Guyna Harpy Eagles captain Leon Johnson joined the Barbados radio program Mason and Guest on Tuesday evening where he made a shocking revelation.
There he mentioned that he saw the selection in the 13-man squad for the first two rounds through a post on Facebook.
There, the long-time captain of the Harpy Eagles revealed in response to a question on whether he was informed about the squad selected.
“I saw the team on Facebook!.”
Pressed by host Andrew Mason to clarify his statement, Johnson responded, “…would I make that up?.”
On the evening of January 20, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) released the squad to the media, but according to the legendary captain, he had no prior communication about the squad from any of the governing body officials led by Bisondial Singh.
Johnson’s comments stemmed from questions surrounding left-arm spinner Antony Adams’ contribution to squad selection, following public outrage over his non-selection.
The 35-year-old, who led the Harpy Eagles (formerly Guyana Jaguars) to five consecutive titles since the inception of the Professional Cricket League in 2014-15, was awarded the Golden Arrowhead of Achievement in 2019. He made another surprising revelation that he had no input in the squad selection.
“No, I have not been [part of selection] for the last two tournaments…I am not part of selection.”
However, the skipper explained, “it has not always been that way…I used to have an input, my opinion was valued.”
Speaking further, Johnson argued that the captain should be able to make recommendations when selecting the squad.
“I think the captain should be able to make recommendations into the selection of squads.”
“…captains should have an input, if not being a selector directly, being able to make a decision saying I want this player or I want that player, at least some input if you have been playing the game for the better part of 15 years.”
The left-hander, who last played for the West Indies in 2016, confirmed that he and the coach will decide the playing XI during the tour.
Although Johnson chose not to comment directly on Adams’ non-selection, he believed the Essequian, who played one first-class game in 2017, was “closer to selection”.
“I thought he [Antony Adams] would have been very close to selection…he was with the team last year and he has been a very consistent performer for the last decade or so.”
Johnson pointed out that in the past, Adams had to contend with Devendra Bishoo and Veerasamy Permaul, and later with Permaul and Gudakesh Moti.
“When these guys are available it is always hard for him [Adams] to get into the side and when you [also] look at the composition of the side, we would play two spinners along with all-rounders and two fast-bowlers, so it was always hard for him to get into the side.”
“Now that Motie is unavailable due to West Indies selection, you thought a player like Antony, who is not experienced at the First-Class level, but he is very experienced generally, would have gotten the nod.”
The Guyana Harpy Eagles squad: Leon Johnson (Captain), Veerasammy Permaul (Vice-captain), Chandrapaul Hemraj, Matthew Nandu, Kemol Savory, Tevin Imlach, Anthony Bramble, Kevin Sinclair, Nial Smith, Ronsford Beaton, Akshaya Persaud, Ashmead Nedd and Shamar Joseph.
The Manager is Albert Clements, Head Coach Ryan Hercules, Assistant Coach Garvin Nedd, Cricket Analyst Keshava Ramphal and Physiotherapist Angelica Holder.
The Harpy Eagles will leave for Antigua on January 29 and they will play Barbados Pride at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua from February 1-4, and the Windward Islands Volcanoes at the National Stadium in Grenada from February 8-11.
The championship then takes a break and resumes on March 15 in Trinidad and Tobago for the remaining three rounds.