Fri | Nov 22, 2019

Sir Andy against Bascombe appointment

Published:Friday | October 18, 2019 | 12:26 AM
Roberts
Roberts

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):

Fast-bowling legend Sir Andy Roberts has questioned the appointment of Miles Bascombe to the Windies men’s selection panel and believes that the former Windward Islands batsman should have withdrawn himself from consideration after having been a member of the recent Cricket West Indies (CWI) Task Force, which led an overhaul of regional selection policy.

Further, the outspoken former Windies coach contended that Bascombe did not possess enough first-class experience to sufficiently qualify him for the role he now occupied beside former Test off-spinner Roger Harper and newly appointed head coach – Phil Simmons.

“I have a problem, first, that he was a member of the task force that sat down to look into who they could pick as selectors and develop a policy, so he’s been part and parcel of it,” Sir Andy told the ‘Mason and Guest’ cricket radio show here.

“He [also] does not have enough first-class cricket experience in the region. He may have played, yes, but as far as experience goes to, be one of the two selectors? No, I have a problem with that.

“My biggest problem is that he, as a member of the task force – even though he wasn’t involved in putting his name [forward] – should have ­withdrawn being a member of the Task Force.”

SURPRISE APPOINTMENT

Bascombe’s appointment came as a surprise, especially considering his tepid playing career, which yielded 24 first-class matches at an average of 21, and a single Twenty20 International for the Windies against England eight years ago.

He was also named to the Selection System Task Force earlier this year, chaired by CWI vice­-president and fellow Vincentian Dr Kishore Shallow, as one of three independent members with former Test players Ramnaresh Sarwan and Philo Wallace.

Bascombe also serves as vice-president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association headed by Shallow.

Sir Andy, however, supported Harper’s appointment as chief selector, saying that the former Windies head coach ticked all the boxes.

“I’m pleased. You’re looking for somebody with vast cricket knowledge, somebody who knows the game, has played the game at the highest level, who has been captain [and] coach, so I don’t have a problem with that,” the Antiguan outlined.

Shallow, who chaired the ­interview panel during the recruitment process for selectors, defended Bascombe’s appointment but says the process had been a “robust” one, which had seen the former player pass every test put before him.

“One of the first things we did was identify a group of players based on interviews and feedback from persons across the region,” he said. “Miles’s name surfaced through that process. Some 20 persons were put forward and approved by the board. We then wrote to them [to ascertain] their interest and availability.”

Shallow said that of the 17 candidates who responded positively, Harper, Bascombe, Lockhart, Sebastien, and Hendy Wallace came through as the final shortlist based on their performance in a test exercise.

Shallow says Harper and Bascombe then scored highly in the interviews that followed.

“I can tell you that both Roger Harper and Miles Bascombe were outstanding, with no disrespect to the other two gentlemen,” Shallow said.

“They stood out in terms of understanding the modern day of selecting, where we are now in a data-driven environment. It’s not about an eye for cricket anymore. We’ve gone past having an eye.”