'Selectors go on gut-feeling' - Greenidge
Stabroek News
March 6, 2004

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WEST INDIES selectors look beyond performances at regional level when picking teams.

This response came from Gordon Greenidge, a member of the Sir Vivian Richards-led selection panel, in the aftermath of public criticism over some of their recent choices.

"It's not always possible to choose just on performance because the way those performances are acquired doesn't necessarily lend or promote that individual for international cricket," Greenidge said yesterday.

"Sometimes we go on gut feeling. Sometimes we go on €¦ what that person possesses, body language, understanding, that know-how. It doesn¹t always come over to the public the same way."

Greenidge, a member of the world-conquering West Indies teams under Richards and Clive Lloyd in the 1970s and 1980s, was speaking at Sherbourne Conference Centre during the launch of CricketFest, a fun-filled cricket expo, scheduled for the Dover Playing Field on March 31, the eve of the third Cable & Wireless Test between West Indies and England.

The current crop of selectors has come in for a tongue-lashing, especially in recent days after Barbadian left-arm fast bowler Pedro Collins, the leading wicket-taker in the 2004 Carib Beer Series with 37 scalps, was not included in a 16-man West Indies squad in preparation for the first Test.

The selectors instead opted for rookie Jamaican Dwight Washington after his first season of first-class cricket in which he took 20 wickets in five matches for the West Indies "B", and Adam Sanford, who managed 14 wickets in five matches after returning from the tour of South Africa where he was dropped for the final Test.

"We here in Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica, regardless of whatever we wish to say, still like to see our own selected, regardless of whether he deserves a play or not," Greenidge said.

"But I am a West Indian. I've been given a task to select a team with my other two colleagues and I can tell you I am not going just on performance.

"We have to see beyond that. Too often in the past we have recycled.

Occasionally that will still happen because of the lack of players we have available and the lack of international understanding in those players." Greenidge, who first became a selector in June 2001, described the job as a tough one.

"It is never an easy job. We see things perhaps that others don't see, but we have the choice to make. They don't," he said.

"It may not look pleasing to others, but we have that choice to make. They don¹t. I am certain that had those persons been in our shoes, I am wondering what they would have done, what other choices they would have made."

NEW STORY

A DEVELOPMENT programme, common to all the territories in the Caribbean, is needed to help the West Indies produce a world-class team.

That's the assessment from West Indies selector Gordon Greenidge.

"There needs to be an overall development plan within the Caribbean, not just Barbados, but within the Caribbean," he said.

"If we keep singing from a different hymn sheet, we are going to keep

falling into trouble.

"The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Barbados Cricket Association and all the other individual territories need to unite, come together and develop a more cohesive development programme to help develop the sport."

Greenidge, one of the finest opening batsmen the West Indies has ever

produced, feels that no development programme exists in the Caribbean.

The WICB, which has the services of a chief cricket development officer at its secretariat in Antigua, is moving towards having a cricket development officer in each of the territories. Such employees exist in Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

"We don't have a development programme to develop our players before they reach the international level €¦ so we are going in to learn, which means sometimes that we are going to be behind the eight-ball," Greenidge said.

"We are going to go into a situation that is a little alien to us. And

believe you me, we are not really quick learners. We take time, hence, the problems have surfaced and have caused us a lot of heartburns."