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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.

Posted by PrinceofPortofSpain on (October 8, 2010, 13:50 GMT)

West Indies cricketers have to be diciplined in preparations to play cricket. They need to have structured exercise, diets, i. e. proper food and drink, rest and recuperation,i.e. go to bed early, wake up early, arrive to the bus early and do cricket drills like ground fieling, catching and throwing cricket balls. They need to practice batting and bowling in the middle of the day when the sunshine is at its hottest because that is when Test and First Class cricket is played. Look at the four main North American team sports, Football, Baseball, Basketball and Ice Hockey and see the kind of effort that goes into acadamies, youth leagues, sport medicine and sport psycology. W I Cricket is far behind. The only modern technology used by players in the region is I-pod, BBM , Texting and Twitter.

Posted by gudolerhum on (October 8, 2010, 13:46 GMT)

@crabman144 - you got it wrong, Gayle et al went for the $$ not the principle - that's it. @Kaze - "cheap runs only go so far" - still wearing blinkers r u? sorry too many runs for them to be cheap. Grow up. I agree with you that Viv never was much of a thinker. He still isn't. He can have no role in the development of WI cricket. The players need to be self motivated and have some pride in what they do. The effort starts from within, not by someone giving them an 'incentive'. It is going to be a long time b4 the climb back up starts. Even selecting a captain is proving to a problem. What hope can there be that the unfortunate individual chosen will get team support? WIPA is certain to stir that pot vigorously!

Posted by johnwayne on (October 8, 2010, 12:32 GMT)

Some eye for talent where is Marlon Samuels? As for Ricky Ponting being the most agressive batsman his strike rate is 59 while Sehwag's is 82. No mention of the greatest West Indian batsman ever....BC Lara well you tried, tested and proven already Sir Viv. Time to try umpiring!

Posted by nzcricket174 on (October 8, 2010, 9:20 GMT)

Here's what WI cricket seems to be like in my view - no one wants to be part of the solution, they just want to be there when everything is good.

Posted by bcl501 on (October 8, 2010, 7:42 GMT)

He Picked Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting - as his top batsmen in the game - he missed out the genius Brian Lara, because he scored more runs than him and become the most popular cricketer in Carribean.

Posted by   on (October 8, 2010, 4:50 GMT)

The Phrase means that Viv's monetary affairs is not healthy. he needs something subtantial in his retirment fund.

Posted by kingstonsfinest on (October 8, 2010, 4:09 GMT)

With all due respect to the Master Blaster, former players who dominated two decades ago are not exactly what the Windies need. The fact is the modern game is much different from when these guys played. Plus you have to take into consideration that some of these former players have huge egos and feel that it should be more about them than anybody else, once again not needed and finally Viv was a selector at one point and the team was still loosing. If he wants to get involved he should do what Cuddy Walsh is doing in Jamaica in that he is staging fast bowling camps for youngsters all over the island with the help of outside sponsors, he is not waiting on the WICB to give him a role. Viv would be better used with high school kids and younger players, not the senior team at this time.

Posted by cricben on (October 8, 2010, 2:57 GMT)

Some folks blame the WICB for the poor state of W. I Cricket. Who or what is the WICB? The WICB is made up of reprsenatatives or nominees from the Territorial Boards. Who comprise these Territorial Boards. Nine out of ten times, former players. Great, good, not so good, even mediocre. Most of these former players referred to by Viv, have previously been called upon in some shape or form. The problem is, as soon as they could not have things their way, they took a hike. If you have an idea and you fail to convince others to buy into that idea, who to blame, buyer or seller? Was not Viv a Selector, but resigned to take up a broadcasting contract? Check the records, Roberts, Lloyd, Greenidge, Garner, Murray, Holding, Bishop, Haynes, Logie, the late Malcolm Marshal to name a few, have all been there as Director, Manager, Coach, Selector, Sub-committee Member. Board's rules were offensive but they took a lot of $$$ yes, but tripe too from Stanford. Choice yes, ostracised, no way!

Posted by WindiesWillow on (October 8, 2010, 2:42 GMT)

Sir Viv is so right. The WICB and even WIPA apparently are blind to the fact that we are in the gutters of international cricket and have been for a while. While I have no doubt we will resurge to the forefront of the cricket world because it is no doubt that we have the talent, our step forward can only be made with the intervention...sorry...assistance of our legends in the likes of Sir Viv, Sir Garry, BC Lara, Andy Roberts etc. We should not waste this gold mine of an opportunity while these guys are still willing and able.

Posted by Kaze on (October 8, 2010, 1:48 GMT)

I never had much respect for Richards as a thinker, the man is not too bright. If he wants to help WI so badly then why doesn't he apply for the coach job? Seems to me he is no different from the current players, he wants to fill his pockets. I don't blame him for doing that but he really needs to tone down on the bull. He is being very diplomatic in praising Tendulkar too, I know that lots of past WI players don't rate Tendulkar at all. Cheap runs only go so far.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2010, 23:59 GMT)

Ponting and Scachin are the two highest run scorers. So they must be the best batsmen in world cricket. Otherwise someone else would be in their spot

Posted by vish2020 on (October 7, 2010, 23:11 GMT)

Ponting is the most aggressive for me?? hahaha Looks like Richard hasn't paid his cable bill in few years or haven't seen ricky play! SEHWAG is by far the most aggresive in the game today! Ponting is just another George W Bush look a like trying to get by in this world!

Posted by ragamuffintuffy on (October 7, 2010, 19:05 GMT)

There is no future in cricket after you stop playing?! Well, my good man, manage your money properly (or as we would say in the commonwealth, good n proper) n there's still life after your late 30s....go back to school, become a coach, umpire, how about the schools u attended - go there n give back some, etc...but i think it goes back to our two governing bodies, WICB N WIPA, so go figure, ole chap!

Posted by crabman144 on (October 7, 2010, 16:08 GMT)

This statement by the master blaster indicates why Bravo, Pollard and Gayle decided not to sign retainer contract. There is no future in caribbean cricket after you stop playing. We have so much retired talent and yet we continue to struggle. Where is Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, Brian Lara, Clive Lloyd, Curtly Ambrose, Joel Garner, Jeff Dujon..... just to name a few of the outstanding talent in their time.

Posted by gudolerhum on (October 7, 2010, 13:05 GMT)

@ Balldinho IV - cricket is still where it was 20 years ago? Have you noticed the names of teams currently playing in international T20, fifty overs? The quality of the lower rungs of the Test teams, West Indies included, does not show that an expansion will help. The introduction of T20 and changes to the game to maintain its attraction despite the ongoing scandals are spreading the game. Holding and Gower happen to be traditionalist in their views but they accept the changes though they demand players total commitment. This may be where the problem lies, lack of commitment other than to the $$. Sir Viv was a great player, he believes that he can change WI cricket. His efforts while Lara was around did not get far. Ask why? I agree WICB should revisit the role of former greats but they alone are not the answer. WICB is blamed for the failing of WI cricket; WIPA should bear as much of the blame.

Posted by NBRADEE on (October 7, 2010, 12:51 GMT)

I have nothing against having some of the elder greats contributing to the sport in this part of the world, just as long as Michael Holding and Colin Croft are not part of that equation - those guys tend to threaten the oxymoronic realtionship of foresight and negativity! Having ex-players present will not necessarily change the administration of the game, and success will not be born of their mere presence - ideas need to be brought from within that solves the insularity which perpetuates the animosity between the nations comprising the maroon flag, and innovation on the field arising from some latent advantage we can unearth is key. It will also be interesting to see how they handle the development of female Windies players, who have been and remain included in their version of the sport as among the best in the world. Most of all, ex-players like Viv and Lara can enable the remaining potential sponsors in the region to invest deeply in the development of academies, etc.

Posted by Singhe on (October 7, 2010, 12:18 GMT)

Viv as "talent manager" for WI...there goes Guyana and T&T to the ICC as Associates...

Posted by   on (October 7, 2010, 11:24 GMT)

FINALLY, a legend saying SPREAD CRICKET TO other Countries. Finally a legend whose not an ELITIST and believes a sport referred to as INTERNATIONAL shoould be played beyond just 8 Commonwealth nations!! Viv try telling this to Michael Holding and David Gower!!! Its time to kick out the old politics of Cricket and globalise, every other sport (INCLUDING BORING BASEBALL) as spread beyond its traditional borders, its 2010 and Cricket is still where it was 20 years ago!

Posted by Runster1 on (October 7, 2010, 11:14 GMT)

Viv Richards. Wat a legend of the game. Surprised he thought that PONTING is currently one of the two TOP batsmen in the game... I would easily pick shane watson in my squad than ricky ponting at the moment...

Posted by nzcricket174 on (October 7, 2010, 10:48 GMT)

The man knows best. I say let him have a chance. Also, he is right in saying that T20 is the best way to advertise cricket, even though we all dislike it (mainly due to the fact that we pay too much attention to IPL - a bunch of party-goers playing generally low quality cricket). Best of luck to Viv and his endeavors.

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