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Desmond Haynes opens up on his life as a West Indies selector

An international cricket selector’s job is no less than hectic considering a lot of things depend on the selection. Apart from three different formats, they do select players for several franchise tournaments as well.

However, legendary opening batsman Desmond Haynes took on the role of lead men’s selector for the West Indies, who are yet to regain their T20 World Cup crown later this year as well. He recently shared his views in an exclusive interview with Betway Insider.

While talking about taking up the role of a selector’s job for West Indies, she said that he was a selector for Barbados Cricket Association way back in the ‘90s, so he has already had some experience in selecting teams as well.

“When I was approached to do the job I figured that if there’s any time that I can give back to West Indies cricket, it’s now. They needed a lead selector, they discussed the position with me, and that is when I started thinking very seriously about it,” he said.

While talking about what are the keys to being a good selector, he stated that it’s the knowledge of the game, but it’s also important to identify the talent as well. As he believes sometimes you can look at stats, but stats don’t really show the true picture always. And, if one gets the opportunity to see people play, one should be able to judge their character too.

He continued: “As a selector, you never get your own way. Sometimes you want a player and you get outvoted. In the West Indies, it used to be five selectors, now there are only three. You’ve got the co-selector and also the coach.”

He again shared: “As the lead selector, I will listen to the discussion from both parties, and then at the end, I will look to go for who I think is the right person to do the job. I always say that our aim is to select the best players. It doesn’t matter where they come from, it doesn’t matter what format they’re playing. We just want to make sure that when we put a team out there, it’s the best possible team to win that game.”

He also opened up on the key points which are needed to identify international players as well. He added that one needs to look at the character as well as the way they’re committed to training and cricket in general as well.

“Obviously, knowledge of the game is very important for me as it allows me to make sure that the players understand the game and are students of the game. Also talent, at the end of the day. If someone wants to play cricket at the highest level, their talent has got to be able to produce and do well for the West Indies,” Haynes shared.

Meanwhile, alongside statistics, gut feeling is important too to select players. He stated that statistics are very important, so as identifying the talent and looking at the person too.

“It’s good to find out about their stats, though, because if they have struggled against spin or the swinging ball, or whatever the case may be, I obviously have to also take that into consideration. We’re quite fortunate to have the analysts and the technology there to tell us those things,” the veteran again shared.

Meanwhile, selectors need to share a bond with the coaching staff and while talking about the relationship he shares with them, he added that he keeps his distance because he thinks that his role is to produce the players, select the players, and then let the coaches work on them as well. He even opened up on how much responsibility a selector should take for a match result as well.

When you’re a selector, you’re part and parcel of it. We all want the same goals, we all want to do what is right for West Indies cricket, and it’s not about any individual. As a selector, you obviously want to know that the team that you’ve selected has done well out on the field. We all feel that we have selected the best side to perform. If they don’t perform, then obviously we take some of the blame as well,” he also shared.

While talking about how to match results affects his thinking regarding selection, he claimed that it’s more of a long-term process and it’s important to give players chances too as well. He concluded: “If someone fails, you have to look at the circumstances: how he failed, how he got out, and so forth. But there does come a time when you can only give a person a certain number of chances, and then you have to try somebody else. It’s very important that if you want the best from the player, they realize that there’s competition. They have to do well – if not, somebody has to take their place.”

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