Gros Islet – Lead selector, Most Honourable Desmond Haynes said he recommended to Cricket West Indies (CWI) that top former players be recruited to help the Caribbean side prepare for the forthcoming Twenty20 World Cup.
The opener, who took over as CWI chief selector this past January, said West Indies must put the expertise and experience of recently retired stars, including Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo, and Darren Sammy to use.
“I believe that we should not go back into the situation like what is happening in today’s cricket, whereas West Indies sometimes struggle to include the past greats,” he said.
“I made a suggestion, where I feel that people like Pollard, people like Gayle, people like Bravo, and people like Sammy, should be included in our preparation for the T20 World Cup going forward because it is important.
“These guys have been there and done it, and all you have to do is just seek knowledge, pick the brains; nothing wrong in that. I don’t think it’s gonna cost you a great deal of money either.”
Haynes said he made the recommendation to CWI president Ricky Skerritt.
He was speaking in a TV interview during the second Test against Bangladesh in St Lucia.
The former Windies opener said he also had discussions with white-ball captain Nicholas Pooran on identifying what roles players can have in the squad for the World Cup, taking place from October 16 to November 13 in Australia.
“What I was saying to him is, I think it’s important for us to know now, who’re the ones who are gonna bowl in the first part of the game…who’s gonna bowl in the middle overs,” Haynes said.
“And also the batting as well, who’s going to play that role? Who’s gonna be the six-hitter for you? All these things I think that we should be thinking very seriously of doing now that we’re preparing for the T20 World Cup.”
Before the one-month tournament, West Indies will face Bangladesh in a series of three T20Is, starting on Friday, followed by three ODIs that will be played from July 10 to 16; a similar ODI series against India later in the month along with five T20Is against the same opponent in early August; and three T20Is and three ODIs against New Zealand right after that.
Haynes said the selectors will be watching those matches to find “the people who can play the roles that we want them to play” in preparation for the World Cup.
“I think up front, opening the batting in the T20 games, I feel that we need people who could bat, but also be positive as well up there, giving us a good start,” he said.
“Batting in the middle, going to Australia, it might be a situation where there might not be a lot of spin, but you still want players in the middle there who can move around, manipulate the ball a little bit, get the singles, and look to play shots in the middle.
“Over the years, West Indies, we’ve been known for six hitters, but it’s good to have people in the back that can get boundaries. I think those little things in the batting are what we’re looking for, and the bowling… and who’s gonna be our wicket takers. All these little things are what I’m looking for in the next couple of series.”