ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): A report into alleged interference in the selection process has determined that the two highest ranking officials of the West Indies Cricket Board, spoke without “approval” when they backed the retention of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the Australia series.
WICB president Dave Cameron and his vice-president, Emmanuel Nanthan, had supported Chanderpaul’s selection last May after the Clive Lloyd-led selection panel had decided to drop the veteran left-hander.
In a media release on Saturday, the WICB said the findings of the report showed that both Cameron and Nanthan had spoken in personal capacities.
“The findings stated that the actions of the president and vice-president to support the selection of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the home series in May last year, were personal statements and were done without approval of the Board of Directors,” the release said.
Chanderpaul was controversially left out of the squad for Australia series following a run of low scores in previous series against South Africa and England.
According to media reports at the time, Cameron attempted to have Chanderpaul included against the will of selectors.
The report, conducted by human resource specialist Colin Barnett, was commissioned by the WICB after head coach Phil Simmons controversially claimed last September that there had been “outside interference” in the selection of the one-day squad to tour Sri Lanka.
Two other selection cases came under scrutiny of the report, namely the Test squad to Australia last December and the cancelled one-day international series against Zimbabwe.
According to the release, the report found no discrepancies in these cases. “The other findings reported support the roles of the director of cricket (Richard Pybus) and the selectors and that they were following the existing selection policies and guidelines.”
The report also put forward a list of recommendations to improve the overall selection process, among these the refining of selection policies, updating the terms of reference for selectors and advising the public on selection criteria.
Simmons stunned the cricket fraternity ahead of the Test tour of Sri Lanka last year when he told a media conference that the selection of the tour had suffered from “outside interference”.
The Trinidadian, who had then been only recently appointed, said he and chairman Lloyd had agreed on the need for Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard to be recalled to the ODI squad only to be outvoted by the three other selectors Eldine Baptiste, Courtney Walsh and Courtney Browne.
Simmons said those with influence had interfered to ensure the two players remained sidelined.
He was subsequently suspended for the Sri Lanka tour, but reinstated for the Australia series following an inquiry.
Contemporary administrative principles are severely lacking in governance across the West Indies and more particularly in sports. There should be a selection panel with recourse to a higher (appeal) body. Assessment of players must be according to a code of conduct for selection. The selection decision must then be subject to judicial / arbitration review for compliance with selection standards.