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September 21, 2005
Courtney Walsh, West Indian fast-bowling legend, has finally been approached by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to help reverse the continuing decline in fortunes of the team.
Speaking to Toronto Star, Walsh said: "I have been asked to be on a committee to be headed by Sir Garry [Sobers] and it will also include among others Desmond Haynes for an input on what should be done before next year's World Cup so we can get back to the golden days."
Walsh, the first man to break the 500-wicket barrier in Test cricket, laid the blame for the decline of West Indies cricket on poor planning and management.
"There was definitely a lack of foresight and planning. There was also a lack of professionalism and the desire to win by the team," said Walsh, who is being honored in Toronto by the Jamaican community for his contributions to West Indian cricket. "As you know, when cricket suffers the entire West Indies suffers. We have the talent and there is no reason for how poorly the team has performed in recent years."
While West Indies cricket fell rapidly from the heights of the glory days, Walsh didn't see Australia's loss in the Ashes as a beginning of a similar decline.
Dubbing the Ashes series as "fantastic", he said, "They are going through a transitional cycle and I think will rebound quickly. Apart from England, one must remember teams like India, Pakistan and South Africa are also on the rise after a few poor years. All credit to England as they performed as a team and ran out deserved winners. They are definitely on the rise as their players have improved their competitive skills."
Walsh, whose tally of 519 Test wickets was a world record, retired in 2001, after hurling down 30,019 balls during a 17-year stint with the national team.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.