GCB President on CWI Selection Policy: “I don’t understand it; it’s so ambiguous”

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By Avenash Ramzan

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“I don’t understand it because it’s so ambiguous.”

That was the reaction of President of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Bissoondyal Singh, on Saturday when questioned on his Board’s position on the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Policy.

The current GCB, since its election to office in March 2021, has been very vocal about the Selection Policy of the regional governing body, even calling for the removal of the Selection Panel, headed by Guyanese Roger Harper, who is a technocrat member of the GCB.

In May, the local board also said it was unaware of the selection criteria for central retainer contracts, after the Guyanese trio- batsman Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounders Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd- were overlooked.

Singh posited that the GCB’s position is based strictly on the Policy and not necessarily the make-up of the Panel: “This has nothing to do with personality; I want to make that absolutely clear.”

Touching on the GCB’s familiarity with the CWI Selection Policy, Singh, who along with GCB Vice-President Hilbert Foster, is a CWI Director, on Saturday pointed to a lack of clarity.

“We are in possession of something on their website, which does not apply to me. When we wrote CWI, this is what we got from them.”

“We wrote them and ask them to explain the Selection Policy because we don’t understand it. It’s on the website, but we don’t understand it, and the answer was that they’re not obligated to explain why X, Y and Z players were not selected,” Singh told media operatives.

“We still can’t get up to now, what is really going on. Even though there is a Policy, it doesn’t apply to what’s going on. That is our major problem,” he emphasised.

In September, Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali had also questioned the selection policy of Cricket West Indies, in particular, the omission of Guyanese all-rounder Romario Shepherd from the World T20 squad.

The Everest Cricket Club had expressed its “dismay and disappointment” over the non-selection of Guyanese batsman Shimron Hetmyer in Cricket West Indies’ 30-man squad for a three-week high-performance red-ball training camp in St. Lucia in May.

In November, CWI Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave announced that the contract of the Senior Selection Panel comprising Harper, Head Coach Phil Simmons and Miles Bascombe, had been extended to the end of 2021.

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