Bassarath slams Cameron over selection comments

Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board president, Azim Bassarath.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad CMC – Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board chief, Azim Bassarath, has blasted Cricket West Indies president, Dave Cameron, over comments suggesting the board would be considering a policy to excude Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo from future selection.

Bassarath, also a CWI director, said he had no knowledge of any such policy being discussed and even so, Cameron did not have the power to determine who represented West Indies, as this was the sole purview of the selectors.

“Mr Cameron in his personal capacity and as president of the board cannot speak on the behalf of the board,” Bassarath told the Express newspaper in a candid response.

“The matter was never brought before the entire board. For him to give the impression that he is speaking on behalf of the board, I can’t agree with that statement.”

He continued: “How the board is constructed, he does not have a say in who represents the West Indies. That is for the selectors to decide. It is not for Dave Cameron to decide who plays for West Indies and who doesn’t play for West Indies.

“That is a decision for the selectors to decide.”

Cameron’s controversial comments came after the quartet of Narine, Pollard, Bravo and Andre Russell declined selection for the ICC World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe, opting instead to fulfill their commitments to the Pakistan Super League.

In an interview with Jamaica’s TVJ, Cameron said the board was “very disappointed” by the players’ decision, adding: “the board in its wisdom, feels that after this World Cup – the qualifiers – we’ll probably not invite those players to be a part of Cricket West Indies going forward.”

Bassarath also argued that Cameron’s comments were not constructive, and did little to help repair the relationship with top players.

“It is not correct for Mr Cameron to come out and speak about players like that,” the top local cricket administrator stressed.

“This is not encouragement or motivation for the top players to come back and play for West Indies.”

In the same interview, however, Cameron said that Russell would still be considered for future selection as he had put forward “a reasonably good case” for opting out of the upcoming tour.

Neither Pollard nor Narine has represented the Caribbean in 15 months after pulling out of the Twenty20 series in New Zealand last December for “personal reasons.” Bravo, however, had been barred from selection until last July, after being sent home ahead of the Tri-Nations Series in Zimbabwe two years ago for labelling Cameron “a big idiot” in an angry Twitter outburst.

This came after Cameron had appeared to criticise the player’s form in a media interview.

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