Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Ricky Skerritt yesterday revealed that the entire selection panel, including its Chairman Courtney Browne, have been sacked.
The disclosure was made during a press conference by CWI at its headquarters in Antigua, where West Indies A team coach Floyd Reifer and Jamaica head coach Robert Haynes, were announced as interim head coach and chairman of selectors respectively.
“In order to achieve a renewed sense of purpose and excellence, difficult choices and challenging decisions have to be made and, in this case, some have been made…The changes that we have triggered this week are, therefore, more than a simple change in personnel or a shake-up among the ranks. This is a calculated, strategic move designed to reignite the passion for our culture – a West Indies cricket culture that is being put back where it belongs at the very centre,” Skerritt said.
Haynes, Reifer and team captain Jason Holder, currently playing for Northamptonshire in the English County Championship, will form the selection panel for the Windies team that will take part in a One-day International series next month in Ireland, ahead of the ICC World Cup in England this summer.
The selectors out the door, apart from Browne, are Lockhart Sebastien, Travis Dowlin and Eldine Baptiste.
Skerritt said Reifer has dedicated his life to developing young players and expressed confidence that the change agenda they have begun to implement will bring about much-needed change.
With regards to Haynes, he “is the most experienced and best suited for this responsibility at this time. We are confident we have found an interim chairman who shares the philosophy of inclusiveness and our belief in the new selection policy,” the CWI President said.
Haynes said his initial approach will, “first of all, have to look at the philosophy, criteria that is required in terms of the new policy and as Chairman of Selectors, I must ensure at all times I am fair and impartial in moving West Indies cricket forward.”
He explained that he “will need from time to time, (to) sit down with Jimmy (Adams, Director of Cricket) and other stakeholders to see which direction we need to go and when I sit with my board, we can see which direction we go to select the best team for the West Indies.”
“When we sit with the coach and captain, they will have the freedom of expressing themselves in what is it they need for players to represent the team and discuss it and move forward,” Haynes added.
Reifer said his “coaching philosophy will look to build a winning culture and create honesty and trust amongst players while stressing on the importance of good communication.”
Ahead of the camp from April 15 to April 26 preceding the series in Ireland, Reifer said “there is a lot of work to be done” but they are prepared to work hard.
Skerritt highlighted that these are interim steps as the governing body looks for a long-term agenda and this one will feature just for the Ireland tri-series with the squad assembling in Barbados soon.
As it relates to the coaching situation, Skerritt explained that there will be a search for “a new full-time longer-term head coach” in about five months but until that ends, Reifer – who will also have the opportunity to vie for the spot – will function in that capacity.