July 30, 2009

Lay off the legends

Rudi Webster
Lloyd and Holding are entitled to criticise the West Indies players - they've been in those shoes
30

A few days ago Clive Lloyd and Michael Holding expressed a few of their feelings and views about the attitude, behaviour and performance of some of the West Indies players and their representative body, the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA). WIPA did not take too kindly to those remarks and counterattacked Lloyd and Holding. But WIPA was not the only body that received criticism from those two cricket icons; over the past months they have been equally firm in their criticism of the structure, modus operandi and performance of the West Indies Cricket Board.

Records show that Lloyd built and captained one of the best, most successful teams in the history of sport, and that Michael Holding, a truly outstanding fast bowler, made a significant contribution to the triumph of that team.

As manager of that side during the Kerry Packer era, I got a first-hand view of the way those two players, along with Deryck Murray and others, transformed the West Indies team into the most professional, disciplined, courageous, motivated and mentally tough unit ever to grace a cricket field. Members of that team were not overpaid, and they did not expect or demand rewards for non-performance or poor performance. They were not overrated. And they certainly were not petty, pampered or spoilt - Kerry Packer saw to that.

It is difficult to overestimate how much the players in that team were admired and idolised on the cricket field. And off the field they were loved and respected for the manner in which they conducted themselves and for the role they played as outstanding ambassadors. Two decades have passed since those players left the scene but people around the cricket world still talk about them.

Surely Lloyd and Holding have earned the right to express their views freely and openly. And we should be grateful to them for sharing their rich experience and wisdom with us - important attributes that are missing in most of our players and in some of the administrators of WIPA and the WICB.

WIPA must understand that criticism in sport is par for the course. In fact, I don't know of many other professions where criticism is so vitriolic. And the criticism that WIPA and the players are now getting pales into insignificance against that which the players in World Series Cricket endured. Not only were they criticised, despised and abused by all the cricket boards and by critics around the world but also by former players. In some cases they were denied the use of traditional cricket grounds and had to play on football fields, on wickets that were prepared in greenhouses and then transported to the field.

As far as I can remember, those West Indian sportsmen did not bear any great animosity for or show any disrespect to their board, critics or former players. They answered them in the best possible way, the only way that really matters - winning performance on the field. The World Series was the catalyst that propelled West Indies cricket to world dominance.

I think I can say without contradiction that greed was never an important factor in the minds or the motivations of the players back then. Most of them had contracts that ranged from US$20,000 to 25,000. Compare that with the US$ 1 million that each West Indian player received last year for winning a Twenty20 game in Antigua.

Money attracted the players to World Series Cricket because what they were getting as Test players for their country was a pittance - more like an allowance than a salary. But once the cricket started, money plunged to the bottom of their list of priorities. They understood that if they performed well, money would come to them; and that if money became their most important priority, their concentration and thinking would be incorrectly focused and their performance would suffer badly.

Consequently, they used other things to motivate themselves - pride in being part of the West Indies team, pride in performance, pride in being the most professional and disciplined unit, the competition itself, enjoyment of the challenge and the battle, becoming the champions of the world. It would be interesting to find out if the current players and WIPA share those driving forces.

During World Series most of the players offered their services to their countries, but their cricket boards rejected them. The players did not abandon their countries. Eventually the courts ruled in favour of the players and ordered the various boards to reinstate them.

WIPA must understand that criticism in sport is par for the course. In fact, I don't know of many other professions where criticism is so vitriolic. And the criticism that WIPA and the players are now getting pales into insignificance against that which the players in World Series Cricket endured

West Indies cricket is now in the worst shape it has ever been. Along with Bangladesh, West Indies are at the bottom of the Test and one-day ratings. The players' bowling averages are like good batting averages, and some of their batting averages are like good bowling averages.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article in which I asked if there was cancer in West Indies cricket. I stated that if the epitome of good teamwork is found in the human body its antithesis, arrogance, selfishness (and greed), is found in cancer. It is now time for the players, WIPA and the WICB to become painfully honest with themselves and do a thorough self-examination to discover if there is, in fact, a cancer within. They should also be aware that the only treatment for cancer is radical surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

The adversarial thinking that has dominated and prolonged the current conflict is the preferred style of lawyers and operatives of the union. That method must now be abandoned completely. A different approach is urgently needed. This will require two things. First is the formulation of a bright and successful future for West Indies cricket and second is the fitting of resources and strategies to bring about that future.

If the current mediation is viewed just as an exercise to resolve the long-standing contracts conflict, it will result in a palliative outcome, but the genesis of the conflict will linger. It would be more sensible for each participant to treat the situation as an exploratory exercise to design the best possible outcome for West Indies cricket. That subtle difference in approach could lead to a dramatic change in intent, thinking and behaviour.

It is now imperative that the WICB and WIPA restructure themselves, readjust their attitude and priorities and work together to create an environment that will help bring out the best in the players. This is the only way the two bodies will improve their performance.

A plant that grows in a bottle will always take on the shape of the bottle and be confined to it. No matter what seeds are planted in the bottle the result will always be the same. The plant will only grow freely, flourish and take on a different shape when the bottle is broken.

Rudi Webster is a sports psychologist. He managed the West Indies team in World Series Cricket

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • delboy on August 3, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    continued.. and the result well we all now know that as you said an average team was beaten by bangladesh. Now lets have the entire management structure changed and see if this makes any difference.

  • delboy on August 3, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    googletalk - Reserve your comments until you know enough about all parties involved. "i don't know much about their board, but surely their players let their team down" Cricketers ARE NOT mercenaries; they are professionals. If you wish to inject national pride which you are talking about get polititians and or the boy scouts who pledge an allegience to their country to "play for their country". I'm a West Indian as a result of both my parents and I do not care what any West Indian player earns. If he is not considered to be worth it then its the responsibility of the board to provide the resources to ensure players are available to represent the WI at the price they wish to pay. Dwayne Smith was considered to be worthless but he now does much better financially than most members of the WI team with a Kolpak and IPL contract which PAYS HIM. If you do get a chance to watch English county cricket check the pride which Smith puts into his worry free game. The elite players removed

  • googletalk on August 2, 2009, 5:56 GMT

    i'm from Bangladesh and I'm happy for our wins over West Indies. But I can't deny that I have been a huge fan of West Indian cricket, and one of the main reason of that were Lloyd, Holding and their whole team. Present West Indies players have no right to criticize such legends. Specially currents players are far from world class apart from one or two. They are team of average and are earning quite lot of money. What they have been doing is disgraceful. because of their greed their national pride under threat. Because of them, their devoted local supporters have observed one of their sorryiest defeat against a relatively easier opponent. i don't know much about their board, but surely their players let their team down. Their ridiculous strike need to be examined throughly and few of them can be axed or should be accused for degrading their national pride. Strike can be a acceptable form of protest, but should not be where it is about national identity and pride.

  • kewi on August 2, 2009, 2:32 GMT

    As much as i agree with the legends, the W.I.C.B are as much to blame, why won't they just grow up and focus on what's best for W.I cricket and pick a strong side. As much as i love cricket here in the Caribbean, i have no intentions to supporting this W.I team in any form, wont even waste my money to watch them or time. i lost interest and will rather the opposite team win. You can not compare 70's and 80's players with current players, back then Lloyd and others had jobs they could of come home to, these players are now solely committed to cricket as a career. My view is that it's starts as the top, and Mediocracy as fully develop as part of the Caribbean culture. I am just waiting to see how long the W.I.C.B will continue to watch and enjoy West Indies cricket hit rock bottom. If lucky we might probably loose sponsors and they would wake up from hibernation. Thanks God i did not pursue cricket as a career.

  • Sportsscientist on August 2, 2009, 0:24 GMT

    I admire Lloyd & Holding immensely, & regard them as legends, but I do not consider for a moment that they are beyond criticism. If the WIPA feel it necessary to respond then what is the problem? So long as they were being respectful. Why should Lloyd or Holding or Richards criticise the board or the WIPA? and why can't the WIPA respond ?? As for the game in the caribbean, I agree with brighorientlen... the cricket followers of the caribbean along with respected writers NEED TO FORCE THE WICB TO STRUCTURALLY CHANGE.... that is the ONLY WAY!!!! the board is a fragmented & greedy collective with regional agenda's....so they can never be effective. Why can't people see that ??!!!??? If the players strike did not occur, then somrthing else would have come up eventually. The WICB may need to be dissolved. How about a new body being installed along with a job description and a budget to employ a CEO to oversea cricket management in the region??

  • spongebat_squarestumps on August 1, 2009, 15:27 GMT

    In terms of zero accountability, dictatorships and national cricket boards are on par. Criticise Lloyd and co all you want, but fact of the matter is that he and his 70's/80's team were in a totally different orbit when it came to preparing for and playing the game itself. They made the law makers change the rules - they took flak simply based upon skin colour (this WAS the 70's, remember). But they gave as good as they got and their records speak volumes. That in 40 years, the WI administration cannot see the need to change - that the incumbents continue to tow a destructive line - that WI rankings sink so low to threaten only Bangaladesh(!) despite the obscene money paid to name players spotlights just how poorly mismanaged WI cricket administration is. Whether as a player or as an administrator, nowhere is pay for non-performance better served than in the WI. Kerry Packer must be laughing in his grave.

  • Danny01 on August 1, 2009, 11:16 GMT

    Ridi Webster's comments are obective and to the point. He is not saying that because Lloyd and Holding are legends that we have to listen to them, but that becuase they are legends what they have to say is credible and worth consideration. Nevertheless I have watched WIPA over t he years and have been saying that they will be the downfall of WI cricket. I have also criticiesed WICB for their management of WI cricket which has been apalling to say the least. To hear Darren Powell (as he did in an interview during one of the Bangladesh tests) say ont he radio that at this day and age we are still niot minded to analyse the weakbnesses of the players on other teams and then structure your game to capitalise on those weaknesses, is unacceptable. It smacks of a Baord who does not understand the science of the game. And WIP fails to analyse how badly the WI players perform , and therefore work with WICB to ensure that players are compensated and rewarded for excellence.

  • GregWG on August 1, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    An excellent article. I think some of the comments miss the point; Webster is simply warning that once parties lose respect for each other and get locked into an entrenched dispute they lose perspective and become obsessed with bickering and point scoring for the sake of it. As a former litigation lawyer, I recognise the truth in that statement. Disputes are inevitable in any collective activity; what matters is how they are managed and resolved. The challenges WI cricket faces are not unique: see Steve Waugh's autobiography for an account of a similar dispute in Australian cricket in the late 90s. There, intelligent and insightful negotiation where both parties made a concerted effort to focus on issues, not personalities, and to understand and accomodate the legitimate interests of their opponents not only averted a strike but led to a new era of mutual trust which laid a sound off-field platform for on-field success. WICB and WIPA could achieve this too if they both want it enough.

  • hazeltine on July 31, 2009, 19:05 GMT

    The west indies cricket board should be made to resign they have shown themselves incapable of managing affairs of West Indies cricket

  • hazeltine on July 31, 2009, 17:38 GMT

    I agree with everything that has been said by Lloyd and Holding but their comments is not the issue here. The issue here is of a WIndies cricket board that persistently plays politics for its glorification, whilst the WIndies team continue to perform like a bunch of amateurs. For WIndies cricket to move forward there has to be CONCERTED PRESSURE from supporters and WIndian cricket writers in forcing the WIndies cricket boiard into creating a solid infrastructure and discipline within the WIndies team that will take us back to the top where we were in the late 70s and 80s, that is the only thing people in my view people should be looking at

  • delboy on August 3, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    continued.. and the result well we all now know that as you said an average team was beaten by bangladesh. Now lets have the entire management structure changed and see if this makes any difference.

  • delboy on August 3, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    googletalk - Reserve your comments until you know enough about all parties involved. "i don't know much about their board, but surely their players let their team down" Cricketers ARE NOT mercenaries; they are professionals. If you wish to inject national pride which you are talking about get polititians and or the boy scouts who pledge an allegience to their country to "play for their country". I'm a West Indian as a result of both my parents and I do not care what any West Indian player earns. If he is not considered to be worth it then its the responsibility of the board to provide the resources to ensure players are available to represent the WI at the price they wish to pay. Dwayne Smith was considered to be worthless but he now does much better financially than most members of the WI team with a Kolpak and IPL contract which PAYS HIM. If you do get a chance to watch English county cricket check the pride which Smith puts into his worry free game. The elite players removed

  • googletalk on August 2, 2009, 5:56 GMT

    i'm from Bangladesh and I'm happy for our wins over West Indies. But I can't deny that I have been a huge fan of West Indian cricket, and one of the main reason of that were Lloyd, Holding and their whole team. Present West Indies players have no right to criticize such legends. Specially currents players are far from world class apart from one or two. They are team of average and are earning quite lot of money. What they have been doing is disgraceful. because of their greed their national pride under threat. Because of them, their devoted local supporters have observed one of their sorryiest defeat against a relatively easier opponent. i don't know much about their board, but surely their players let their team down. Their ridiculous strike need to be examined throughly and few of them can be axed or should be accused for degrading their national pride. Strike can be a acceptable form of protest, but should not be where it is about national identity and pride.

  • kewi on August 2, 2009, 2:32 GMT

    As much as i agree with the legends, the W.I.C.B are as much to blame, why won't they just grow up and focus on what's best for W.I cricket and pick a strong side. As much as i love cricket here in the Caribbean, i have no intentions to supporting this W.I team in any form, wont even waste my money to watch them or time. i lost interest and will rather the opposite team win. You can not compare 70's and 80's players with current players, back then Lloyd and others had jobs they could of come home to, these players are now solely committed to cricket as a career. My view is that it's starts as the top, and Mediocracy as fully develop as part of the Caribbean culture. I am just waiting to see how long the W.I.C.B will continue to watch and enjoy West Indies cricket hit rock bottom. If lucky we might probably loose sponsors and they would wake up from hibernation. Thanks God i did not pursue cricket as a career.

  • Sportsscientist on August 2, 2009, 0:24 GMT

    I admire Lloyd & Holding immensely, & regard them as legends, but I do not consider for a moment that they are beyond criticism. If the WIPA feel it necessary to respond then what is the problem? So long as they were being respectful. Why should Lloyd or Holding or Richards criticise the board or the WIPA? and why can't the WIPA respond ?? As for the game in the caribbean, I agree with brighorientlen... the cricket followers of the caribbean along with respected writers NEED TO FORCE THE WICB TO STRUCTURALLY CHANGE.... that is the ONLY WAY!!!! the board is a fragmented & greedy collective with regional agenda's....so they can never be effective. Why can't people see that ??!!!??? If the players strike did not occur, then somrthing else would have come up eventually. The WICB may need to be dissolved. How about a new body being installed along with a job description and a budget to employ a CEO to oversea cricket management in the region??

  • spongebat_squarestumps on August 1, 2009, 15:27 GMT

    In terms of zero accountability, dictatorships and national cricket boards are on par. Criticise Lloyd and co all you want, but fact of the matter is that he and his 70's/80's team were in a totally different orbit when it came to preparing for and playing the game itself. They made the law makers change the rules - they took flak simply based upon skin colour (this WAS the 70's, remember). But they gave as good as they got and their records speak volumes. That in 40 years, the WI administration cannot see the need to change - that the incumbents continue to tow a destructive line - that WI rankings sink so low to threaten only Bangaladesh(!) despite the obscene money paid to name players spotlights just how poorly mismanaged WI cricket administration is. Whether as a player or as an administrator, nowhere is pay for non-performance better served than in the WI. Kerry Packer must be laughing in his grave.

  • Danny01 on August 1, 2009, 11:16 GMT

    Ridi Webster's comments are obective and to the point. He is not saying that because Lloyd and Holding are legends that we have to listen to them, but that becuase they are legends what they have to say is credible and worth consideration. Nevertheless I have watched WIPA over t he years and have been saying that they will be the downfall of WI cricket. I have also criticiesed WICB for their management of WI cricket which has been apalling to say the least. To hear Darren Powell (as he did in an interview during one of the Bangladesh tests) say ont he radio that at this day and age we are still niot minded to analyse the weakbnesses of the players on other teams and then structure your game to capitalise on those weaknesses, is unacceptable. It smacks of a Baord who does not understand the science of the game. And WIP fails to analyse how badly the WI players perform , and therefore work with WICB to ensure that players are compensated and rewarded for excellence.

  • GregWG on August 1, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    An excellent article. I think some of the comments miss the point; Webster is simply warning that once parties lose respect for each other and get locked into an entrenched dispute they lose perspective and become obsessed with bickering and point scoring for the sake of it. As a former litigation lawyer, I recognise the truth in that statement. Disputes are inevitable in any collective activity; what matters is how they are managed and resolved. The challenges WI cricket faces are not unique: see Steve Waugh's autobiography for an account of a similar dispute in Australian cricket in the late 90s. There, intelligent and insightful negotiation where both parties made a concerted effort to focus on issues, not personalities, and to understand and accomodate the legitimate interests of their opponents not only averted a strike but led to a new era of mutual trust which laid a sound off-field platform for on-field success. WICB and WIPA could achieve this too if they both want it enough.

  • hazeltine on July 31, 2009, 19:05 GMT

    The west indies cricket board should be made to resign they have shown themselves incapable of managing affairs of West Indies cricket

  • hazeltine on July 31, 2009, 17:38 GMT

    I agree with everything that has been said by Lloyd and Holding but their comments is not the issue here. The issue here is of a WIndies cricket board that persistently plays politics for its glorification, whilst the WIndies team continue to perform like a bunch of amateurs. For WIndies cricket to move forward there has to be CONCERTED PRESSURE from supporters and WIndian cricket writers in forcing the WIndies cricket boiard into creating a solid infrastructure and discipline within the WIndies team that will take us back to the top where we were in the late 70s and 80s, that is the only thing people in my view people should be looking at

  • ShiningStars on July 31, 2009, 14:26 GMT

    I think the WI players are being foolish. they are not playing for their national team for money when they already have more than they need. they do not have passion for cricket. i live in the WI and a lot of people hate cricket. countries like india , South africa etc. are at the top because they put country before money.

  • essky on July 31, 2009, 12:44 GMT

    I would agree that the legends are concerned about how current negotiations and stands may affect their legacy, and nullify the hard work that they have put into establishing the masterpiece that was WI cricket, but that does not give them the right to disrespect the players.

    Many criticize WIPA because of Ramnarine and "personal grouses", so, what about Jimmy Adams, a former Captain of the WI team who is one of the WIPA bigwigs? Is his stance any different from Ramnarine's? In fact he said that if WIPA was to change its stance he would immediately resign, because the foolishness tolerated by the players from the WICBC/WICB has been going on for too long, and needs to be addressed. WIPA is able to creditably defend its position, bar the biting sarcasm (which may be justifiable), against every accusation leveled against it, without character assassination. What about the Board?

    The Board must recognize that they are fighting to deny the players their rights! Cancer? Yes! But where?

  • delboy on July 31, 2009, 11:18 GMT

    krlayne, Did you note that WI beat England to claim the Wisden trophy; Then a board which care so much about WI cricket not only ended up sending the team to the wrong country at the worng time of the year but as part of the negotiation for their love of the game NOT MONEY put up the trophy as part of a deal whereby they were filling in for two previous teams which pulled out namely Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka? Is this not SHORT SIGHTEDNESS and a board whose ego is obviously ruled by the $ sign? WICB members are paid the same renumeration regardless of the teams performance and obviously focuses themself first and foremost. WIPA are asking for the players to be relieved of the burden of not knowing when they will be paid in order that they channel their thoughts into performing on the pitch rather than seeking out other avenues to support their families. This is the way of the world, even the soldiers in Iraq allegedly volunteering for their country are assured their service is not in vain

  • hazeltine on July 31, 2009, 9:33 GMT

    I totally and emphatically agree with the comments of Mr Lloyd and Holding, but for anything to advance in West indies cricket, supporters and Cricket writers have to put enormous pressure on the WICB to implement a proper structure and dsicipline within WIndies cricket in the same way that CLR James mounted a campaign to have a black captain selected for the WIndies, only then AND ONLY THEN will WIndies cricket begin to move on. Good article by Rudi Webster, but less of the ridiculous analogies that he used in the last paragraph please and more direct comments that relates to the position.

  • Jojy.John.Alphonso on July 31, 2009, 5:11 GMT

    Holding and Loyd are some of the greatest names in cricketing history and i respect their views but I dont think that their greatness should be used as an excuse to shield them from criticism.

    I also feel that the criticism heaped on WIPA by some readers are unnecessary, especially krlayne's comments. The WIPA is only working on behalf of the players. The truth is that the WICB is led by an unruly bunch and nothing can change that.

  • InTheStreet on July 31, 2009, 3:48 GMT

    I want to congratulate Dr. webster for a well written article. I actually think WIPA is the worst thing that could happen to WI cricket. They actually are analogous to the cancer which is referred to in this article. Part of the selfishness of WIPA and its senior membership is their willingness sacrifice the career of younger promising players to achieve their glutton end.

    I am a fan of the game and I am a supporter of the game. It is not by chance that the Lloyd era brought the greatest joy to fans of cricket all over the world in general but to the Caribbean in particular. It is evident now that they are not playing cricket that this band of SOLDIERS were not all brawn but they were also a lot of brain. It is not by chance SkySports employ Mikey as an analysis. I think his cricketing intelligence is so superior that he can identify flaws on the field of play and explain them with such simplicity the cricket novice can understand.

  • misterjoeyman on July 31, 2009, 2:23 GMT

    Waitaminute... because these "legends" have had their fights in the past, we shouldn't criticize them? For their pasts we must allow them a pass on their mistakes? Is Dr Webster subscribing to the same pre-industrial attitudes that have made the WICB the laughing-stock of world cricket? Holding & Lloyd - whom i admire immensely - dropped the ball this time. They seem to have forgotten that there are board members now who were board members in their own day, and that it was the Board's intransigence that led to a second-rate team representing Westindies back in the day. Props to Kallicharan & Co for the good old college try, but there was more in the pool then. Reifer & Co are not ready. The present WICB's behavior is an insult. Holding and Lloyd might have been trying to be "fair" in putting in a bad word for WIPA after a proper Board-bashing. But it's not fair. These legends forget that they were once players, trying to make a decent buck. Shame on them.

  • saddis on July 30, 2009, 16:19 GMT

    what cricket structure is krlayne talking about WICB does little if anything for cricket in the caribbean, but they can spend the money to renovate wicb offices etc. This had to happen and will make cricket in the caribbean better in the future. WICB and WIPA has to come to some understanding and then west indies cricket will grow in the past compromises were made and this was short term.

  • Fla_Me on July 30, 2009, 16:06 GMT

    Are we blaming the players for the state of WI cricket? Surely, the problem lies much deeper. It's quite easy to shuffle blame on Ramnarine while the so called 'rebels' have repeatedly affirmed their support for him. If they didn't like his dealings they would've voted him out. The general sentiment you get from this article is that the current players have no right to make all this 'fuss' - This is exactly the type of attitude that persists with the WICB. Do we really think that if we got rid of all the current 'rebels' (including WIPA) that the problem will be solved?? We are really kidding ourselves.

  • rahe on July 30, 2009, 15:49 GMT

    WICB/WIPA are presiding over the death of West Indies Cricket. The fact that either one of them expect to have public support while they are arguing over dividing up a shrinking pie of sponsership just tells you the pathetic state the administration of cricket is in regionally. If Clive Lloyd or Michael Holding want to give their opinion on the current state of West Indies then WIPA/WICB should shut up and listen, players of that era at least knew what they were doing on the field unlike most of the current team. In the recent past we have blamed the Board, the Captain and regional coaching for the decline in our cricket and all three have seen changes yet the results get worse even though clearly we are producing youth cricketers that can compete with the rest of the world. You cant build a Test team with only 3-4 Test calibre players. We are lacking leadership on and off the field and we dont have enough players to rival the greats of the past hence our dilemma. WI... RIP

  • NBRADEE on July 30, 2009, 14:18 GMT

    Obviously some of you wear black clothes on a daily basis, expecting to turn up in court for your suppositions and assumptions!

    krlayne feels he knows the reason for Mr. Ramnarine's fixation with the WICB - all that was initially stated was that the WICB was not bargaining in good faith, which flew in the face of the spirit of the last mediation. In Mr. Ramnarine's words, seven consecutive arbitrations lost by the WICB must mean that lunacy is on their doorstep. How do ANY of the world's top cricketers deal with that gobar???

    Weren't Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Holding privy to the six-week preparation leading up to the dominant performances of both the Stanford Superstars and Trinidad and Tobago teams??? "And they certainly were not petty, pampered or spoilt - Kerry Packer saw to that." So too did Mr Stanford, and the results seem to be ironically the same.

    Let us learn and go forward, rather than re-visit the past in another two months or years. The WICB must go

  • delboy on July 30, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    Someone has already alluded to the fact that $100,000 during the Packer era is the equivalent to $1M today. Another thing worth considering is that WI boys had very few options outside academia. Cricket was the best paid sport in the region; it carried other benefits like travel etc. Today the world has gotten smaller thanks to the internet and telecommunication. Does the WI have the structure to attract talent such as Carberry and Jordan to opt to represent it? I'm sure Clive Lloyd was earning more than Pele during the Packer years, WI players are'nt asking to be on par with English championship footballers, they are asking that someone value them NOW when they are playing. If that is causing such a fuss how are the former players being treated? I would hope the WIPA is there to look after players from grassroots to their pension. The WIBC appear to only focus on its hierarchy. Perhaps when this is resolved the team can get together and get Hunte a laptop. Ring binders are HIS STORY.

  • bigerle on July 30, 2009, 10:37 GMT

    It is a shame that so many malign Mr. Ramnarire not for what he says but for who he is. Without evidence or even knowng the man they attribute to him selfish motives for taking strong stands against the WICB. Maybe his desire to work on behalf of the players is borne out of his past experience. What is wrong with that? Such experience as he has had might have prepared him to understand the plight of the young cricketers. This nonsense about living vicariously through the current players is pure drivel and disregards the issues at hand. It is completely illogical to suggest that these legends "socalled" reserve the right to criticize without being criticized themselves. This colonial mentality is what characterizes the WICB and those at the higher echelons of West Indian society. These are different times and young people have a right to be heard and fight for their rights and nobody is untouchable. This is not a young person speaking. Deal with the issues and stop vilifying people.

  • Sorcerer on July 30, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    Actions of Cricket Board members in some nations is high-handed and borders on utterly whimsical and arrogance. The worst case in hand is the PCB which has shown itself quite incapable of being held properly accountable for its confused and muddled actions and policies. Tales of nepotism, internal clashes between the bigwigs, conflicting policy statemnents are rife here in Pak and WI seems to be no exception.

    Coming back to the lyrics of the professionalism of the WI team of Packer years, it indeed seems double standards for those who turned their backs on their countries and played for commercialisation aspect (regardless of whether the game of cricket benefitted in the longer run) are now crying foul when in this modern age, their successors are asking for a better deal from the Board.

    Holding and Lloyd need not speak up on this matter against the players as their words ring hollow and smack of hypocisy.

  • maj57 on July 30, 2009, 7:04 GMT

    lostxboy, which one of the team are you??? I dont know much about the situation but its clear to see WICB are probably the worst Board in cricket. A pub league is probably more organised then them. As for the money the West Indies players earn, so be it. Is anybody crticising the english players. They are equally as inept on the field in test matches. In fact they have only won series against West Indies and NZ and yet they get paid a ton load of money.Do my

    But lets get one thing right, the WIPA needs to show respect to the players who came before them.Clive Lloyd and Michael Holding are legends and not just in west indies cricket but world wide. Along with the likes of Viv Richards who is arguably the best batsman in the world imo they put west indies on the map. So as much as I like Chris Gayle,Sarwan and Chanderpaul, WIPA should leave the legends alone and stick with the problems they have with WICB.One thing is for sure the legends want what is the best for west indies cricket

  • lostxboy on July 30, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    It competly and utterly disgust me that everyone has underminded the west indians preformances. We won back the wisden trophy but then lost it because of very foreign conditions, which some of the players themselves stated was a major problem. Mr. Ramnarine has the players intrest in mind and has shown it. There is more than enough evidence on the WIPA web site to prove that what he is fighting for is justified because the WICB have not followed agreements. I think the real children in this are the WICB, because they will not admit what they have done is wrong and they even went as far as to the whole 'You can't play with us' children chant and brought it on the prfession level. I just find it ridiculous that people have this idea that just because one structure is bring down west indies cricket then the other must be responsible also. As far as the arguements go the WIPA have had their facts and the WICB has come up with nothing except them showing off their selfish power.

  • Sorcerer on July 30, 2009, 6:16 GMT

    Good, poignant reading but is spoilt by some mawkish exaggerations. Let's please keep perspectives clear and unmuddled.

    To call those players brilliant ambassadors of the game is ironic when you consider how one Colin Croft shoulder-barged a Kiwi umpire onto the turf (in these days, it may result in a life-ban if anything) and how holding kicked away the stumps as windies were losing a Test in New Zealand.

  • kris_mg on July 30, 2009, 5:38 GMT

    I think none can agree more.. "Lay Off The Legends !!!" ... In their time they proved their mettle in field.. All their answers were there for everyone to see.. It would do the West Indies cricket a lot good if WIPA and WICB took the opinions of the legends a bit more seriously.. None is asking them to get spoon-fed and none is claiming the legends are always right.. But show some respect for God Sake..

  • nafzak on July 30, 2009, 4:24 GMT

    Several years ago (probably over 10 years), I saw Dr. Webster in an interview on TV here in Washington, D.C. He was selling a book he just wrote I believe. Anyway, Dr. Rudi was very liberal in showering praise on himself for the success of the West Indies team that dominated in the 80's. He also took credit for Aussie Pro. Golfer Greg Norman (known before then for choking in the big tournaments) success. The WIPA never said that Lloyd, Holding and co., joined WSC because of greed. However, without a doubt, money was a key motivating factor. Even Rod Marsh complained about his brother, a pro golfer (not even a top player) making a tonmore tha he did. Cricketers did not want to have to work other jobs in between matches. $100,000 then is the equal of $1MM (or even more) now. Still cricket lags behind most other pro sports i compensation. Bottom line is the players are treated with no respect by the WICB and that is the crux of the matter.

  • krlayne on July 30, 2009, 3:58 GMT

    Thanks, Mr. Webster, for an insightful article. Both WIPA and WICB are to blame for the current impasse. The problem is that both are headed by men who have placed their ego above cricket. Mr. Ramnarine seems obviously bitter about his lack of on field action in his youth (and maybe rightfully so) and has decided that he will live vicariously through the current players. He would like nothing more than to embarrass and destroy the cricketing structure because it would serve as his revenge. As for WICB, the seeds of ineptitude that they have sown over the years have now grown into a crop of discord. And what a lovely harvest it is! We have players who have zero interest in the history and the pride that once went along with being a West Indies player, and are only now interested in their own pockets. Unfortunately, until both sides see what they are doing to WI cricket, and get down off their high horses, WI cricket will continue to be in the doldrums, and will never find their way out.

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  • krlayne on July 30, 2009, 3:58 GMT

    Thanks, Mr. Webster, for an insightful article. Both WIPA and WICB are to blame for the current impasse. The problem is that both are headed by men who have placed their ego above cricket. Mr. Ramnarine seems obviously bitter about his lack of on field action in his youth (and maybe rightfully so) and has decided that he will live vicariously through the current players. He would like nothing more than to embarrass and destroy the cricketing structure because it would serve as his revenge. As for WICB, the seeds of ineptitude that they have sown over the years have now grown into a crop of discord. And what a lovely harvest it is! We have players who have zero interest in the history and the pride that once went along with being a West Indies player, and are only now interested in their own pockets. Unfortunately, until both sides see what they are doing to WI cricket, and get down off their high horses, WI cricket will continue to be in the doldrums, and will never find their way out.

  • nafzak on July 30, 2009, 4:24 GMT

    Several years ago (probably over 10 years), I saw Dr. Webster in an interview on TV here in Washington, D.C. He was selling a book he just wrote I believe. Anyway, Dr. Rudi was very liberal in showering praise on himself for the success of the West Indies team that dominated in the 80's. He also took credit for Aussie Pro. Golfer Greg Norman (known before then for choking in the big tournaments) success. The WIPA never said that Lloyd, Holding and co., joined WSC because of greed. However, without a doubt, money was a key motivating factor. Even Rod Marsh complained about his brother, a pro golfer (not even a top player) making a tonmore tha he did. Cricketers did not want to have to work other jobs in between matches. $100,000 then is the equal of $1MM (or even more) now. Still cricket lags behind most other pro sports i compensation. Bottom line is the players are treated with no respect by the WICB and that is the crux of the matter.

  • kris_mg on July 30, 2009, 5:38 GMT

    I think none can agree more.. "Lay Off The Legends !!!" ... In their time they proved their mettle in field.. All their answers were there for everyone to see.. It would do the West Indies cricket a lot good if WIPA and WICB took the opinions of the legends a bit more seriously.. None is asking them to get spoon-fed and none is claiming the legends are always right.. But show some respect for God Sake..

  • Sorcerer on July 30, 2009, 6:16 GMT

    Good, poignant reading but is spoilt by some mawkish exaggerations. Let's please keep perspectives clear and unmuddled.

    To call those players brilliant ambassadors of the game is ironic when you consider how one Colin Croft shoulder-barged a Kiwi umpire onto the turf (in these days, it may result in a life-ban if anything) and how holding kicked away the stumps as windies were losing a Test in New Zealand.

  • lostxboy on July 30, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    It competly and utterly disgust me that everyone has underminded the west indians preformances. We won back the wisden trophy but then lost it because of very foreign conditions, which some of the players themselves stated was a major problem. Mr. Ramnarine has the players intrest in mind and has shown it. There is more than enough evidence on the WIPA web site to prove that what he is fighting for is justified because the WICB have not followed agreements. I think the real children in this are the WICB, because they will not admit what they have done is wrong and they even went as far as to the whole 'You can't play with us' children chant and brought it on the prfession level. I just find it ridiculous that people have this idea that just because one structure is bring down west indies cricket then the other must be responsible also. As far as the arguements go the WIPA have had their facts and the WICB has come up with nothing except them showing off their selfish power.

  • maj57 on July 30, 2009, 7:04 GMT

    lostxboy, which one of the team are you??? I dont know much about the situation but its clear to see WICB are probably the worst Board in cricket. A pub league is probably more organised then them. As for the money the West Indies players earn, so be it. Is anybody crticising the english players. They are equally as inept on the field in test matches. In fact they have only won series against West Indies and NZ and yet they get paid a ton load of money.Do my

    But lets get one thing right, the WIPA needs to show respect to the players who came before them.Clive Lloyd and Michael Holding are legends and not just in west indies cricket but world wide. Along with the likes of Viv Richards who is arguably the best batsman in the world imo they put west indies on the map. So as much as I like Chris Gayle,Sarwan and Chanderpaul, WIPA should leave the legends alone and stick with the problems they have with WICB.One thing is for sure the legends want what is the best for west indies cricket

  • Sorcerer on July 30, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    Actions of Cricket Board members in some nations is high-handed and borders on utterly whimsical and arrogance. The worst case in hand is the PCB which has shown itself quite incapable of being held properly accountable for its confused and muddled actions and policies. Tales of nepotism, internal clashes between the bigwigs, conflicting policy statemnents are rife here in Pak and WI seems to be no exception.

    Coming back to the lyrics of the professionalism of the WI team of Packer years, it indeed seems double standards for those who turned their backs on their countries and played for commercialisation aspect (regardless of whether the game of cricket benefitted in the longer run) are now crying foul when in this modern age, their successors are asking for a better deal from the Board.

    Holding and Lloyd need not speak up on this matter against the players as their words ring hollow and smack of hypocisy.

  • bigerle on July 30, 2009, 10:37 GMT

    It is a shame that so many malign Mr. Ramnarire not for what he says but for who he is. Without evidence or even knowng the man they attribute to him selfish motives for taking strong stands against the WICB. Maybe his desire to work on behalf of the players is borne out of his past experience. What is wrong with that? Such experience as he has had might have prepared him to understand the plight of the young cricketers. This nonsense about living vicariously through the current players is pure drivel and disregards the issues at hand. It is completely illogical to suggest that these legends "socalled" reserve the right to criticize without being criticized themselves. This colonial mentality is what characterizes the WICB and those at the higher echelons of West Indian society. These are different times and young people have a right to be heard and fight for their rights and nobody is untouchable. This is not a young person speaking. Deal with the issues and stop vilifying people.

  • delboy on July 30, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    Someone has already alluded to the fact that $100,000 during the Packer era is the equivalent to $1M today. Another thing worth considering is that WI boys had very few options outside academia. Cricket was the best paid sport in the region; it carried other benefits like travel etc. Today the world has gotten smaller thanks to the internet and telecommunication. Does the WI have the structure to attract talent such as Carberry and Jordan to opt to represent it? I'm sure Clive Lloyd was earning more than Pele during the Packer years, WI players are'nt asking to be on par with English championship footballers, they are asking that someone value them NOW when they are playing. If that is causing such a fuss how are the former players being treated? I would hope the WIPA is there to look after players from grassroots to their pension. The WIBC appear to only focus on its hierarchy. Perhaps when this is resolved the team can get together and get Hunte a laptop. Ring binders are HIS STORY.

  • NBRADEE on July 30, 2009, 14:18 GMT

    Obviously some of you wear black clothes on a daily basis, expecting to turn up in court for your suppositions and assumptions!

    krlayne feels he knows the reason for Mr. Ramnarine's fixation with the WICB - all that was initially stated was that the WICB was not bargaining in good faith, which flew in the face of the spirit of the last mediation. In Mr. Ramnarine's words, seven consecutive arbitrations lost by the WICB must mean that lunacy is on their doorstep. How do ANY of the world's top cricketers deal with that gobar???

    Weren't Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Holding privy to the six-week preparation leading up to the dominant performances of both the Stanford Superstars and Trinidad and Tobago teams??? "And they certainly were not petty, pampered or spoilt - Kerry Packer saw to that." So too did Mr Stanford, and the results seem to be ironically the same.

    Let us learn and go forward, rather than re-visit the past in another two months or years. The WICB must go