigating” the selection criteria after no Guyanese male was given international retainer contract for 2021-22; the local board also claimed it was “not aware” of the criteria.

The day prior to the issuing of the release by the GCB, Harper, who is also a Technocrat Member of the Guyana Cricket Board whose executives took office on March 29, held a Virtual press conference along with CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams, where he outlined the criteria used for the selection of the batsmen.

According to the GCB release, “The GCB is not aware and was not informed of the criteria used for the award of International Retainer Contracts nor were any reasons given for the non-award of International Retainer Contract to these four (4) players.”

Harper said presentations were made about the retainer contracts to Member Directors to CWI; GCB President Bissoondyal Singh and First Vice-President Hilbert Foster sit in that capacity

GCB President Bissoondyal Singh and Vice-President Hilbert Foster are Member Directors to CWI, along with 10 others who were “duly elected” to serve at the CWI Virtual Annual General Meeting on April 11.

On Wednesday evening, speaking on the Sean Devers Sports Watch, which is aired on Kaieteur Radio, Harper revealed that the Directors are aware of the reasons for selection and non-selection of players.

“Before the contracted list is made public, it is presented to CWI Board of Directors and the Board of Directors include two Directors from each territory,” the Lead Selector stated.

“Reasons are presented for the awarding of a contract to each player and there is a reason presented for each player who did not get a contract that was contracted the year before and Guyana had two Directors at that meeting as well. I think you need to ask the Guyana Cricket Board the question directly.”

CWI Chairman of Selectors, Roger Harper

Harper said that he and Adams made the presentation and opportunities were there for the Directors to ask whatever questions they may have had.

“I think as a new board what you need to do is try and get au fait with how things work with criteria and other things in place and then take it from there. There is no quota system which says each territory should get a certain amount of contracts.”

The former West Indies coach felt that persons are not looking holistically at the issue since in previous years, other players whose performance dropped were cut from the contracted list.

“If we look at these things in detail, Sheldon Cottrell had an A+ contract the year before and he does not have a contract [now]. The now Test captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, was vice-captain, and last year he didn’t have a contract.”

“So, I find it strange that people are making it something personal that Guyana does not have any people contracted. This is nothing unique to Guyana, people have lost their contracts for various reasons, and it just happens in this case, it just worked out that no one from Guyana (got a contract) for various reasons and some of them, their own making.”

Appearing on the Barbados radio programme, Mason and Guest, on Tuesday, Harper said he is hopeful for some “changes” to the selection policy.

The contracts for the upcoming 2021-22 season runs from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, and were evaluated for performances and statistics from April 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021 (this was also supported by statistics from the previous 2019-2020 evaluation period).

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