Selection of the selectors May 26, 2004

Omar Henry's future as convenor of selectors in doubt

Wisden Cricinfo staff

The future of Omar Henry as South Africa's convenor of selectors will be decided later today as the executive committee of the South African board meets to discuss the renewal of his contract. The committee is also expected to decide if Eric Simons, the coach, should be handed the sole responsibility of selecting the team as well.

Henry was hopeful that he would get the renewal. "I will hear what my destiny is on Wednesday. I don't have an idea what they are going to decide. I hope I will be able to continue in this post. We have good structures in place." If the committee votes in his favour, Henry's first assignment will be to select the squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in July.

Meanwhile, Rushdie Magiet, a former convenor of selectors, has strongly opposed the idea of the coach doubling up as a selector. According to a report on SuperCricket, a South African website, he said: "Coaches always have specific relationships with some players and those relationships will have an influence on team selection. I believe you need someone who is not too close to the team when decisions must be taken."

Magiet also voiced his concern over a one-man selection panel, which could become a reality if Simons is handed that responsibility. "The role of a selector is so subjective that it's always better if you have a number of selectors, each with a vote, instead of just one person's choice," Magiet said. "In South Africa, especially, where people come from various backgrounds, I think it makes sense to have several selectors to choose the team. This is definitely something I realised during my time as selector. Two people can look at the same player and draw two totally different conclusions."