CWI fires West Indies chief selector

Roger Harper, CWI chief selector and former Kenya coach.
Associated Press / Matt Dunham, file

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has fired men’s chief selector Roger Harper one month after the regional team failed the Twenty20 World Cup title defense, when squad selection proved a controversial issue.

The regional governing body announced last week that lead selector Harper’s contract, along with that of Miles Bascombe, would not be renewed when it expired at the end of the year.

This follows a review of the selection criteria and policy carried out by a CWI-appointed four-member committee following widespread criticism of the 15-member T20 World Cup squad recently.

Head Coach Phil Simmons, who was part of the three-man selection committee, will now head an interim panel comprising the captains in the respective formats.

CWI said the recruitment process for the new panel will begin next month.

Harper, a former Test off-spinner, was appointed to the role two years ago as one of the major changes of the new Ricky Skerrit-led administration.

But the 58 year-old, who served as West Indies head coach between 2000 and 2003, found himself at the center of controversy due to the World Cup failure, with calls coming from several quarters for his resignation.

Bascombe, 35, meanwhile, a surprise choice for the panel, having never held a senior selection post, had been a member of a CWI Selection Task Force chaired by fellow Vincentian and CWI vice president Dr Kishore Shallow, charged with overhauling regional policy.

The first task before the interim panel will be to choose a white-ball squad for the three One-Day Internationals and one off T20 against Ireland at Sabina Park, Jamaica from January 8-16 next year.

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