The exclusion of West Indies and Dominica off- spinner Shane Shillingford from the 15-man touring party to Bangladesh next month has not gone down well in his homeland.
Former Windward Islands manager Tom Lafond says he is stunned by Shillingford’s omission and believes insularity is creeping back into regional selection policy.
West Indies selectors announced the squad last week, with Guyana left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul as the only new cap but with Shillingford excluded.
The outspoken Lafond said the non-inclusion of Shillingford could not be justified. ”I am definitely very surprised. I am really flabbergasted. I got flabbergasted when I heard the team,” Lafond said. “I could not believe that the selectors could
leave out Shane Shiillingford from a tour of Bangladesh or even Sri Lanka for that matter since that is the kind of bowler that you need on these kinds of wickets.
“To have selected Permaul ahead of Shane to me is a travesty. Additionally, when I look at the team and I see that Kirk Edwards is recalled, it leaves me to believe that we are going back to the days of insularity, and that is one of the concerns that I have,” he said.
The 29-year-old Shillingford has emerged as the regional side’s frontline spinner in recent times, getting ahead of Guyanese leg-spinner Devendra
Bishoo and Barbadian left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn in the pecking order.
Following a near two-year hiatus to straighten out his bowling action, Shillingford returned to international cricket with success earlier this year against the touring Australians, picking up 14 wickets in two Tests. This included a 10-wicket match haul before his home crowd in Dominica in the third and final Test, which West Indies lost by 75 runs.
Surprisingly, after this 10-wicket haul, he did not start the West Indies’ next match against England in the first Test of that tour.
Shillingford last played for West Indies in the second Test of that tour at Nottingham and claimed one wicket.