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Courtney Browne, the West Indies’ chairman of selectors, has revealed that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) could change the eligibility rules when it comes to being picked for ODIs.
Under the current rules, which have been in force since 2010, only players that participate in the domestic 50-over competition will be considered for selection.
But, given that the West Indies are currently sitting in ninth place on the ODI rankings and are running out of time to automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup, Browne admitted that a few changes could be made.
Furthermore, since high-profile players like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine don’t meet the eligibility criterion, they were all overlooked for the West Indies’ recent ODI series against Pakistan, which they lost 2-1.
“There is some discussion going on about revisiting the eligibility rule,” Browne told Line and Length, a Barbados-based network. “I know it’s with a working committee. That will then go to the board. But we have to understand our domestic cricket is key.
“Players coming out of domestic cricket and showing they can perform at the international level is important. Yes, we have to look at it [the eligibility rule] but also be mindful that we have to develop our own domestic product, a stage where we can have a very good standard of regional cricket.”
However, Browne also made it clear that he doesn’t want the West Indies to find themselves in a situation where young talents are being snubbed despite having proved their worth on the domestic circuit.
“We have a lot of young developing players, they’re all bunched together in terms of number of Tests, that’s par for the course,” he added. “When you have a bunch of people you’re exposing to international cricket, you will tend to get these sorts of performances. But the good thing about it is, you have the coaching team and you have to give them some time to develop players.
“There’s no regret [in giving them opportunities]. They came through the system, we understand they’re young players and need time to develop. When you’re looking at development process, it’s going to be a slow process. We’re not going to find a sensation overnight.”
When asked about the new players – Shimron Hetmeyer and Vishaul Singh – that recently represented the West Indies in their 2-1 loss to Pakistan in the three-Test series, Browne said: “They’ve shown the fans here’s a bunch of young people who are showing fight. It has shown the players too that with determination and passion like that, you can be competitive.”