Haynes explains Hetmyer, Lewis, Allen absences
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):
LEAD SELECTOR Desmond Haynes said the talent pool in the Caribbean was small, and no player could be ruled out of selection for the West Indies men’s international team.
This was the common theme that ran through responses from Haynes during a virtual news conference on Monday that dealt with the glaring non-selection and the absence of a handful of high-profile players, including Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, and Fabian Allen.
None of the three featured in the men’s team for a series of three One-day Internationals in the United Arab Emirates and the subsequent qualification tournament in Zimbabwe for the 2023 ICC One-Day International Cricket World Cup in India.
“I must say, though, that I just want the public to know that nobody has been ruled out of selection for West Indies,” he said. “We do not have the depth of players to rule out anybody for selection. We really cannot afford to side-line anyone.
“We are interested in selecting the best team. We appreciate the fact of where we are standing in world cricket, and we want to improve that. We want to pick the best players who are committed and can play the roles for us to get from the bottom of the pack.”
On the choices for the ODI squads, Haynes said new captain Shai Hope tipped their hands in the selection because of the way the Barbadian wicketkeeper-batsman felt the players came together and played against a difficult opponent.
“What we, the selectors, decided to do was that we’ve just had a new captain in Shai Hope, and he was very happy to express his views about the type of camaraderie we had in the team in South Africa,” Haynes said.
“We, as selectors, saw commitment, we saw a real change in our approach to one-day cricket, and we thought it was only fair to stick with these guys.”
OMISSION OF PLAYERS
Haynes also dealt with the selection of the ‘A’ team squad for the ongoing tour of Bangladesh and the omission of several players that had performed well in this year’s West Indies Championship and the inaugural Headley-Weekes Tri-Series.
He said the selectors had to consider the bigger picture that India was going to be touring the Caribbean in a few months, and the World Cup qualifiers were around the corner, and they wanted to keep a nucleus of regular players in some form of top-level matches.
“I think what we may not have done well was to let the public know what the ‘A’ team was all about,” he said.
“We were looking that we have got India coming to the West Indies in a few months, and we were hoping to give some of the players some [match] practice in that time.
“We were also taking into consideration that we also have the World Cup qualifiers, and we were in a situation where the guys are not playing a lot of cricket, so we thought with the ‘A’ team matches coming at this time, it will be interesting to give more exposure and give some of the guys a chance to play some [matches].”
Haynes said if the ‘A’ team tour of Bangladesh was only for exposure, more untried players may have formed the nucleus, but there were several opportunities ahead for them to earn a place, and he urged them to keep working hard and stay ready.
“We are very pleased with several of the young players we have seen throughout the season, and we will hope that they continue to perform, keep working on their game because we need them coming in now and fighting for places and putting some pressure on the ones that have already been selected.”