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Sunday, May 6, 2012

WI need a star team, not a team of stars - Hilaire

by ESPNcricinfo staff
May 6, 2012

Ernest Hilaire, the West Indies Cricket Board CEO, has said selectors should focus on selecting the 'best XI' for the West Indies team, one that was a strong collective unit rather than just comprising 11 star players.

"For a decade or so the selectors were guided by a process which had them arriving at the eleven best players to take the field," Hilaire said, during the Barbados Cricket Association Awards ceremony. "With the eleven best players on the park our results went from bad to worse and yet worse still.

West Indies have been without the services of Chris Gayle since the 2011 World Cup, owing to his differences with the board, and Dwayne Bravo intermittently, due to his Twenty20 commitments elsewhere.

"There has been a paradigm shift. The emphasis is on selecting, not necessarily the eleven best players but the 'best eleven'. It is not dissimilar to asking whether we prefer a team of stars or a star team. They are decidedly different.

"The best eleven may not include the most attractive players but is rather a combination of players who, as a group, are more likely to bring positive results and show a commitment to sustained development."

Hilaire said the West Indies team has been steadily improving and is on the right path. "Though the victories have not been tumbling in, there can be little doubt that West Indies cricket is showing the signs of learning the first characteristic of any successful enterprise - the determination to succeed."

"We have seen a greater commitment to fight to the very end, we have seen what was once thumping three and four day defeats in Test cricket now turned into epic final-day battles.

"This new approach is not far off from producing the results we all yearn for. Change does not happen overnight, it is a process, sometimes painful, always with mistakes and mis-steps but once on the right path the results are certain.

"I implore you to recognise that from the days when our team seemed conditioned to losing we now have a team which is battling to win and believing that it can in fact achieve victories."

Australia toured West Indies recently and the hosts drew the ODI series but lost the Tests 0-2. West Indies are now in England for a full tour.


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