‘Performance over favouritism’: Former Health Minister calls for fairness in cricket selection

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‘Select players on performance, not favouritism.’

That’s the approach former Health Minister of Guyana Dr. Leslie Ramsammy wants the nation’s cricket selectors to adopt when selecting teams.

Dr. Ramsammy, who is Patron of the Albion Community Centre Cricket Club, does not believe the current selection process is above board, as he made reference to the Guyana Harpy Eagles squad for the upcoming Four-Day Championship.

In a candid presentation at the club’s awards ceremony a day after the squad was made public, Dr. Ramsammy declared: “I stand here to say that the best team representing Guyana is not going on to the regional cricket (tournament).”

It is the view of many that experienced Essequibo left-arm spinner Antony Adams should have been included in the 13-man squad, especially with one of the frontline spinners Gudakesh Motie out on West Indies duties.

The inclusion of middle-order batsman Akshaya Persaud and left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd, both of whom had ordinary returns in the two practice games recently, has also raised concerns in the public domain.

“Cricket is too important to become a collateral victim of people not using the proper rationale and procedure to select our teams.”

“We have to select our best cricketers to represent our clubs, to represent our county and to represent our country,” Dr. Ramsammy said.

“I believe that West Indies cricket today is at the bottom because we have not paid attention to our selectors selecting our teams.”

Pointing out that cricket is important to the West Indies as anything else, Dr. Ramsammy stressed that organisations must put systems in place “that remove favouritism, that remove unfairness.”

“Cricketers must be selected based on their performance, and I do not believe that we are presently selecting our teams based on performance alone. And that must stop!”

“That’s the challenge we have, and we must start by raising our voices.”

Meanwhile, captain of the Guyana Harpy Eagles, Leon Johnson, made a shocking revelation on Tuesday evening when he appeared on Barbados radio programme, Mason and Guest, stating that he learnt of his selection to the 13-man squad for the first two rounds of the West Indies Four-Day Championship through a post on Facebook.

“I saw the team on Facebook!” the long-standing captain of the Harpy Eagles revealed in response to a question on whether he was informed of the squad selected.

Notably, the Selection Panel, comprising Chairman Rabindranauth Seeram, Albert Clements (Berbice), Peter Persaud (Demerara) and Elroy Stephany (Essequibo), nor any member of the Guyana Cricket Board has spoken publicly on the composition of the squad.

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