England in West Indies 2016-17 February 28, 2017

Adams hopes for end to selection stand-off


Play 02:23
'Some of the issues are systemic' - Adams

Jimmy Adams has admitted West Indies' selection policy is "not sustainable" and is "not helping our cricket".

Currently, only those players who have made themselves available for Caribbean regional tournaments are considered for West Indies' international sides. However, overseas domestic leagues such as the BBL, the PSL and the IPL - all of which overlap in some way with the Caribbean regional competitions - are proving irresistible to many of the most talented players, leading to a situation in Test and ODI cricket, in particular, where their best players are often deemed ineligible for selection.

But Adams, who was appointed as West Indies' director of cricket about five weeks ago, has confirmed that a review of the policy is underway and intimated that he is keen to adopt a less hard-line approach.

And while the prevailing attitude of West Indies management appears to have been negative towards overseas leagues in recent times, Adams admitted he could see benefits in Caribbean players participating in them, accepting that many of their best had been "battle-hardened" by their experiences.

"The outstanding issue now is player eligibility," Adams told ESPNcricinfo. "I'm encouraged by the fact that most, if not all parties are in agreement that what is in place now is not sustainable and might not be helping our cricket in the short or long term.

"I'm not the only person who is going to be involved in the decision. But I'm certainly of the view that it [the selection policy] needs reviewing. There's a process behind that which means it probably won't happen overnight. The review is ongoing and has started but, if a change of direction is to happen, it won't be overnight as there is a process that backs that up. But it is being reviewed. A lot of stakeholders in our cricket appreciate now that it does have to be looked at.

"I also think that a lot of our international players - the Chris Gayle generation - will have started under Stanford, but will have developed and become battle-hardened in leagues outside the Caribbean. And if I'm waving a magic wand, I'd like to have the standard in the Caribbean where, if they do play overseas that's fine - certainly from a financial point of view - but in terms of developing our own T20 to an international standard, then we want our cricket in the Caribbean to be a lot stronger.

"I'd like to have the best players available. I'm not going to stick my neck on the block. It's a selection panel decision as to who the best players are but, ideally, you always want the best players available for selection."

Adams knows that he has quite a challenge in front of him in his new role. As if improving results is not tough enough - West Indies did not qualify for this year's ICC Champions Trophy and currently sit eighth in the Test rankings - he has entered into an environment so toxic it has sometimes seemed UN peacekeepers would be more appropriate than cricket administrators.

But while he accepts he inherits a tough situation - "I may not live to see the promised land" he says at one stage - he is also optimistic that, if the sense of frustration that exists in the Caribbean over the decline in their cricket can be unified, progress can be made.

"I'm pretty realistic about where we're at," he said. "Our standards aren't good enough across the board and it's reflected in the cricket that we play.

"But we have the raw materials; we have good young players. What we need is a system that can take this raw talent and convert it into an international product that's world class. We have the potential to achieve a lot more if we can get people singing off the same hymn book going forwards.

"We do have one thing in common across the board: everyone wants to see stronger cricket.

"I sense more and more that more stakeholders appreciate that and are getting to the point where maybe, as an entity, we all need to be more willing to give a little bit to make that happen. I think that has to happen. I don't think everybody can keep holding onto their territories for much longer given where we are. I want to encourage that. I want to be an agent for that change to happen."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. He will be covering England's tour of the Caribbean in association with Smile Group Travel, specialists in hosted supporters' packages.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Michael on March 3, 2017, 10:50 GMT

    @Johnny865 or close to 1000 by now....your problem is that you still have not RECOGNISED what those so called best players have been doing since Sammy was made captain and when a player was made capt. who was not from that clique. It happened recently as the last series with 4 of them...THAT IS YOUR PROBLEM. Big man,the ones ( Cameron,Board,selectors) that are important have ALL seen what they were doing and have acted to suit. " it is these poor players currently representing why we failed to qualify for the champion trophy " maybe so ..BUT it was those so called best players who put us down there in the FIRST PLACE and made life difficult for that inexperience group to climb back up at the word go.

  • Kendel3456385 on March 3, 2017, 1:44 GMT

    Lol @metman, it is these poor players currently representing why we failed to qualify for the champion trophy or even win a series. we did reasonably well in the tri series against Aus. and SA but that was largely due to pollard and Narine. so you should be saying thanks to them both. Also what jimmy says might not amount to anything but it is quite refreshing to know that he acknowledges that the best players are not currently representing wi and as I said everyone else knows it except u and a few minority...

  • Michael on March 2, 2017, 14:40 GMT

    @PaddyRasta2 .....I said they didn't contribute IN THE FINAL...it is not only laughable that you should leave out '' in the final " when it is there for everybody to see but mischievous as well.

  • Michael on March 2, 2017, 14:37 GMT

    @Johnny865....those so called " best players " i REPEAT were the ONES who caused the WI to plummet to rock bottom BECAUSE they didn't care about WI cricket as their PRIME objective was to EMBARRASS the Board. You mean to tell me that you and the other cricket dunces cannot see that ? and for your information as long as the Board and Cameron remain all of what Adams said will be put on file 13 as they ALSO recognized that. Don't know why you are getting all excited about.....Gayle,Bravo and Darren if he doesn't apologize,Pollard ,Ramdin , Samuels and Sammy will NEVER,I repeat NEVER play for the WI again.

  • Kendel3456385 on March 2, 2017, 12:35 GMT

    don't cry metman, jimmy is understanding that the only way wi cricket can get better is by playing the best possible team. not this make shift team that struggled against zimbabwe. for the past 2 years wi cricket has gotten even worse and jimmy is looking to rectify the problem. he must be applauded. he sees and knows that wi cricket isn't playing their best team, I see it, most people on this forum and through out the Caribbean sees it, even past cricketers and even heads of the Caribbean island sees it. It's only you and a couple other misfits who thinks that the present wi players being picked are the best ones...

  • Patrick on March 2, 2017, 8:11 GMT

    WICB is the only board that demands that players play or make themselves available to play in domestic competitions to qualify for selection in that format of the game. This conveniently works out sometimes when some players are available but injured. And WI are near bottom of Test and ODI team rankings. Nuff said.

  • Patrick on March 2, 2017, 7:34 GMT

    @Metman Laughable how your memory is conveniently short lived e.g. the most experience players DID NOT CONTRIBUTE with the exception of Samuels and saying Simmons 0,Russell 1 - man if it were not for these two players contributions in the semi final, there would not have been any final. And Simmons actually came in jet lagged and managed 82 in the semi final.

  •   Marshall Lawrence on March 1, 2017, 17:04 GMT

    Although changes are expected, and that there is much enthusiasm whenever someone takes on a new role in CWI ,one cannot neglect the reality of the situation at hand, concerning preparation of squads, and actual play . Due to so much cricket being played now ,it will seem with haste ,when it comes to selecting players to represent at the highest level . This may not be the best practice , but it is evident, that we are engaged in international matches yearly, without much time to build solidly. Thus ,in enabling the process to go forward , a different approach has to be exploited. Those who make themselves available domestically should be rewarded . Here is my simple proposal . I strongly believe , more players should be spread across all format ,to create interest and deeper commitment .Out of a pool ,nearing 100, only about 28 -30 players play T20 , ODI and tests internationals ,and this should change . It is to that regard ,I acknowledge a different approach by selectors.

  • Mahesh on March 1, 2017, 15:30 GMT

    The board, the players, and every stakeholders other than the common cricket lover in the West Indies are absolute jokers, and absolutenothing, nothing whatsoever is going to happen, regardless of Adams, Law, XYZ or anyone else in whatever positions. With the attitude of the various stakeholders, they just don't deserved to be considered as a full member. Like Zimbabwe did, they should suspend themselves from international cricket. Better, the ICC revoke their full membership. We will be cherishing the Laras, Ambroses, Walshs and all other legends of the game from the region without a bunch of club cricketers being allowed to taint that legacy any more. West Indies cricket was great at one point. sad it doesn't exist any more. That will be a sad scenario, but the alternative is more horrible. It is not just about the standard of cricket, but the overall attitude of the board and the players.

  • jarrel0723030 on March 1, 2017, 12:10 GMT

    Thank you Jimmy! High time proper reasoning is implemented in the WICB. I know you wouldn't have let me down.

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