The entire West Indies selection panel has been fired by the new administration and a three-man committee will select the regional team for the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in England.
Newly elected president of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Ricky Skerritt will announce at a press conference this morning in Antigua, that there is a new coach taking the team to the World Cup and also a new selection panel will be picking the said squad.
Barbadian Floyd Reifer will replace Richard Pybus as coach of the regional team. Reifer comes in to replace Pybus before the Englishman’s contract ends. He was contracted by the previous administration until the end of the Indian series in the Caribbean in August.
Pybus’ shift to the head coach position in January, filled the vacancy left by Stuart Law moving to coach Middlesex, creating significant divisions in the Caribbean but the team had shown plenty of promise against England by winning the Test series 2-1 and the Wisden Trophy, and sharing the One Day International (ODI) series, 2-2, to lift confidence ahead of the World Cup.
Pybus originally took over as high-performance director in February last year having previously served as West Indies’ director of cricket from 2013 to 2016 when he chose not to renew his contract.
The stint as director of cricket was controversial. He was responsible for the policy that made participation in West Indies’ domestic competitions mandatory for international selection across formats. This was in part responsible for a number of senior players choosing to focus solely on playing Twenty20 (T20) leagues around the world.
A couple of days ago, Skerritt said: “That [Pybus being appointed as interim coach] has been a vexatious sort of issue. I have to tell you that we believe very strongly in localising the expertise that we put behind our teams and we believe only in bringing in non-Caribbean expertise only where it is not available across the region. We want to be sure that the team does well at all times with the possible resources but we also have to make sure that they have a Caribbean support team around them.”
Reifer, who was the acting head coach of the team to Bangladesh last year, now takes over until the end of the World Cup. He will also be one of the men in the three-man panel to select the team for the event. The others are Jamaican Robert Haynes who will chair the selection committee, replacing Barbadian Courtney Browne. The other selector will be cricket development director Jimmy Adams. The former West Indies batsman has been in the role for a year now and will now serve as a selector as well. The other selectors out the door are Lockhart Sebastien, Travis Dowlin and Eldine Baptiste.
Skerritt has promised to ensure that the strongest possible West Indies team go to England to compete at the game’s showpiece. The West Indies won the inaugural tournament in 1975 and followed up with the crown at the second edition in 1979. Set a meagre 183 from 60 overs to win the third event in 1983 against India, the regional side surprisingly lost by 43 runs.
Skerritt has called on the selectors to ensure that everyone is given a fair look in and they must be judged on their performance on the field of play and not off the field.(TNT Guardian)