A Reflection on Selection


Colin Mohammed
e-mail: colin_mohammed@hotmail.com


Here is my final analysis of the Selection Committee. I should point out
that one member refused to speak to me, but I would like to thank
Chief Selector Mr. Karam Gopaulsingh for being extremely helpful and

Karam Goupalsingh
courtesy USCricket.com

Over the past few weeks I have conducted a series of interviews with the senior selection committee of the CCA. I am grateful to Mr Mike Khan, (Ontario) Mr Arvind Patel (Quebec/Maritimes) as well as Mr Karam Gopaulsingh

I would now like to take this opportunity to give you my opinion on this situation. Let us examine the process of becoming a selector. In all three interviews I was not given a clear response as to how one is elevated to this critical position. For example, from the chairman, Mr. Gopaulsingh: "Appointment is based on qualifications and experience," and from Mr. Arvind Patel there was "No response". Perhaps the only viable answer came from the Ontario rep, Mr. Mike Khan who reported that: "You must have represented Canada at the National level and/or your respective home province before you can be considered for a selector's position." From these responses it is apparent that there is a measure of disorganization, lack of communication as well as little to no adherence to a policy. Perhaps it is symptomatic of a larger issue.

Coherence is a major part of any organization. The lack of meetings and
poor communications evidenced by these interviews demonstrate that the CCA Selection Committee is far from a coherent entity. I find it a bit comical in this age of information that the most important arm of the CCA cannot find the facilities to engage in a group discussion on a consistent basis. If they have done so, Mr. Patel appears to have been left out; quoth
he: "Firstly, we have only had one meeting before the tournament in Namibia and Argentina primarily because of geography."
Comical I say, because in my paying job they appear to have solved the issue by harnessing the internet's ability to bring people together, and have they never heard of a conference call? It is really not a difficult undertaking.

Let us divert for a moment from the internal workings of the selection
committee and examine the process by which they have selected the team for South Africa. Canada currently does not have a process by which the clubs supply the chain from Regional to Province to National Team, rather we are dependant upon the radical movement from the various Regional/Provincial Premier Division clubs to National selection. This is unacceptable. A domestic structure where a working Junior programme feeds into regional, then provincial and then national selection is a must. In the current model, there is a Team Canada U-23 in the Toronto & District Cricket Association's Premier Division whose performance is admirable. However, this is too little too late. We cannot sustain, or develop, first class athletes based on insertion at U-23 level. This must be done at the U-15, U-17, U-19 and U-23
levels in all the Provinces, then we can begin the system to have these hopefuls form Regional strength teams to feed a Provincial level tournament. There are smatterings in the Canada Cup, but that is simply not enough to sustain the development needed. Are there enough clubs throughout the Provinces to feed a Junior/Colts Regional strength tournament? I think there are, but no one is looking from a National perspective.

Mike Khan
courtesy USCricket.com

The band aid measure of a one weekend selection camp, with players not
being informed adequately or invited to attend from other provinces just won't do.
A major issue, which has the appearance of a plaster cast, is the importation of Canadian born professionals. In the final analysis, I do not think anyone can begrudge these fellows if they have a cockney, Kiwi, or Aussie accent. After all, we have Trinidadian, Sri Lankan and Bajan accents etc. on the Senior team. The disappointing fact is that we had to bring these gentlemen in from foreign lands when we should not have to. Canadacricket.com readers, as well as most of the people I discuss this issue with, point out that if the CCA was cognizant of the talent in this country and developed it properly, we would have achieved ODI status a long time ago.

Let us examine the evidence. There is no coherent or consistent structure, a mysterious process to be elevated into a selector, a one weekend selection camp and poor communications between the arms of the CCA. How then, can there possibly be an efficient development process to encourage the evolution of cricket into a professional sport in the Canadian context? I can only point out that without coherence, communication and a firm policy for development we are heading towards a global embarrassment in South Africa. With that in mind, I believe that we should turn our hearts towards rebuilding, focus on our juniors/colts and begin the evolution into a Cricketing Nation.


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