CPL 2014 July 29, 2014

Indiscipline could cost West Indies cricket - Roberts

Darren Sammy believes that Tino Best still has a part to play in the St Lucia Zouks' 2014 CPL campaign despite his disciplinary problems. Best and Shoaib Malik were fined following a clash on July 23, with both players pleading guilty to their respective charges.

Sammy maintained that Best had a lot to offer the regional game, but needed to live up to his seniority as a West Indian international after concerns were raised by Best's franchise mentor Andy Roberts.

"Tino is a special character. The more I've played with him, the more I grew to understand him and the person he is," Sammy said. "In any cricket game, you want to play in the true spirit of the game. I hope it gets better because he's not a young man. But he's still integral to our team."

Sammy believes that while Best's reputation precedes him, the bowler is one who can be reined in and utilised to the franchise's advantage.

"Once we control him and use his head a bit more wisely, he's a good asset for us. The cricket is being played on the field. We've spoken to Tino and I see all of you [the media] all pointing towards Tino Best, but there were two guys involved in the incident. It was not just one person.

"Everybody keeps jumping on Tino, Tino, Tino. It takes two hands to clap. We've dealt with it the best way possible and we're moving on now."

The CPL management had also stated that there were investigations into an incident at the hotel stemming from the fall-out of the Best-Malik clash, with sources indicating that the Barbados Tridents captain Kieron Pollard was involved.

Pollard had also exchanged words with Best on the field after the Malik incident. Roberts confirmed that he had spoken to Pollard over the fracas at the hotel. Further speculation was fuelled when Sammy confirmed that the management opted for Best not to travel to Trinidad for the weekend game against Red Steel.

Roberts was worried that the indiscipline in West Indies cricket could erode their talent-pool, and hinted that it may have been Pollard who had instigated the incident.

"Not for a lack of trying, I've spoken to Tino," he said. "Many people have, over and over again. Cricket is also a mental game, not just about talent. After the hotel incident, I spoke to Pollard about it and he was apologetic."

Roberts said that the team needed to focus on consistency and playing well in pressure situations as opposed to sledging and other on-field antics.

"This sort of thing could hurt Tino's career on a regional and international level. It's been happening for years now and he needs to learn. Back when I played, we didn't do much talking. We just did our jobs with the ball and had a glare. You need to be mentally strong and disciplined. You can't be taught that. Either you have it or you don't."

Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. @RenaldoMatadeen