September 5, 2000

Windies maestro calls for wholesale shake-up

Staff & Agencies

The legendary Caribbean captain Clive Lloyd has called for a wholesale re-think in West Indies cricket after the 3-1 Test drubbing by England.

Lloyd believes the present West Indies team are the worst for many years, after they capitulated to England surrendering the Wisden Trophy.

``The board must look closely at the situation and plan accordingly, not dismiss this as just another series,'' said Lloyd, intimating that Jimmy Adams' side -- the first to lose to England since 1969 -- were substandard.

``I don't want to decry anybody, but it is. The problem is quite simple -- we never realised the importance of grooming new players, and grooming them from an early stage.

``And the pitches at home are not as good as they should be -- we need to overhaul things from top to bottom.''

As the veteran pacemen Curtly Ambrose retires soon to be followed, inevitably, by Courtney Walsh, with a combined Test haul of almost 900 wickets -- Lloyd is concerned the the youthful cupboard of fast bowlers is bare.

``Someone may come through who can take their place. But, at the moment, it doesn't look likely,'' admitted Lloyd.

``The trouble is there's not a lot of options on the horizon. The current crop is too raw and inexperienced.

``The batting on this tour has also been abysmal,'' said Lloyd.

``But they must tighten up all aspects. The fielding in this series hasn't been very hot, the batting has been up and down. There's a lot of work to do.''