With a busy cricket schedule lined up for the West Indies team over the next couple of years, chairman of selectors Courtney Browne believes they have the “right approach” to select players and is confident the performance of the team will improve steadily.
West Indies are scheduled to tour India and Bangladesh in the coming months before they take on England and India at home next year and then head to England for the 50-over World Cup next summer. The year 2020 will bring two more ICC events – the World T20 and the Under-19 World Cup. Browne outlined several factors apart from consistent performances, such as players’ attitude, commitment, fitness, among others that would count towards selection in the future.
“When a player reveals they are reading more, and that they are committed to self-motivation training and you have seen improved performances, that tells you that some [of] our players are committing themselves to playing the best cricket for West Indies,” Browne said in a CWI release. “Ideally, a selector wants a player that is a self-starter and while that mostly is not the case.”
The release also mentioned Browne’s views on having a second tier of “well-prepared players to put selection pressure on the incumbent players”. The release further said it could be achieved only with a franchise system with pre-season and off-season programmes to improve the quality of players within the region. “This would complement the amount of cricket being played, in different formats, by increasing the quality of play by the pool of players that are available,” the release said.
Browne was “adamant” his selection team had the “right approach” to pick players for the best results. With a more inspective tone, the CWI release further said: “We asked Browne, what were some of the thoughts that came to mind when he thinks of his role as the Chairman of Selectors for West Indies Cricket. We made him write them down, so we have evidence. It was a mix of adjectives and phrases – they include teamwork, challenging, getting the fans to understand the process, teaching and learning and rewarding.
“As a follow up, we asked about the preparation and you will find the process interesting. Browne emphasized ‘research.’ He expanded by highlighting this as a process. The obvious thing to collect is current data on the players; however, an important part of the overall process includes: history of players, venues the players play on, teams the players play against, the tour the team/player is about to play in, attitude of the player, commitment, dedication and discipline, and fitness.”
With the above being the “key success factors” for a player to get selected, Browne also said, “a player is required to show consistent performances for at least a two-year period (ideally three) to be placed in the elite squad.”
Currently the World T20 champions, West Indies have won only two out of the seven T20 series (with more than one match) they have played since the World T20 in early 2016. Since then, they have lost to Pakistan both at home and in the UAE, returned winless from New Zealand and Pakistan and lost 2-1 to Bangladesh in their most recent series.
Their form in ODIs has been way worse. The last 50-over series they won was over four years ago, when they beat Bangladesh 3-0 at home in 2014. Over the years, they have lost at home to England, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and away series in India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, UAE (against Pakistan), England and New Zealand. They are currently ranked ninth in the ICC ODI rankings, their lowest in the three formats.
Their recent performances in Test matches have been more promising. This year they have won three of the five matches they have played and lost only one. After drawing the three-match series against Sri Lanka 1-1 at home, they went on to whitewash Bangladesh in the two-match series last month.