Pakistan tour of West Indies 2011 April 15, 2011

Seniors not axed, focus is on youth - WICB chief Hilaire


The West Indies Cricket Board will give as many young players as possible exposure to international limited-overs cricket over the next two years in order to create a deeper pool from which to choose a team for the 2014 World Twenty20 and the 2015 World Cup, its chief executive Ernest Hilaire has said. He spoke to ESPNcricinfo a day after West Indies left out Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan, their three senior-most players, from the squad for the first two ODIs of the five-match series against Pakistan that begins on April 21.

Hilaire, though, insisted no one has been dropped permanently.

"We recognise we need to support our senior players," Hilaire told ESPNcricinfo. "We are also very clear that we need to have greater depth in the senior team. We cannot rely on one or two players. It is not a formula for success. I am convinced, and the board is convinced, that we need to start building a team that will win in 2015.

"There is no indication that any player has been axed. The selectors will explain to every player how they fit into the plan. There is no inherent right for players to play every match."

West Indies had a disappointing World Cup campaign, exiting the tournament following a big defeat against Pakistan in the quarter-finals and Gayle, Chanderpaul and Sarwan were subsequently left out of the start of the Pakistan series.

Hilaire added that Gayle was yet to undergo a fitness test after picking up an injury during the World Cup, though this was not mentioned when the team was first announced.

The policy of blooding as many new players as possible will be limited to the ODI and Twenty20 teams, with the Test team bearing a more settled look, because there are definite dates for ICC tournaments. "The Test schedule is different. It is home tours and away tours so it is a different strategy for limited-overs and Tests," Hilaire said.

The policy was put in place in October 2010 and was in evidence during the 2011 World Cup, in which Darren Bravo, Andre Russell, Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach and Devon Thomas, all younger than 26, got the opportunity to display their skills under pressure, with promising results. Hilaire said he expects more like them will see action at the highest level so that in two years time West Indies will have a core group of battle-hardened players that will give them a chance of winning major trophies again.

"We cannot keep seeking quick-fix solutions to West Indies cricket", Hilaire said. "We need a structured approach. We are making a heavy investment in cricket development. Lots of investment in youth programs. You need long-term plans. You do not become world beaters overnight. You need to build a winning environment."

Hilaire conceded that there would be setbacks along the way and expected criticism of the board's approach given the diversity in the region and the passion for cricket, but was adamant the board must do what it thinks is right.

"There is a bigger picture and that is the success of West Indies cricket."

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cablemannpete on April 18, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    someone please tell me how sammy cemented his place in the team,or how thomas gets another chance these guys are ridiculous. Listen guys the WI players rebelled by not signing contracts and yes the board can say they dont have the money but if they cant put a good team togather and start winning how will they make money. I would say Hilaire and all the selectors should go stand in east kingston jamaica and tell the people why the did what they did.I understand they wont come out alive but that is the goal.

  • cablemannpete on April 18, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    You might say there is no inherent right to play every match but there is an inherent right of the WI fans to see the best players on the field and it is your job my hillaire to make sure that that is done. I am waiting for the day when you dont have the right to lead the team anymore and I hope you break your damn leg or more.

  • redneck on April 18, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    i understand what hilaire is trying to do but i dont agree with the method. there is no point throwing 11 lambs to the slaughter! yes by all means get some new faces in the team but that should not be at the expense of gayle or chanderpaul. you play the fresh blood in the same team as your seniors to impart knowledge and wisom and to even show them what it takes to succeed at that level. look at what australias done keeping ponting on. in the west indies gayle is in the same shoes (ex captain and the teams best player) and even chanderpaul same as hussey (mr consistent and a match winner). sammy isnt fit to be a leader and he hasnt played that many more games than those starting out anyway. just because he loves the west indies and is a wicb yes man shouldnt be the only criteria to meet to be the captain of the west indies. you need to be in the best XI in order to be the captain, sammys west indies A at best!

  • PaddyRasta on April 18, 2011, 3:20 GMT

    Picking a team can't be that hard. The best in the region that can perform at international level. Specialist batsmen 6, Specialist bowlers 4 and 1 specialist WK, and if we are lucky a genuine allrounder (Dwayne Bravo) would take up either one of the batter's or bowler's roles. There is no specialist captain role. Whilst this is a team picked only for the first 2 one-dayers, selectors need to decide how long they will carry underperforming players under the guise of building for the future. Presumably they have also communicated their intention to all the players - the uncertainty cannot be helping them concentrate on their cricket.

  • robmaha on April 18, 2011, 0:00 GMT

    The truth is that the WIBC has been blooding young players and buidling a pool of international players for the past decade. What is so different now in the mind and intention of Hilaire and Gibson? Some 57 or so new players have played tests, 60 have played ODIs and over 41 have played T20s in the recent 10 years for the Caribbean team. Most have come with some sort of promise, did not last and then gone.The cream of real talent in a handful of players remained in spite of the not so flattering results.To blame this handful who have kept the WI flag flying amidst the decline of WI cricket is soooo wrong. We shall wait to see if this yet again new set of youngsters will change the tide without that tried and tested handful. If it works we shall hear a big "we told you so". If it fails, one wonders what next the WICB will cook up. It may be time then to give up on a central regional team, really begin to decentralize, and,build six national teams. An inevitability in my mind!

  • Stumpbreaker on April 17, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    the only thing west indies need is a lot of A tours.. let the a team tour india australia south africa england... and also you need some real characters to turn them into stars.. as you also need to sell their television rights..someone like gayle.. minus the ego.. pollard is a good example too. for too long west indies slept in englands lap.. time to get in to indias lap now to fuel some money into their cricket.

  • stevedd on April 17, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    Mr. Ernest you have done the right thing and in the future interest of your country who had a great history in cricket. great job and god bless you!! keep it up.

  • dummy4fb on April 17, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    this is an excellent decision by WICB....bcoz this is the right time to induct new blood,right after the WC......remember PAK done the same after 2003 WC and builded a very good side!!!!And this decision against unpredictable Pakistani side is MASTER-MINDED!!!!!!Apart from couple of players i.e Barath and Ramdin, their side well balanced!!!!one thing, i cant understand is the selection of SAMMY???????????

  • dummy4fb on April 17, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    good nite i am posting this comment from ny i am a supporter of wi cricket three quick suggestion 1. sack gibson as coach 2.sack butts and 3. appoint ramdin captain

  • Anneeq on April 16, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    Picking young players is all well and good, but they have to have talent. I dont follow west indian club cricket but if these youngsters are doing well in the domestic circuit then why not give them a chance? I never thought id say this but this is a great move by the windies cricket board!! There defo has to be a bigger talent pool for the west indies and they have to move past the old guard of chanders, Sarwan and Gayle, that was very apparent in this world cup. Ppl are just concentrating on short term winning gains, maybe Pk will beat this young team, but thats what happens when u build a team, ul face losses. I disagree with leaving Dwayne Bravo out tho, and i think dwayne should be captain. I also think Gayle is the key for the Windies, his job isnt done yet. the may rest him for the pk tour but they shouldnt exclude him permanently, that would be extremely foolish! Good luck windies!! I hope this works for u i trully do!

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