West Indies cricket June 7, 2006

Roberts questions Windies selection criteria

Cricinfo staff

Andy Roberts feels Bennett King has too much say © Getty Images

Andy Roberts, the former West Indies fast bowler, has expressed concern over the criteria for selecting teams as well the power entrusted to Bennett King, the West Indies coach. Wary not only of West Indies confusing themselves with the roles of chairman and convenor of selectors, Roberts felt that the system was shifting to unfamiliar terrain.

"I do not know how we choose teams. I don't know what criteria we use," Roberts told the Jamaica Gleaner. "I don't know whether we just look for players who are currently playing or players who have played a couple months ago but for one reason or another, they are not actually involved in one form of cricket or another."

Roberts, who has also served as a regional team selector, coach and manager, felt that King, who has served as coach for 19 months, had too much say on selection matters. "Being a former coach we never had a quarter or one tenth of the amount of power Bennett has," he said. "He negotiated that, so be it. But if he wants that and I know what I want for my cricketers, I am not going to go along with that. I think that the coach needs to have the power to drop a player but he mustn't have absolute power over the chairman of selectors."

Critical of West Indies heading towards an Australian method of handling selection - Joey Carew has been referred to as convenor of selectors instead of chairman, which has been handed over to King - Roberts felt that the method would prove counterproductive.

"I don't know who arrived at that [the system]. To be honest I don't. A system may work well in Australia but not necessarily work in the West Indies," he said. "We have our own culture. We did not get to the top of world cricket by not knowing what we were doing. But it seems to me that our administrators believe that we do not know what we are doing.

"If I have a chairman [now convenor] of selectors, the chairman of selectors must be involved in picking one to 11, not 14, and he must be chairman. Otherwise why do we have him? What is he there for - just to convene meetings?"