Former Cricket West Indies (CWI) president, Dave Cameron, has insisted the controversial eligibility rules put in place during his tenure were never meant to disenfranchise players.
The legislation, which was implemented as the region jostled with the cash-rich T20 leagues for the commitment of its top players, stated that players who did not make themselves available for domestic competitions would be ineligible for international selection.
As a result, many of the region’s top players were often left out of the line-up, which left the Windies’ Test and ODI sides shorn of some of their best talents. Cameron insisted that the hope at the time was to encourage more balance between the West Indians taking part in cash-rich T20 leagues and representing the regional team.
“It was never about not wanting players to play around the world. We respected that, we accepted that, but, West Indies cricket doesn’t have a product if we don’t have our best players playing. So we needed to find a way to get our players to have the understanding that you can’t play everything,” Cameron told the Mason and Guest radio program.
“In the early days, I had a conversation with the players about telling us what they were going to play and when they would be available. So the selectors could understand where they want to go. After the strike occurred in India players decided that they weren’t going to play, and for the reduced salaries, so the West Indies first policy never actually got a chance,” he added.
“It was never intended to disenfranchise anybody, but look at what is happening in New Zealand, they still play in the leagues but they give their all to New Zealand when New Zealand is on the stage. That’s all we were saying, as our senior players, you can’t play everything.” (SportsMax)