'Keep rewarding mediocrity and you get mediocre performances' - Harper wants end of Windies 30s averages

By Sports Desk July 28, 2020
Chief of selectors Roger Harper. Chief of selectors Roger Harper.

West Indies chief of selectors Roger Harper believes it is critical for the team’s batsmen to improve their first-class cricket performances and raise the current standards of selection, in order to truly compete at the top level.

Heading into the series, the team’s top batsmen averaged in their 30s, their average performance during the series has not even lived up to that.  The batting average of the Windies’ batsmen in the series was 27.86 and, shockingly, stands out as one of the best for a series in the past several years.

In fact, it is the fourth-best for the team’s batsmen among all the series consisting of two or more matches since 2017.

The team’s highest batting average in a Test series consisting of at least two matches since 2017 is 34.66 and that was against Zimbabwe in 2017.  For Harper, the improvement needed must begin at home, with improved performances in first-class cricket.

“As far as our first-class game is concerned it is important for us to set standards for our players.  I don’t think we can continue to be content with picking players averaging 30 in first-class cricket that has to change,” Harper told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Our international batsmen have to understand that when they get to our regional competition they have to dominate and average 50 and 55.  That’s what happens in the other international territories.  Players looking to break into the team that’s what they have to be aiming for," he added.

“If we keep rewarding players for mediocrity we are going to get mediocre performances.”

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