Windies selectors should support Simmons’ pick, says Benjamin

St. John’s (Antigua), Oct 1 (IANS) Former West Indies seamer Kenny Benjamin believes once head coach Phil Simmons was in favour of cricketers Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, the selection panel should have given him their support.

Benjamin, who grabbed 92 wickets in 26 Tests between 1992 and 1998, also said a clear policy on the two players needed to be established and communicated to selectors, reports CMC.

“If Pollard and Bravo should not be selected there should be a memo passed onto the selectors saying these guys are not eligible, you can’t leave it open and then you have that kind of rift between selectors and coaches so obviously there is a problem. If you ask any head coach around the world, they hardly vote these days,” Benjamin said on Wednesday.

“Most of the selectors understand that the coach is the one in charge and they normally lean towards him so for me, if Phil Simmons wants those two gentlemen and once they are eligible for selection then they should be selected.”

Benjamin was speaking following Simmons’s suspension for lambasting the continued non-selection of Bravo and Pollard in the West Indies one-day team.

Simmons said last Friday that he and chairman of selectors, Clive Lloyd, had lost their bid to have the two players re-included for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, and he felt “interference from outside” was ultimately responsible for keeping the players out.

Both Bravo and Pollard were on Monday announced in a 15-man Twenty20 squad for Sri Lanka but omitted from the ODI side.

Benjamin said while he believed interference in the selection of teams still occurred, clear policy on players needed to be established for selectors.

“This thing (interference) still happens in West Indies cricket and that is why we are having these problems now because my thing is, if the board has said let’s finish with them (Bravo and Pollard) then that would have been fine but that should be made clear,” the 48-year-old pointed out.

“But once you leave a loophole and the coach wants the players he should get them and quite frankly, I am disappointed in the other three selectors.”

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