Calls for harnessing junior level talent in West Indies October 10, 2006

Match referee needs to play greater role - Lloyd

'I'm constantly in touch with the umpires and need to knock them on the head sometimes' says Clive Lloyd explaining the duties of a match referee © Getty Images

Clive Lloyd, the legendary former West Indian captain, has said that the match referee needs to have a greater role in the future in order to avoid incidents like Ovalgate. Lloyd, who's acted as a match referee in 53 Tests, added that with a bit more "common sense" the incident, that transpired in the final Test between Pakistan and England at The Oval, could have been resolved more amicably.

"The referee does play an important part in cricket and good sense, or what you call common sense, must always prevail," said Lloyd, who's currently accompanying the West Indian team in an advisory role. "I'm constantly in touch with the umpires about issues and need to knock them on the head sometimes. The referee does have a great part to play and probably will play a greater part in the future to avoid such incidents."

Lloyd, who was recently appointed the chairman of the Cricket Committee of the West Indies Cricket Board, will be lending active support to the team and its management in the current tour. He was pleased with West Indies' recent performance in one-dayers but added they need to improve far more as far as Test cricket was concerned. "We need our fast bowlers to be more consistent," he added when quizzed about the exact reason for West Indies' poor showing in Tests. "They are still learning their trade and need to be far more consistent.

"Starting an academy is also important," he continued, "considering that several young players are moving towards other sports. One needs to harness the talent at the junior levels and get our domestic cricket on a proper footing. Otherwise several talented cricketers will move to other sports like football and basketball. We already have the Reggae Boys [Jamaica football side] and the Soca Warriors [Trinidad & Tobago football team] so we need to watch out."

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is staff writer of Cricinfo