“It’s got to be a mental strain for them, being in the hotel, locked down” : Desmond Haynes

West Indies’ legendary batter Desmond Haynes has taken over the role of the lead selector for the West Indies’ men’s cricket team just recently. Prior to becoming the lead national selector, Haynes was associated with Barbados Cricket Association back in the 1990s also as a selector.

 

Desmond Haynes - Chief Selector Of West Indies Cricket Team
Desmond Haynes – Chief Selector Of West Indies Cricket Team

 

To be a good selector, there are certain things that need to be followed. Haynes believes that knowledge of the game along with identifying the talent is important because not always do the stats show the real picture. In an interview with Betway, he said, “If you get the opportunity to see people play, you’ll be able to judge their character.” Haynes will be accompanied by a co-selector and a coach to select the team. He emphasized that as a team they want to make sure that when they select a team, it is the best possible one for them to win the matches.

Apart from the talent of a player, Haynes mentioned that the character and commitment of the players will be taken into consideration before the selection. As stated earlier, stats will not be the sole criteria for selection but Haynes will consider the stats which will give him an idea about a player’s strengths and weaknesses.

Often it is observed that when a team does not do well, apart from the players, the selectors are blamed for selecting the wrong players that put up a poor show. Haynes remarked that the role of a selector is to select the best possible team and in the end if the team does not perform well then it is obvious that selectors should also take some blame for it.

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He further added that it is important to back the players and give them enough chances to prove themselves. However, it is not easy to decide the number of chances a player is eligible to get. It is necessary for the players to understand that cricket is a competitive sport and if one does not perform then he/she is likely to perish.

 

West Indies men's cricket team
West Indies men’s cricket team

 

Nowadays with cricket calendars looking busier than ever, the role of workload management and rotation policy have gained prominence. Haynes is in agreement with the aforementioned and feels that it is good especially for the fast bowlers. On similar lines, mental health issues have been discussed openly and there have been a few cricketers who have taken a break from cricket to concentrate on their mental well-being. Haynes averred, “I played the game, but I never had to play in these circumstances, so I can’t imagine how tough it is for the players. It’s got to be a mental strain for them, being in the hotel, locked down. But I also believe that when you’re a professional, you learn to adapt to the situation, and the players now are doing well.”

In the recent past, franchise cricket has been on the rise and one cricketing nation that has produced a lot of franchise cricketers is none other than the West Indies. There have been times when the players have found it difficult to strike a balance between franchise cricket and international cricket. Haynes shared, “From my experience, everybody wants to play where there’s big money. At the end of the day, everybody wants to improve their standard of living. But I always say to them, it is good to realize that you’ve got aspirations to get into the big leagues, but it’s also very important for you to work on becoming a good cricketer. If you do that, the financial side will look after itself.”

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With all the three formats, Test, ODI, and T20I being played actively round the year, it is essential that every team has a set of multi-format players, which means that players can play well in each and every format. According to Haynes, all the players should try to be multi-format cricketers because if they are good, then they can play any format. He quoted players from India and New Zealand, who have shown the world that if a player is good in Tests, then he/she can play any format.

Before signing off, Haynes, the lead selector of West Indies’ men’s cricket team elucidated, “We’re always going to have talent in the West Indies, we are just a little unfortunate that we don’t have the numbers. We can’t really compare to places like Australia and India because they’ve got loads of players playing cricket, with the various academies around those countries. I do think it’s important for the ICC to look at finding ways that they can assist countries like West Indies, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, those places with limited numbers, to try to find ways to make sure that when they split the pie, some of the smaller countries get a bit more money to help with cricket development.”

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