Former Barbados and West Indies fast bowler Tino Best has given newly appointed chairman of the Barbados selectors Henderson Broomes and his panel of Roland Butcher and Ryan Hinds a failing grade over the selection of the Barbados Pride 14-member squad for the regional Super50 tournament that bowls off in St Kitts and Trinidad and Tobago next week.
Broomes, a right-hand medium pacer played 11 List A matches for Barbados in the 1990s and is the only member of the selection panel to retain his post as a selector after the selectors under the chairmanship of Henderson Wallace were replaced by the Barbados Cricket Association earlier this year. But despite his years of service as a selector, Best says he has no faith in Broomes when it comes to selecting squads to represent Barbados at the regional level.
=“I have no faith in the chairman of selectors Henderson Bromes, I don’t think he has displayed the skills and knowledge that have indicated he can identify and select our best cricketers. This was his first test in his new role as chairman of selectors and he has failed miserably. Hopefully, he will get better and prove me wrong with his selections in the future. But that is left to be seen.
“So far, based on the selection of this team, I have given him a failing grade. I thought that when the selection panel was changed, I would have seen a change of policy that indicated the new panel had some kind of direction for the use of our young cricketers in regional cricket. I have not seen it with the selection of this squad,” Best told Barbados TODAY.
The former fiery pacer has several issues with the selection of the squad, among them being the inclusion of fast bowler Miguel Cummins and the exclusion of veteran all-rounder Kevin Stoute, who is among the four reserves named by the selectors.
“After hearing the names of the members of the squad, I was disappointed with the inclusion of Miguel Cummins. I think there was no need to select him at this time, the selectors could have moved forward without him. Miguel has signed for Middlesex as a Kolpak player. I am happy for him but he has made a step to move away from West Indies cricket. His signing of a Kolpak contract is an indication that he no longer has any desire to play for the West Indies. And I think the selectors got to understand the disadvantage young cricketers are being placed under when experienced players sign these contracts and are still selected for their national team ahead of budding players who are yearning to play for their country. I think it is unfair,” he said.
Best added: “I don’t buy into the argument that these senior players who are no longer seeking to play at the international level bring experience to the team. A cricketer must play the game to gain experience. If young cricketers are not given the opportunity how are they going to gain experience at the first-class level? I am disappointed that young Keon Harding who is the fastest bowler in Barbados was left out of the squad for Cummins who is not as fast as him and is older. Keon is an emerging talent, I think not selecting him was a step backward by the selectors. He bowled in the high 80s during the tournament at Kensington Oval last year. He has a lot of potential, the coaches just need to work harder with him and get him stronger. Keon is a bowler of the future and should be in the squad.”
The outspoken Best who has emerged as a knowledgeable, straight-talking cricket broadcast analyst, stated it was laughable that veteran all-rounder Kevin Stoute was not chosen in the squad but Javon Searles was included.
“If experience was a criterion for selection, a strong case can be made for Kevin. Javon Searles should have been left out of the squad. His place in the squad should have been taken by Kevin who is a loyal servant to Barbados’ cricket. I cannot understand how the selectors could have left out Kevin who is 33 and has played 52 List A matches for Searles who is a year younger and has just 15 List A matches under his belt. Javon is my friend but if you are going down the route of experienced players with most of the senior players in India with the West Indies team, Kevin must be in the squad. He can’t be a reserve,” Best said.
Best said he was not satisfied with the batting lineup in the squad and felt that Jonathan Drakes should have been given the nod over Nicholas Kirton.
“Nicholas Kirton is an okay batsman who is improving. But I would have preferred Jonathan Drakes instead of him. I think Drakes is a more talented batsman who is easy on the eyes and gets away the ball a lot quicker. He manipulates the strike better than Kirton and is a wonderful talent that we have to invest in. I don’t think Zachary McCaskie should start his regional career in List A cricket, I would have started him in four-day cricket. His place should have gone to an opener who would have added more firepower at the top, one who has a bit of experience at the regional level. Rashidi Boucher is the man the selectors should have selected,” Best said.
Best suggested the squad lacked balance and lamented that a place was not found for left-hand medium-fast bowler Dominic Drakes and right-hand pacer Akeem Jordan.
“When I look at the squad it is unbalanced. I was taken aback that Jordan could not get into the squad because Barbados has the first choice when it comes to selecting local players. I heard people saying that there was no need for the Pride to select Jordan because he was a sure pick for the Combined Campuses and Colleges. I reject that notion. We got to pick the best players that are available to play for the Pride, that is what our cricket is about, selecting the best cricketers that are available to us. I don’t think our selectors have done so with the squad they have selected for the Super50,” Best said, adding that as a former Barbados player and a diehard supporter of the Pride, he wanted them to do well and win the tournament. But he noted that no team will win a competition if the selectors do not select the best players that are available to them.