Browne defends Ambris snub
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC):
Chief selector Courtney Browne has sought to defend the controversial non-selection of Windward Islands Volcanoes stroke-maker Sunil Ambris, who was overlooked for the upcoming three-match one-day international series against England starting next month.
In response to swirling criticism over the decision to omit the prolific Ambris in favour of Test wicketkeeper batsman Shane Dowrich, Browne noted that while Ambris' form was indeed welcome, it did not merit him "walking into the international team".
Browne argued that with West Indies having a packed one-day schedule throughout the year, he expected Ambris to gain selection at some time in the future.
"I think one of the things we want to do as a panel, and we've said this time and time again, that we want to see people backing up their seasons," Browne said.
"When you look at last season, Sunil would have averaged around just above 35, 36 - around that number last year in about seven matches. But this year now, he tops that and it's well received by the selection panel, but we do not think at this time that he merits walking into the international team."
He continued: "It's a developing team; it's a young team. We have players with just a few ODI matches. If we are developing players, we have to give players time to develop. We have loads of cricket to play this year, and Ambris could find himself in an ODI squad later in the year.
"There're opportunities in the President's XI [match]; there's opportunities in the PCL (Professional Cricket League). We have an A-team tour in the Caribbean. So there are loads of opportunities for people to keep pressing their case."
The 23-year-old Ambris was one of the leading batsmen in the just-concluded Regional Super50, gathering 423 runs at an average of 70 with six half-centuries.
He was one of only four players to score in excess of 400 runs, with Kieran Powell (513), Kraigg Brathwaite (484), and Shai Hope (482) the others.
Inexplicably, Dowrich gained the favour of selectors for the England ODI despite mustering 116 runs at an average of 19 during the recent 50-overs tournament.
With Hope the first-choice gloveman for Barbados Pride and West Indies in the one-day format, it meant that Dowrich was chosen as a specialist batsman, making his selection ahead of Ambris all the more baffling.
But Browne pointed to Dowrich's lack of real opportunities in the Super50 and argued that he deserved the chance to prove himself.
Barbadian Dowrich toured Zimbabwe for the Tri-Nation Series last November as a late replacement for Marlon Samuels but failed to make his ODI debut.