Cricket West Indies (CWI) lead selector Roger Harper, speaking on the Mason and Guest podcast recently, defended the decision to award Darren Bravo a retainer contract saying the left-hander from Trinidad and Tobago “met the requirement” while those who missed on contracts didn’t.

CWI have awarded 18 retainer contracts for the period 2021-22 which represents a decrease of four from last year.

Asked about Bravo being awarded a white-ball contract versus Shimron Hetmyer who would have lost his white-ball contract, Harper said: “The first priority is the immediate evaluation period. If the period prior to that is better than the immediate evaluation period, it is used to bolster the players’ stats.”

“Based on the criteria and the number of matches, which is per cent of the matches available, Bravo didn’t need to have stats from the year before,” said Harper.

“In 2020-2021, West Indies played six ODIs. Fifty per cent of those games will be three. Bravo played the required number of games and his stats met the requirement. I am reporting to you what has come out of the deliberations with the criteria and the calculations. It’s not my thing, this is what the stats and the data says and produced and we are guided by that based on the criteria,” the lead selector stated.

Harper also agreed that while criteria used could evolve in the future, this is what they are working with at the moment. “I did not invent these criteria. I think that (it) is a work in progress and there will be some changes to it moving forward, hopefully,” Harper added.

“How the evaluation works is that performance in the immediate evaluation period is considered and then you look at performance in the prior period and if that is better than in the immediate period then that is used to help the boaster the players’ stats,” he explained.

He also noted that fitness is also considered and that while the contracts are a reward for good performances, “the selection panel mush believe that the players that they will contract will play an integral part in the team going forward.” Asked if CWI finances were considered when recommending the number of players that would get contracts, Harper said: “Naturally, I think in Covid times finances are always going to be considered.”

“Money isn’t flowing and in CWI terms I don’t think it’s flowing greatly at any time, but in Covid times I don’t think it is flowing as we hoped it would. That’s certainly been a consideration as well but these are performance-based contracts,” Harper noted.

Asked if there was a cap on the amount players that they could select for contracts, Harper said: “We were told more or less, consideration should be given to the fact that things weren’t as normal. But I think when we looked at the performances over the period as well it was difficult to make strong cases for other players.”

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