Selection for compatibility with the captain is not always a good thing

Dear Editor,

I can’t speak for other fans, but I would enjoy victory over England in the upcomng shorter games as much as I enjoyed the Old Trafford victory. When Carlos Brathwaite hit 4 successive sixes in the last over of the T20 World Cup final, I saw his feat as a demonstration of mental toughness and of skill. I feel sure that once England and Australia start winning the shorter games with greater regularity (which is almost inevitable statistically) the invidious distinctions made between the games will come to an end. I still fume when I think that one Mr Richardson, a high ICC official could say with total impunity that West Indians are temperamentally suited to T20 cricket. The twenty thousand people who showed up at the Brian Lara stadium to witness the final of a regional professional T20 series on Saturday night may love to party, but probably also love cricket.

I do not like the following quote from an interview with Captain Jason Holder following the last 5 day game at Lords: “I think we’ve got the best of the lot [playing] right now. I’m really happy with this squad, to be honest. I enjoy playing cricket with this squad and I enjoy leading this squad. I would not trade this squad for the world.”  Holder is good enough to be on the team, but its selection should not be determined by Holder’s likes and dislikes. He is a young man who is learning the game while he is learning how to captain a team. Selection policy should be determined by the criterion of probability of performance. There may well have been a few members of this team selected primarily because of compatibility with the captain. That is not always a good thing. The selectors ought to do everything within their power to at least bring Darren Bravo into this squad to shore up the no 3 spot.

We want to be good at all three formats of cricket, all of which require great skill and the right temperament to be consistently successful. What is more, as I have said or implied repeatedly in my letters to the editor, the new generation of fans will come in much greater numbers to watch the shorter forms which ought to be an important consideration for rational administrators, and indeed for  all who love the game.

Yours faithfully,

Romain Pitt

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