West Indies news April 5, 2017

WICB have done a 'lousy job' - Viv Richards

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'Arrogant administration' causing problems - Viv Richards

Former West Indies captain Viv Richards has blamed the "arrogance of administrators" involved in West Indies cricket for the failure to ensure the best players in the region remain available for international duty. Several big ticket players including Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Carlos Brathwaite, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and Darren Bravo are currently in India to participate in the IPL even as a three-match ODI series against Pakistan gets underway on Friday in Guyana.

In the last few years a number of high profile Caribbean players declined central contracts from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), leaving them under no compulsion to appear for national duty. One of the diktats of the WICB that has irked the players is being asked to play the Regional Super50 in order to qualify for selection for ODI squad. Considering the aforesaid players all feature in domestic T20 leagues like the Big Bash, which clash with the Super50, they have refused to sign the binding WICB contract.

Richards insisted that the situation has come to pass only because members of the WICB have done a "lousy job" in creating an environment where players feel treasured by the national set-up. "When you have an arrogant administrative unit, guys are going to pick and choose," Richards told ESPNcricinfo in Mumbai on Wednesday. "We must remember that many of the players come from humble backgrounds. I have no qualms in saying this, some of these administrators think they are as important as the players on the field. They are not. It is all about the attraction of the environment that the players on the field would have created for them to be in an administrative position.

"I think it is a bigger issue than about the guys playing in our domestic competition. Most of the guys played there when they first started out, that's what they wanted to do. But when you get an administration who thinks that they are the most important entity where West Indies cricket is concerned, they better wake up. The players have done their bit in terms of their representation. We lost a series in the UAE recently [in 2016 against Pakistan], now we have lost the T20 series in West Indies to Pakistan. All this after winning the last World T20. That sends a message in my opinion that all is not well with all the players who are representing West Indies at this stage."

Having failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy in June, West Indies are currently lying ninth in the ODI rankings and face the prospect of missing out on direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup. The cut-off date for the World Cup, which will be held in England, is September 30 this year. Other than the hosts England, the top seven in the ODI rankings will get a direct berth in the World Cup. West Indies, Pakistan and Bangladesh are vying to take the seventh position to avoid being forced to play the qualifiers.

In Test cricket too, West Indies continue to founder and are in eighth spot in the rankings, only above Bangladesh who are in fact snapping at their heels, and Zimbabwe. Attendances continue to be poor back home but Richards remains hopeful of a turnaround, urging the administrators to pay heed to counsel from former greats.

"I am one of those individuals that never says never," Richards said. "I believe if we start having a little bit more respect for the individuals who would have helped the administrators into that administrative position. You have a Michael Holding, who refuses to be part of cricket in the region because of the behaviour of members at the administrative level. It hurts because we are the ones that are the trailblazers, not the ones who have come on the scene at present wanting to be administrators. We are the ones who made it attractive enough for them to administer and they have done a lousy job."

Besides keeping a close eye on West Indies cricket, Richards has stayed involved with the game in a mentorship capacity for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL, Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash and most recently with the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League for the last two years. One of the most destructive players of all time, Richards keeps his advice simple to eager young batsmen who have sought him out during these stints.

"Some of these individuals in the coaching department are trying to enhance their product in terms of what they believe coaching is all about," he laughed. "If you look at the instinctive nature of players in T20 and the things that they do try, it is tough to coach that. So it is all about getting the guys to be mentally prepared and in a frame of mind that they understand what their duty is. This is such a great format for you to have a swing of the bat. I would have loved that more than anything else.

"Our job is to give them the confidence if necessary. It is to be brave. You will have your bad days, but in the end it is about believing in the product that you have. As they say, he who dares, wins. That sort of mentality, you can take that in, you will have success."

Gaurav Kalra is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo. @gauravkalra75

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anderson Brathwaite on April 12, 2017, 22:40 GMT

    Here is an idea and solution for Sir Viv. Go across the Caribbean and assemble teams to contest the elections for the six territorial boards. Creditable people, and step by step the WICB will be changed. Thereby eroding the support of the President. The only question will be will that improve the performances of the three teams. I seriously doubt that but it's better than hearing them complain while having all the solutions. For me put up or shut up.

  • Anderson Brathwaite on April 12, 2017, 22:34 GMT

    Has it occurred to any of you that maybe if Sir Viv and the former players of his era can do something about it. All they have to do is get elected to the various territorial boards. Then by extension the WICB. In addition or conversely get into coaching the teams from juniors to the national teams. This is instead of waiting for the WICB to call them or make them selectors. We are not loosing wholely and solely because of the board.The players have got to start taking responsibility for their own performances or lack there of. That IMO is what professionals do. If we start winning no one will credit the board, it will all be the players. There is only one way to change the board . No one challenged Dave Cameron for the presidency a couple months ago. No one from anywhere, not even the great Sir Viv. Harping about it isn't going to change anything. That is the problem and the solution in a nutshell.

  • shahid on April 10, 2017, 11:45 GMT

    When there is a rule that no player can participate in foreign leagues without an NOC from the concerned board then who come WI board failed to get their best players prioritizing the WI team. On ICC board, it should be decided that the national leagues are not allowed to play retired players. Unless they keep themselves available to their national teams they should play no cricket in other countries.

  • Ali on April 10, 2017, 9:41 GMT

    ohh,, so you want to listen to the great viv NOW...

    the problem was created because WICB listened to him

    Viv IS part of the Problem ..

    Viv was one of the main reasons WICB started cutting player salaries... Viv was a chief supporter of that initiative ...

  • Roland on April 7, 2017, 13:33 GMT

    Totally agree with Viv - well said Sir. Get rid of WICB and while we're at it, the incompetent and tactless captain that we have.

  • Rajesh on April 7, 2017, 10:52 GMT

    Listen to The Great Sir VIVIAN, U deafs of WI cricket. He is absolutely right in saying that He himself along with Holding and remaining members of invincible of 70s & 80s, Clive Loyd, Garner, Andy Roberts, Mel-com Marshall, Gordon Greanidge, Desmond Heynes, Alvin Kalicharan, Bernard Julian, Geoffrey Dujon (sorry if I left few) made what it takes to be a world beaters and brought money to Caribbean Cricket. Dont tell me that none of these are good enough to guide WI cricket. Look at that..my God me Holder is captain in tests...He is a 100th rate cricketers , worse than the worst of Afgan player in my opinion. Because he is their yes men heis at helms of affairs. Wake up the once land of Cricketing geniuses and rise to make these idiots resign from WI board.

  • Simon on April 7, 2017, 1:21 GMT

    WI can't afford to lose players. We are bottom of everything, not quite t20 but we will be the way the board is managing.

  • Ray on April 6, 2017, 23:33 GMT

    Sir Viv is of a similar age to me and try as we might most of us are prone to think that "things were better in my day". I'm no expert on Caribbean society, but no doubt, the lure of the $US has had an influence on young sportman's career choices in the region.... however ... IMO it's difficult to disagree with the prmise that the WICB have done a lousy job over the past 10- 20 years.

  • Muhammad Ammar on April 6, 2017, 22:10 GMT

    @cricfan53948355: Sir viv was not the administrator then. Other teams are also improving. One good administrator is enough. Players are the people to represent the nation, so they must be handled carefully and respectfully. Once, all their needs are fulfilled, you can bind them with rules.

  • molab14586992 on April 6, 2017, 21:58 GMT

    This is a fithna if it was up to me i would make sure test cricket was played as the main league system then once every 4 years there should be an official icc world cup of course i would want every single team to play each other in a 3 match bulateral series from no1 to no10 no more or less then a 3 match odi series no T20 based format this is spoiling cricket to advertise the game we must go into the roots and grass root cricket and make sure there are good standards in each country financially as well

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