Reality is about probability

Dear Editor,

Mr Adams, the Development Officer, and Mr Grave, the Chief Executive Officer, both expressed publicly a desire to change selection eligibility, so that the West Indies cricket team can once again be selected from the best cricketers in the region. Since their respective announcements, three series have been played, and a major dispute caused by the negligence of the Chairman in not determining the salary category of the region’s best player before demoting him, has been resolved, yet another kiddies team has been selected for a 5-day series in England, to be played during the period in which professional 20-over cricket is played in the region.

It is notable that shortly after the announcements by Adams and Grave, and the resolution of the dispute  referred to above, Browne, the chairman of selectors, expressed his concern about either the fairness or the good sense, or both, of leaving out from the touring side, the young players who had been given opportunities in the three series also referred to above. At that time I reminded the readers of the foolishness of bringing in as many as four rookies all at the same time if the intention were to ‘blood’ youngsters, since the same objective could be attained by playing all four, but not all at the same time in the same matches.

Having the professional 20-over competition played at the same time as the 5-day international series is obviously not a good idea, because it means that fans would not see the best players engaged in both the long and shorter forms, and the players who are not available for the shorter forms will suffer an unnecessary loss of earnings.

The implementation of decisions is often as important as making those decisions, and as a great economist once wrote: “In the long run we are all dead”. Why on earth do we not have two or three veterans in the squad to England? The last time we toured England Chanderpaul and Samuels were our most successful batsmen, and the youth all failed. Reality is about probability. I know there are lots of West Indians literally praying and hoping that the youth will excel all at once so that we won’t need the ‘mercenaries’ as our best players are often unfairly described. That is possible, no doubt; but betting men, who are usually realists (of sorts) will always place their money on a blend of youth and experience over youth only. The reason, of course, is the law of probability rather than a strong belief in possibility.

I hope I am wrong, but I have the feeling that the Chairman of Selectors is the culprit. If so he must be stopped in his tracks. At least there was some rational basis for having confidence in Lloyd.

Yours faithfully,

Romain Pitt

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