West Indies can reach the top by selecting the best players - Phil Simmons
West Indies coach Phil Simmons stated that if the national squad can feature the best players available, they can be the number one team in the limited overs formats.
The West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) current policy prevents players who don’t feature in domestic competitions from being selected for the national team.
Players like Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree and Andre Russell, who played a crucial role in the ICC World Twenty20 victory, have featured extensively in franchise cricket around the world.
Simmons feels that if West Indies don’t have their best squad, Australia and South Africa will have a psychological advantage in the upcoming tri-series.
Furthermore, Simmons reasoned that it was crucial for West Indies to pick their best players and gather wins under their belt as they prepare a team for the next Cricket World Cup.
“There has been talk already that players who did not come back and play in the Super50 won’t be selected (for ODI cricket),” the coach told ESPNCricinfo.
“But you are talking about seven or eight of the best players in the world.
“If you are not going to select them, then the other two teams coming into this tri-series are going to be smiling, because the challenge of playing against West Indies at home without Gayle, (Darren) Sammy, Russell, Bravo, Simmons seems easier.
“We have seen what all of them can do in the World T20 and we have seen what they can do in 50-over cricket.
“In order for us to not be scrambling to qualify for the next World Cup, we need to be winning and moving up the table.
“So going forward perhaps that is another area we can review.”
By including the likes of Dwayne Smith, Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine to the squad which won the 2016 ICC World T20 in India, Simmons is confident that West Indies can reach the pole position in limited overs cricket.
“Let us say we have the 16 players who just won the T20 World Cup, along with Dwayne Smith, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, and so on, who were not there.
“So we have about 20 international limited-overs players.
“If we play our best team in the two formats (ODIs and T20Is), we will be at the top of the two formats.
“There is no doubt about that. Everybody around the world talks about that.
“While we are at the top of those two formats, our Test cricket will be stepping up and up.”
Their recent victory in the World T20 has propelled West Indies to the second spot in the ICC T20 International rankings but they still languish in the eighth and ninth spots in Test cricket and One-Day Internationals respectively.
© Cricket World 2016