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West Indies board ostracising former players - Richards

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 7, 2010

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Viv Richards: "I think cricket is at its lowest tier at the moment in the Caribbean" © Getty Images
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Former West Indies captain Viv Richards has said the Caribbean cricket establishment has prevented retired players from helping with the administration but affirmed that he's willing to help revive the game in the region.

"I think cricket is at its lowest tier at the moment in the Caribbean," Richards, who is in India with the Antiguan delegation for the Commonwealth Games, told Reuters. "Lots of work needs to be done to get it to the right prominence and to where folks would believe where we should be. I am not at all involved in West Indian cricket. Most of the former players have been ostracised. Constructive criticism is not much accepted in the Caribbean."

West Indies, once a dominant force in the international game, have endured a barren 15 years, with no major silverware to boast of barring the Champions Trophy in 2004. Their biggest problem has been an inability to produce talent at the rate they used to in their heyday. Richards believes he can contribute on that front, if offered a role similar to the one held by Greg Chappell - now a fulltime national selector as well as talent manager for Australia.

"I would love to take a role like Greg Chappell did for Australia," Richards said. "I think I have a good eye for talent and this is something that we have never taken on board in the Caribbean."

Richards, whose fearless batting made him a top batsman in both Test and ODI formats, endorsed the longer version of the game after the closely contested Mohali game between India and Australia. "The Test match, and the finish - that's cricket for me at its very best. This format sorts the good ones out from the bad ones."

Richards picked Test cricket's two highest run-getters - Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting - as his top batsmen in the game. "Ricky Ponting is the most aggressive for me. I have always liked his aggression. But the role Sachin is playing for India, that's batsmanship at its very best for me. The things Sachin is doing now and the way he did them in the past, are two completely different chapters in his career."

While he held Tests as the pinnacle of cricket, Richards felt the Twenty20 format had the right packaging to take the game to global competitions like the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. "That [Twenty20] is the version, it will be the best salesman for cricket as it is short and entertaining. We can't accommodate the longer version," Richards said. Cricket featured in the 1998 Commonwealth Games, when South Africa emerged victorious in an ODI event, but has since been left out.

"I think the more cricket is played at other outlets the better it would be for the game. There are a very few countries who play cricket and we need to do this for the sport."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by hazeltine on (October 11, 2010, 7:56 GMT)

It is true that some of the past Windian players have been involved at higher level but not at the level where they can make a difference. For example, Lloyd was manager but he should have been a Coach who had a STRONG SAY in how the team approached a Test Match. Everybody should surely know by now that the WICB really do not want these players around because their positions would be threatened. All the WICB want to do is play their pathetic politics and get their money, even if it means WIndies losing Tests after Tests.

Posted by   on (October 10, 2010, 21:39 GMT)

Yesterday's players played under yesterday's conditions. LIES, DAMN LIES and STATISTICS. While you build your competition gets stronger, they have the edge in infrastructure and know how. Zimbabwe's international cricket has re-emerged from near extinction in less time than we've experienced the WI decline.

The comforting thought is that without the Aus, SA imports, England for all it's superb, county setup would be worst than the WI. Maybe, just maybe we need some need ships (OUT OF AFRICA) arriving in the caribbean with some young men greedy for success..

Good luck!

Posted by everfaithful77 on (October 10, 2010, 3:04 GMT)

Don't confuse past test cricketers with past GREAT test players. Richards, LLoyd, Lara, Holding, Haynes, Grenidge,Roberts,Walsh, Ambroise are just some of the GREATS who represented West Indies. They are among an elite group which set the cricket world alight. JUST THE SHEER WEIGHT OF NUMBERS IN THEIR STATS IS ENOUGH TO GRAB ANYONE'S ATTENTION. HOW DID THEY DO IT? WICB need those guys to pass on their knowhow, secrets, recipees for success to our current and future international cricketers. Our current SELECTION PANEL is headed by Clyde Butts who was dropped after playing 7 test matches taking 10 wickets at an avg of 59. No disrespect to Mr Butts but I don't see how that kind of failure on the field landed him this critical post. WI success or failure depends on that committee; check the results. The selection panel can be revamped to a 5 man committee ( including 3 greats as permanent seats) rotated every 3 years. Greats can also be deployed to identify talent in the region.

Posted by svg27rivers on (October 10, 2010, 0:16 GMT)

Richards did get a chance if one remember he was manager when he got a comentary job from sky and he left W I high and dry. At the same time some of the post are very uncall for. Like him or not he was the best and most feared batsman in his day and one of the best of all time. He faced the fastest and the best and make light work of them and all without helmet. And when he said that Tendulkar and Ponting is the best he's talking about current players and he is right. So give the guy his dues he will make any world eleven.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2010, 16:54 GMT)

viv Richards was the most sucessful captain in his time. so 2 say things like he isn't much of a thinker and whatnot is harsh. I believe him when he says he has an eye 4 talent

Posted by   on (October 9, 2010, 16:39 GMT)

I agree that Sir Viv, Lara, Haynes should be brought on board, but if one take a look athe WI Cricket committee, it is chocked full of past players. For example: The Cricket Committee is comprised of: Joel Garner, Clive LLoyd,Lyndell Wright, Rawle Lewis, Negmiah Perry, WIPA REP, WICUA REp and Ernest Hiliare. The head Otis Gibson iand ASSt David Williams are also past test players. Tony Howard is also attached to the Board . A number of the Directors are also past playyers. All the selectors are past players.these players aren't doing an effective job and could well be replaced by you and others.

Posted by everfaithful77 on (October 9, 2010, 16:39 GMT)

Ray Stennett you are spot on. That's exactly what is required in WI cricket where the WICB, WIPA and PAST GREATS like Viv Richards, Brian Lara coming together and forging co-operation in the interest of Windies cricket. Why is it that Australia, India, England and others can achieve harmonious working relationships among all parties but somehow we in the West Indies prefer to fuss 'n fight about everything? Why is it that the great cricketers who propelled us to the top of the cricketing world for almost two decades are largely ignored and unutilised even as West Indies continue to languish at the bottom of both the test, ODI rankings? Are we going to allow them to grow old 'n weak before finding avenues to make their contribution to WI cricet? We are fortunate to have so many greats a legacy of our past exploits. We have a reservoir of experience, knowlege and sucessful cricketers that is the envy of the cricketing world. We must make use of it to propel WI cricket back to the top.

Posted by Metman on (October 9, 2010, 11:58 GMT)

No Viv!past players are not being ostracised!Most of you were at some time approached by the Board in some form or fashion ,and some of you wanted to take over instead of assisting,also the present crop of players were not listening to you all anyway,saying things like "this is our time",and" you had your time".WI cricket WOULD NEVER EVER,repeat, NEVER EVER reach the top again !Money,biases,jealousy and insularity from the top right down to the players and including some commentators has killed WI cricket !and I will continue to say that the ICC needs to step in and split the Islands up !In the past not that amount of money was floating around,however,there were still petty instances of biases,jealousy and insularity ,but today man,MONEY! you see Money,it is the root of all the problems in WI cricket !ALL the other test playing nations are made up of their own people,only the WI is a combination of the individual Islands where biases,jealousy and insularity are more rampant now.

Posted by AceB on (October 9, 2010, 10:40 GMT)

If Sir Viv is so certain that legends have something to offer, may be he should convince some of them to put themselves foward to run the torritorial boards. The problem is that most of them who have the required skills prefer to take the easier more lucrative options, then stand on the sidelines and be critical..

Posted by   on (October 8, 2010, 20:05 GMT)

The mentality of the WI board, the WIPA and some past players are all on a collision course. It shouldn't be like that because WI cricket is bigger than all of us. Gone are the days when it was an honor to represent the Windies. It's now what's in it for me? The board thinks they are in charge because that's what boards are for, to make all the important decisions. The WIPA thinks that without the players we can't have any play. And some of the old players aren't going to bow to anyone because they have played well and prove to the world that they good in their days, so certain respect must be shown for them to past on theiir skills. Just a pity because we all grow poorer, gone from the hearts of the Caribbean people, the joy of cricket lovely cricket. What is needed is a level headed approach to utilize the best available administrators, cricketers and past greats to attack the weakness that has crept into the WI game. Please work with our youths, we did it before, we can again.

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