Three days after he and his fellow cricket selectors discarded the two players they had resurrected after an outstanding Busta Series, West Indies captain Carl Hooper is saying performances at that level should be taken with a "pinch of salt".
After three years in the wilderness, the selectors recalled Stuart Williams and Junior Murray on the strength of their heaving scoring in the regional first-class championship, but have hastily discarded them following modest returns in the Cable & Wireless Test series against India.
"I know the selectors travel around and try to watch as many games as possible. When you watch Busta Cup cricket . . . at the end of the day if somebody scores 800 or 900 runs, you cannot ignore it, but I think you've got to take it with a pinch of salt really," Hooper said here yesterday.
"Our Busta Cup is not like [Australian] Sheffield Shield cricket, where if a guy scores 800 or 900 runs he must be playing well. Our Busta Cup is not to the level we would like it."
Williams, the 32-year-old sweet-timing Nevisian opening batsman, won a recall after a phenomenal 2002 Busta Series that brought him a record 974 runs, while the 34-year-old Murray also won favour for blasting 642 runs that included four centuries.
On their return to Test cricket, neither managed anything of note and, significantly, their dismissals were carbon-copies of errors committed in the past.
"Obviously, you've got to make sure that a guy is really, really batting well and there aren't the same old faults there - if there are any - before you decide that this guy is ready for another play at Test cricket; or else he will make the same mistakes again and again," Hooper said.
"Junior Murray must have been batting well during the Busta Cup. Whether it is coincidence or not that he comes back into Test cricket and is doing the same thing and is getting dismissed in the same fashion is another story.
"I don't know, but he must have been playing well, Stuart must have been playing well. The confidence must have been up. It is a tough job for the selectors, but it is something that they've got to try to do to the best of their ability."
While Grenadian Murray kept tidily in the first two Tests, his three innings yielded two ducks and a single and twice he was lbw playing across the line of the ball. Williams, who was given three Tests, totaled 91 runs in five innings and was often let down by a lack of footwork and beaten by the movement of the ball.