GAO questions anthrax detection methods

first_img Of the 286 postal facilities tested, 23 tested positive. For two of the 23—in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Wallingford, Conn.—the first tests were negative but later tests turned positive. The Wallingford facility didn’t test positive until the fourth round of testing. In another building, in West Trenton, N.J., no anthrax was found in three rounds of tests, even though a worker had contracted cutaneous anthrax. The GAO puts the bottom line thus: “Because the agencies did not use an empirical process to validate their testing methods, the agencies had limited information available for reliably choosing one method over another and no information on the detection limit to use when evaluating negative results.” The agencies used any of four different preliminary tests and three confirmatory tests to identify anthrax in extracted samples. The number of different tests used, in combination with differences at other stages of the sampling process, increases the level of uncertainty about the results, the GAO contends. Rhodes’s prepared testimony summarizing the GAO report For its evaluation, the GAO broke the agencies’ sampling activities down into five steps: sampling strategy (where and how many samples were gathered), sample collection methods, sample transportation, sample extraction in the lab, and sample analysis. The agencies mostly used processing solutions to extract samples from dry swabs and get them onto plates for culturing, though in some cases they brought dry swabs into direct contact with plates. Either way, the GAO says, “definitive scientific information regarding extraction efficiency is lacking,” casting additional doubt on the reliability of negative results. The GAO’s conclusion is based on an examination of the approaches used by three agencies—the US Postal Service (USPS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—to hunt for anthrax in 286 postal facilities after the anthrax mailings in 2001. The report also finds fault with the methods used to gather samples. In most cases the agencies used dry swabs on surfaces, though they also used some moistened swabs, wet wipes, HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air filter) vacuuming, and air samples. None of the collection methods were tested in advance, so the agencies “had no information available for reliably choosing one method over another and no information on the limits of detection to use when evaluating negative results,” the report states. In shipping their samples, the agencies followed regulations designed mainly to prevent leaks and protect workers. The GAO complains that the regulations did not address the matter of protecting the samples from extreme temperatures or other factors that could compromise their biological integrity and lead to false-negative test results. “The sampling strategy used by the agencies could not provide any statistical confidence with regard to the basic question: Is this building contaminated?” the report says. “The lack of validation of agencies’ activities, coupled with limitations associated with their targeted sampling strategy, means that negative results may not be reliable,” the report says. It recommends that the secretary of homeland security take on the task of ensuring that pathogen detection methods are validated and coordinating environmental testing for pathogens by different agencies. The agencies mainly used a targeted sampling strategy, collecting samples mostly from areas they judged likeliest to be contaminated. The GAO takes issue with this approach, saying the agencies should have done probability sampling to achieve “wide-area coverage” and provide statistical confidence in negative results. See also: “None of the agencies’ activities to detect anthrax contamination in the postal facilities were validated,” the GAO said in prepared congressional testimony based on the report. Apr 18, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says federal agencies may not be able to reliably rule out the presence of anthrax contamination in a building because their sampling and detection methods have not been adequately tested. The agencies have made some changes in their procedures on the basis of lessons learned from the 2001 attacks and have funded some new research. But these efforts, though important, “do not address the issue of validating all activities related to sampling,” in the GAO’s view. The GAO recommends that the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lead an effort to develop a definition of validation and to ensure that the whole set of sampling activities is validated. That should include studies to “develop probability-based sampling strategies that take into account the complexities of indoor environments.” Also, the DHS chief should coordinate the activities of agencies with expertise in environmental testing. However, DHS officials took exception to the role the GAO recommends for their department. DHS maintained that the EPA has “the primary responsibility of establishing the strategies, guidelines and plans for the recovery from a biological attack, while HHS [the Department of Health and Human Services] has the lead role for any related public health response and guidelines,” the final report states. DHS promised to “coordinate with EPA to ensure appropriate investments are made to explore improved sampling.” When they read a draft of the report, the CDC, USPS, and DHS all agreed that the methods for detecting anthrax were not validated and that a systematic validation effort is needed, the report states. The GAO—Congress’s investigative agency—prepared its report for the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations. GAO staff member Keith A. Rhodes gave a 19-page summary of the 119-page report in testimony prepared for delivery to the committee on Apr 5. Full report “Anthrax Detection: Agencies Need to Validate Sampling Activities in Order to Increase Confidence in Negative Results” read more

Untouchable: The baby born to a mum with coronavirus

first_imgFor 10 days after giving birth to her first child, the mother was not allowed near him after she tested positive for coronavirus, for fear of infecting her newborn. And even though she has since been reunited with her son, neither she nor her husband have been allowed to physically touch him without gloves as they undergo an extended period of quarantine. “It’s hard,” says Vanesa Muro at her home in Madrid, the worst-hit area in Spain, a country where more than 10,000 people have died from the virus, the highest number outside Italy. “He grabs your finger, the poor little thing and holds on to the plastic, not on to you. But at least that’s another day over, you have to think of it like that otherwise you get depressed,” says the 34-year-old.  She had been preparing to have the baby by caesarian section on March 16, but everything changed when her grandmother, who the couple had been seeing every day, caught the virus. She later died.  On March 12, she and her husband tested positive and he rushed her to Madrid’s La Paz University Hospital but he was not allowed in, “so he left me at A&E”, she told AFP.They decided to operate the next day.  ‘Longest 90 minutes’ “I felt a whole mixture of feelings, it was horrible,” she says — fear of infecting the baby, nervous about going through it without her husband, and the bizarre sense of being operated on by surgeons completely covered in protective suits.Back home, her husband was also struggling, knowing she was in surgery but not knowing what was going on.”It was the longest 90 minutes of my life,” says Oscar Carrillo.In the end, baby Oliver was born safely, weighing 3.6 kilograms.He was put straight into an incubator and kept away from all the other babies until he was tested and found to be free of the virus. Following 48 hours recovering in hospital in almost total isolation, with the staff entering the room as little as possible because of a lack of protective equipment, Muro was allowed to go home, but had to leave her baby behind. “It seems silly but even though he was seven floors below me, he seemed closer to me there than when I was home,” she says.  ‘Memory of a nightmare’ It was only 10 days later that the couple, wearing gloves and masks, were allowed to take him home. “Hey little champion, we’re going to go home now,” were the first words Muro said to her son during their emotional reunion. “It was like he’d just been born that day.”For Arantxa Fernandez, a psychologist at the hospital, it was also a very special moment, “the most beautiful I’ve ever experienced in my professional life,” she told AFP.Throughout the process, Fernandez would send the couple photos and videos of Oliver while he was still in hospital, offering the pair support that they describe as “vital”.Although they have spent 14 days in quarantine, there are no testing kits to confirm they are free from the virus so they are still wearing gloves and masks.”I still haven’t touched my son without gloves… we are just dying for the quarantine to end so we can touch him, kiss him,” says Carrillo as his wife gives Oliver a bottle, safety measures in place. And the new parents are not able to turn to their families for support. Even though Muro’s parents live very close, Spain’s lockdown means it feels like they are living miles away, Carrillo says. “It’s hard but we’ll get through it,” says Muro. “In no time, he’ll be a month old and we’ll be back out on the streets.”He will get to know his grandparents and aunts and uncles. And all of this will just be a memory of a nightmare that we lived through.”  Topics :last_img read more

KPU records sharp decline in independent candidates for year-end polls

first_imgKPU commissioner Evi Novida Ginting Manik said the commission had spent months assessing the eligibility of all independent prospects before allowing them to register as official election candidates.She said there were initially 201 people looking to compete for leadership positions in 127 regions across the archipelago.These prospective candidates had managed to gather the required number of identification card numbers belonging to voters who supported their candidacies, as a prerequisite for eligibility under the 2016 Regional Election Law.They then submitted the list along with the other requirements to the KPU’s regional offices in their respective regions by Feb. 24. The General Elections Commission (KPU) has announced that only 70 independent candidates are eligible to officially register to compete in the 2020 regional elections, fewer than many had initially anticipated.The government has insisted on hosting the simultaneous elections in December despite the drawn out pandemic and continued rise in infections.The circumstances appear to have had an impact on candidates that lack the solid backing of political parties, although most hopeful candidates failed to pass the preliminary stages of registration. However, the KPU determined that only 70 of them had passed the full verification process, which was held from June 24 to Aug. 23, Evi said during a webinar this week.In that same period, six people decided to withdraw their candidacies, while the rest of them either failed to produce the required documents or produced documents that could not be verified.The remaining prospects can now submit their candidacy documents, including the various submission forms, their electronic ID cards and photocopies of their degree certificates during the registration period that began on Friday and ends this Sunday.The KPU will then verify their documents and confirm their eligibility as official candidates on Sept. 26, which also marks the beginning of the election campaign period that runs until Dec. 5.Election day is slated for Dec. 9, when voters are to elect a total of 270 regional leaders comprising nine governors, 224 regents and 37 mayors.Read also: So much work, so little time: KPU under pressure over regional pollsHaving independent candidates contest general elections is still relatively uncommon in Indonesia.Independent candidates often lose out to those with well-established political ties, owing to the high costs of campaigning and the prevalence of vote-buying or other forms of money politics.The KPU announcement shows that the number of independent candidates set to run in this year’s elections has sharply decreased compared to the 2015 polls, which were contested in a similar number of regions.As many as 135 independent candidates competed in 269 regional elections across the country in 2015, almost twice as many as this year – that is, if they all manage to get approval from the KPU.Furthermore, not all regional elections will see independent candidates running for the top job in the administration this year.“The independent prospects are only eligible to register their candidacies in 58 regencies and five cities [holding elections],” said KPU commissioner I Dewa Kade Wiarsa Raka Sandi during the webinar on Wednesday.Some election observers believe the drop in the number of independent candidates is “normal”, while others have warned it could potentially undermine democracy.Khoirunnisa Nur Agustyati of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) argued that the decrease in independent candidates this year was understandable, given the tougher requirements introduced since the polls five years ago, especially in canvassing for initial support.Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No. 1/2014 on regional elections required prospective candidates to gather the ID card numbers of 3 to 6.5 percent of the voters on the final voters list in their respective regions.This threshold for public support was later raised to 6.5 to 10 percent after the 2015 Regional Elections Law was passed. The requirement, she said, was enforced for the 2017 and 2018 regional polls.Dedi Kurnia Syah of the Indonesia Political Opinion (IPO) group suggested that the threshold be revised again so that more independent candidates could participate in the elections and improve the quality of democracy.Read also: Majority of public wants regional elections delayed: SurveysHe noted that tougher requirements had driven independent candidates in several contested regions like West Sumatra to seek the support of political parties.He said this trend could undermine the quality of the polls because it would expose formerly independent candidates to money politics and add to an already crowded playing field that does not necessarily favor competency.“Political parties may end up endorsing candidates who are most likely to win the elections, rather than backing those who possess good leadership qualities,” Dedi told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.“That will surely affect the quality of the next batch of regional leaders, too.”Topics :last_img read more

Man Utd and Arsenal dealt transfer blow as Dayot Upamecano ‘agrees’ to join Bayern Munich

first_imgMan Utd and Arsenal dealt transfer blow as Dayot Upamecano ‘agrees’ to join Bayern Munich Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 28 Apr 2020 12:25 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link335Shares Comment Upamecano would be a good partner for Harry Maguire in Solskjaer’s side (Picture: Getty Images)United missed out on the chance to sign the defender for free under former boss Louis van Gaal back in 2015.The Red Devils invited Upamecano to their training ground at the age of 16, but couldn’t convince the centre-back of a move to Old Trafford.MORE: Liverpool begin talks with Manchester United and Chelsea target Victor OsimhenMORE: Arsenal shocked by Willian’s wage demands after opening talks over free transferFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Upamecano is being chased by Europe’s top clubs (Picture: Getty Images)Manchester United and Arsenal have suffered a blow in their pursuit of RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano, who has agreed terms with Bayern Munich, according to reports.The 21-year-old has been one of the Bundesliga’s standout defenders this season, and Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly targeting the £50million-rated Frenchman for a summer switch.According to BILD, German giants Bayern have already held talks with Upamecano ahead of a potential summer move, but are reluctant to pay Leipzig’s asking price.Read the latest updates: Coronavirus news liveADVERTISEMENTThe promising centre-back has just over a year left on his current contract, which means a cut-price fee could be agreed, or the club could risk losing him on a free transfer in 2021.AdvertisementAdvertisementUpamecano is said to want a move away from the Red Bull Arena in the next transfer window, however, Leipzig chief Oliver Mintzlaff insisted last week that the German side are under no financial pressure to sell one of their prize assets.He said: ‘We have an outstanding squad and could easily start the new season with this squad. It’s clear that we wouldn’t sell a player below value [even] if he wanted to.‘You can assume that we will have talks [with Upamecano] that will be to everyone’s satisfaction.’ Advertisementlast_img read more

Drugs that look like candy confiscated; police worry there’s more

first_imgUSA Today 24 September 2018Family First Comment:  This is what happens when you invite Big Marijuana into a country. “Officers on Friday seized suspected cocaine and marijuana plus a cache of cannabis lollipops and pills in the shape of Hello Kitty, Homer Simpson and the Minions from Despicable Me that a kid might mistake for sweet and sour candy.” #PeopleBeforeProfits www.VoteNo.nzDrugs disguised as candy that a suburban Atlanta police department confiscated late last week after a hit-and-run accident should be a warning for all those who interact with kids  — especially with about a month to go before Halloween — investigators said Monday.…Officers on Friday seized suspected cocaine and marijuana plus a cache of cannabis lollipops and pills in the shape of Hello Kitty, Homer Simpson and the Minions from Despicable Me that a kid might mistake for sweet and sour candy, Hapeville Police Department officials posted on Facebook.“Our concern is these pills look like candy,” department officials said Monday in response to a message from USA TODAY on Facebook. “Small children might ingest these items mistaking them for candy. Teens may see these drugs as less of a danger based on their looks.”Hapeville, a city of about 6,500 residents that sits northeast of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and has had about a dozen drug arrests in the past six months, according to incident reports posted on CrimeReports.Friday’s seizure, which occurred after a suspect ran from the scene of car accident with injuries but left behind his computer bag, was not listed among incidents reported from March 28 to Monday. The department did not release the name of the suspect arrested but added a comment Monday to its post saying that charges so far included leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, possession of a stolen gun, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine and possession of drugs with intent to distribute.READ MORE: read more

Gunners held by Baggies

first_img While he has been criticised for lighting up in midweek, the England midfielder will have been happier with the spark he showed in a strong second-half showing. Had Olivier Giroud been anywhere close to his best he would have settled the issue and put Arsenal two points clear by finishing one of two fine chances teed up by Mesut Ozil and Wilshere. Albion began the match positively, Saido Berahino combining well with Stephane Sessegnon on his full league debut to free Liam Ridgewell on the left and earn an early corner. Arsenal cleared the set-piece well and might have had a good break on their hands had the ball fallen to someone quicker than Giroud. A deflection almost put the hosts ahead just before the quarter-hour mark, Berahino’s shot changing course via Mathieu Flamini’s leg and needing swift reactions from Wojciech Szczesny. West Brom gradually took control of the midfield, Yacob and Youssuf Mulumbu proving an effective double act in the central area. Wilshere was having less joy but came to the fore in 24th minute when he made a neat one-two with Giroud before sending a first-time shot a yard wide. England manager Roy Hodgson’s heart would have been in his mouth when Wilshere hit the deck and stayed there soon after, but his problem proved no worse than an accidental poke in the eye from Yacob. The Baggies, fresh from downing Manchester United last weekend, had ample opportunity to extend their lead after Claudio Yacob headed home a Morgan Amalfitano cross in the 42nd minute. But it was Arsenal who ended the game in the hunt for the points after Wilshere, looking to replace reports of late night smoking with more positive headlines, scored with a deflected first-time shot from 20 yards. West Brom were aggrieved when Stephane Sessegnon was blocked as he looked to skip between Mikel Arteta and Kieran Gibbs and nothing was given, though contact did appear to be just outside the penalty area. Aaron Ramsey, so prolific this season, went close when his low shot through a packed box was well saved by Boaz Myhill but West Brom were enjoying much more of the ball. Their pressure paid three minutes from the break. Amalfitano’s initial corner was cleared but when Mulumbu produced a sublime piece of control and fed the ball straight back to him, the Frenchman produced a killer cross. Yacob met it decisively with his head and the Baggies were in front. There was still time before the whistle for Mulumbu to give Wilshere the runaround with another skilful piece of footwork. The second half began explosively, with wonderful chances at both ends inside the first three minutes. The Baggies went first, Berahino galloping forward and making 30 yards before looking for Nicolas Anelka at the far post. The pass seemed perfect but Anelka made a mess of his finish and got the ball trapped between his feet. Moments later Arsenal advanced, with Giroud’s lay-off finding Wilshere 10 yards out only for a wayward finish to spare West Brom. The pace barely slowed before Anelka went even closer. Ridgewell took advantage of a yawning gap on Arsenal’s right flank to play in the veteran, who moved towards goal and opened his body only to sidefoot wide of the far post. Arsenal had a penalty appeal for handball waved away when a Gibbs cross was blocked by Billy Jones, but the full-back appeared to do everything he could to withdraw his arm. They were level after 63 minutes, with Wilshere the scorer. Ozil and Giroud were the instigators, with the latter rolling the ball to substitute Tomas Rosicky on the edge of the box. His one-touch pass sat up for Wilshere, who did not hesitate in unleashing a left-footed shot from 20 yards. A deflection off Jonas Olsson turned a decent looking effort into an unstoppable one. Arsenal were buoyed and probably should have taken the lead when a cute chip from Ozil presented Giroud with a delicious chance to volley from 10 yards. He snatched at the shot, though, leaving Ozil to shake his head. Giroud’s struggles continued when a rejuvenated Wilshere picked him out with a glorious ball over the top. This time the combination of a heavy first touch and a brave smothering save by Myhill denied him. Jones saw a 25-yarder well saved by Szczesny, but it appeared Arsenal’s game to win. Wilshere thought he had a spot-kick when Mulumbu careered into him from behind, but the officials did not agree. Jack Wilshere rescued a point for Arsenal at West Brom to send them level with Liverpool at the Barclays Premier League summit, but a thrilling 1-1 draw might easily have gone either way. Press Associationlast_img read more

Toffees in Hillsborough tribute

first_imgEverton are to unveil a plaque commemorating the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster ahead of Saturday’s derby meeting with Liverpool at Goodison Park. The unveiling will be held at the Park End Stand and conducted by Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group. Aspinall, whose son James was killed in the Sheffield tragedy on April 15, 1989, said: “This is a really lovely gesture from Everton, paying tribute to the 96 who lost their lives at Hillsborough. “I would like to thank Bill and everyone involved, not least the Everton fans who have provided great support to the families over the years.” Everton fan Stephen Kelly’s brother Michael was among those killed 26 years ago and, together with other Blues supporters, suggested the installation of the permanent tribute. He added on the club’s official website: “As an Evertonian who lost my brother at Hillsborough, I have always been grateful of the support from the blue side of the city. “I hope that when Evertonians look at this they will feel proud of the way we’ve supported our neighbours.” Everton manager Roberto Martinez said: “It is something we take a lot of pride in. “There has always been a real strong bond between the two teams over that tragedy and it is going to be a really important moment. “It is a tribute to the 96 who lost their lives and all the families who suffered the pain of that tragedy over the years. It will be great to see the two football clubs of the city together and showing their support. “The plaque is a tribute that is going to stand forever and we’ll always have it in the back of our minds – we’ll always be there supporting the Hillsborough families.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Gerrard won’t rely on reputation

first_imgLiverpool captain Steven Gerrard will leave this summer with his reputation secured as the best player in the club’s history but he admits that will count for nothing if he wants to return in an official capacity. The 34-year-old plays at Anfield for the final time on Saturday before his move to Los Angeles Galaxy in the summer but questions have already been asked about when he will be back. There is the potential for him to return on loan during Major League Soccer’s close-season but more likely is a role on the coaching staff once his playing days are over. “Getting to play under Kenny Dalglish, someone who I watched many tapes of and is my dad’s hero, was a wonderful experience as well. “Roy Hodgson’s time didn’t work out here but I’ve got a good relationship with him, more so with England of course. “Rafa Benitez, who we shared Istanbul with, tactically as a player he improved me so much. “I owe an awful lot to Gerard Houllier. He was almost like a father figure and I won my first three trophies under Gerard. “He gave me the captaincy at 23, which was a very bold thing to do at a club this size. “It’s difficult to pick one, or pick who I like the most, who I thought was the best, but as a whole I’ve been so lucky to work with so many.” Rodgers has left the door open for Gerrard to return but admits he does not know whether that will be in a playing capacity or in an off-field capacity. “I haven’t spoken about (a loan from Galaxy). It is something we will see how it pans out,” Rodgers said. “Steven has always made it clear, whatever capacity he will feel he can help the club, it is something he will look to do and if that is in a player perspective it is something we can look at another time. “If coaching is a route he wants to go down when he comes back from America it is something we will discuss in more detail. “I’ve brought former players back to work in different capacities and Steven is one I felt, when his time as a player was over here, he would certainly be someone I’d love to work with. “When I spoke to him it wasn’t something he was interested in, he was still focused on wanting to play every minute of every game, but when his time comes that will maybe open a door for the coming years.” He has already had conversations with chairman Tom Werner and manager Brendan Rodgers about his longer-term thinking but Gerrard, in keeping with the attitude he has had throughout his playing career, is only concerned with being able to make a difference. “I’ve certainly got ambitions to stay in the game, I’m currently taking my UEFA coaching badges and trying to progress up that ladder,” he said. “But I think to take a position or role at this football club first of all you have to be good enough. “You never take a role here on reputation or name; the demands and the expectations at this football club are so high I think you’d be very naive and stupid to take a role just because you’re Steven Gerrard or because you’ve had a good career on the pitch. “I think in a couple of years’ time, when I’ve come out of the city for a bit and reflected, if there’s a role on offer that I feel I can contribute in and I’m good enough for then I’ll certainly consider it. “I’ve been coming to this club since I’ve been eight years of age and I do feel as if I can contribute in some role in the future.” Gerrard has worked under a host of managers during his 17-year professional career and said he would hope to have learned something from all of them if the time came to move into coaching himself. “I’ve been very lucky to work with some fantastic managers over the years. With Brendan I’ve enjoyed the last three years with him and I almost wish I met him a lot earlier, when I was in the peak of my playing days,” he added. Press Associationlast_img read more

Everest Masters to host Central Trinidad in T20 clash on Sunday

first_imgEVEREST Masters of Guyana will host Central Trinidad on Sunday in a T20 fixture at the Everest ground. The one-off encounter is jointly sponsored by Trophy Stall and Professional Printing Services of Trinidad and Tobago and will commence at 13:00hrs.Former senior national players Rabindranauth Seeram, Lennox Cush and Rohan Sarjoo will spearhead the Everest Masters to be captained by Rajesh Singh and will include Sahadeo Hardaiow, Richard Sukhdeo, Basil Persaud, Saheed Mohamed, Imtiaz Sadik, Rakesh Gangaram, Ronald Jiasingh, Satyendra Khemraj, Sudesh Persaud and Johnny Azeez.Lennox Cush is best known and is the only regional cricketer to have claimed two hat-tricks during his career while Rabindranauth Seeram is remembered to have been an elegant middle-order batsman and former national coach.They will join forces with the aggressive Rohan Sarjoo and consistent run-getters Basil Persaud, Saheed Mohamed and Sahadeo Hardaiow in rolling back the years..Meanwhile, Central Trinidad will be led by Rajendra Mangalie and will include Narine Bidhesi, Shazan Babwah, Richard Ramkissoon, Avidesh Samaroo, Clifton Rajkumar, Amardoe Lutchman, Harrynaribe Nandaram, Mukesh Persad, Jodhan Manohar, Hermant Balkai, Navin Munroo, Abraham Sammy and Hafiz Mohamed. Lochan Bagraj will serve as the visitors’ manager. (Elroy Stephney)last_img read more

Former Windies coach Harper  named on four-man selection panel

first_imgFORMER West Indies off-spinner and coach Roger Harper is among four men chosen by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to be on the senior selection panel for the regional team.According to the Trinidad  Guardian newspaper, Harper, a Guyanese, will be joined by the former Windward Islands batsman and selector Lockhart Sebastien, who was removed earlier this year before the new selection guidelines were being put in place.Sebastien reapplied and was chosen on the new panel. He was part of the Courtney Browne-led panel that included Eldine Baptiste and Travis Dowlin.Also making the grade as a senior selector are former Windwards batsman Miles Bascombe and Hendy Wallace, who served as chairman of the Barbados senior selection panel.The new panel will get to work very soon in choosing the West Indies team to tour India for the twin series against Afghanistan and India which gets going in November.Harper’s international career lasted 13 years, from 1983 to 1996, and he distinguished himself as a brilliant fielder. His Test bowling average of 28.06 is superior to that of Lance Gibbs, giving him the leading average among all West Indian spinners with at least 25 Test wickets.After his playing career he became a coach, taking over the West Indies team between 2000 and 2003 and also managing of the West Indies Youth team in 2005.However, he was approached by Cricket Kenya in late December 2005 with an offer to take over stewardship of the Kenya team. After this, he went on to coach the West Indies team.Bascombe is a Vincentian cricketer who played a single Twenty20 international for the West Indies in 2011. In West Indian domestic cricket, he has played for the Windward Islands and the Combined Campuses and Colleges.Sebastien, who is Dominican, was a West Indies cricketer for the Combined Islands and the Windward Islands in the 1970s and 1980s. He is the father of current Windward Islands cricketer Liam Sebastien.Wallace has been a longstanding member of the selection setup in Barbados and has worked a lot with young cricketers on the island, in addition to being a regional commentator. (Trinidad Guardian)last_img read more