Placing the blame for recent struggles of the West Indies senior team squarely at the feet of the chief selector, former West Indies bowler Winston Benjamin is calling for the resignation of Courtney Browne.
The 52-year-old retired fast bowler, who took 61 wickets in 21 Tests for the West Indies between 1987 and 1995, blames Browne’s selection policy for the inconsistency seen from the regional squad in recent times. He claims that the chief selector has consistently failed to find the right blend of players for any one series.
You’re picking a team that you realize is not getting the job done, but you’re not changing,” the aggrieved Benjamin told the Antigua Observer. “You are in the Caribbean where you can change 40 different teams [players] and you are not looking for the combination — all you are saying is that you are sticking to this and sticking to that. I am disappointed with the policy they are now sticking with.”
The West Indies currently trail India 1-0 in their five-match ODI series following the visitors’ recent 105-run win against the home side in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. They West Indies drew 1-1 with lowly Afghanistan that seriously impacted the team’s chances of qualifying for the next ICC World Cup.
It is in this context that Benjamin said the selectors need to pick players on merit or go.
“It’s not about who likes you and who you like,” said the fiery pace bowler who has 100 ODI wickets under his belt. “It’s about who is producing and it’s about West Indies cricket. I can say this without fear — I think that Courtney Browne needs to resign or retire, just call it and pack up his things because we are not going any place in a hurry. Do you realize we are going to have to play against Italy and America in order to qualify for the World Cup?”
West Indies and India will clash at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday and Sunday.