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Wisden Cricinfo staff
March 30, 2004
As if the unrest in their camp could get any worse in the build-up to Thursday's crucial third Test in Barbados, West Indies' coach Gus Logie has gone onto the attack, accusing his team of lacking the mental strength and discipline to succeed in Test cricket.
Logie, who was a member of West Indies' all-conquering squad of the 1980s and 1990s, insists that the players are given all the raw materials to succeed, but that they refuse to accept the responsibility and work ethic that comes with the territory. "We have to ask, are we mentally strong enough?" said Logie. "Can the bowlers bowl the right line, can the batters make the right choices? The players must have a passion for the team and a responsibility for themselves.
"Discipline has always been a problem," Logie told the BBC. "I think you could go back in the archives and you'll find it was always a problem, it's just that we were much more successful then. I think it's a reflection of the society we live in. The schools are undisciplined - I think we have to realise that we are failing our young people."
Logie's strained relationship with his captain Brian Lara hardly helps the harmony. They have not seen eye-to-eye since they played together for Trinidad, and Logie revealed that he had considered resigning along with the manager, Ricky Skerritt, in the aftermath of the second-Test defeat. But he felt that the buck stopped short of his role. "I do not see the coach of a West Indies team as the one wholly and solely responsible for making decisions out in the middle," he said, in what has been perceived as a dig at Lara. "What we are hoping ... is that everyone is singing from the same page."
In the meantime, the new West Indies team manager Tony Howard has the onerous task of smoothing over the various grievances in the ranks, and has promised to adopt a no-nonsense approach. "In the short term I expect to see a halt in the haemorrhaging," he said. "In the medium term I expect to see a change in the way we carry ourselves, and hopefully that will translate onto the pitch."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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