January 20, 2014

Who will lead West Indies' regeneration?

After heavy losses in India and New Zealand there's a need for some serious introspection
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Beaten and battered in two bruising campaigns, those West Indies players still standing finally staggered home last week with a bag full of questions to be asked and answered over what really went on in India and, especially, New Zealand.

Reports from media conferences on tour were filled with comments that need expanding on by the new director of cricket, Richard Pybus, and the cricket and executive committees of the West Indies Cricket Board. The claim by ODI captain Dwayne Bravo on arrival in New Zealand that a lack of unity led to the poor performances will be a prominent item in the debriefing. So would the allusion to players' indifference by the manager, Richie Richardson ("it bothers me when you see guys hang around the changing room at the ground, doing nothing, like they're still back at the hotel room") and the mysterious "personal reasons" given for the hasty exit from New Zealand of Darren, the younger Bravo, that set off widespread gossip.

Captain Darren Sammy's candid acceptance that he could be one of those on return home whose "careers are on the line", as he put it, has poured more fuel on a fire that has flickered since his appointment three years ago.

His obvious commitment to the team and the way he has handled the position in difficult times have earned Sammy a justifiable reputation as leader; the snag is that, as his stats indicate, he is a Test allrounder purely in name.

As always, it is who as captain if not Sammy?

While New Zealand present Corey Anderson, and England, Ben Stokes out of nowhere, there is no young allrounder of even that level to be presently found in a region that produced the greatest of them all.

Nor are there obvious future captains such as Virat Kohli currently is for India and Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke were when Andrew Strauss and Ricky Ponting stepped down from their posts.

Made skipper of the A team in its most recent series against Sri Lanka and India, batsman Kirk Edwards appeared the likeliest contender. The Barbados selectors essentially torpedoed that plan last week, inexplicably replacing him for the coming first-class season with Kraigg Brathwaite; it is a formidable challenge for the 21-year-old opener, who approaches his batting with single-minded Chanderpaulian dedication and for whom captaincy would be an unnecessary distraction.

It leaves Dwayne Bravo as the only like-for-like choice, should Sammy go, as he seemingly expects to. Bravo is 30 and as gung-ho as ever, yet he hasn't played a Test in three years, while prospering in T20 leagues. Nor is he nearly the super allrounder he promised in his early years in the West Indies team. His elevation to the ODI captaincy last year "to refresh the leadership", according to the selectors, was a clue to their thinking. Sammy remained at the helm for Tests and T20s; it has understandably proved a divisive arrangement.

It leaves Dwayne Bravo as the only like-for-like choice, should Sammy go, as he seemingly expects to. Bravo is 30 and as gung-ho as ever, yet he hasn't played a Test in three years, while prospering in T20 leagues

Other long-serving candidates have been suggested. Denesh Ramdin has intermittently been the West Indies vice-captain, as he was in India and New Zealand, and a successful skipper of Trinidad & Tobago.

To dovetail with Bravo's West Indies' position, he has been shunted aside for the imminent regional Super50 tournament; Trinidad & Tobago would send an unequivocal message by retaining Bravo for the first-class season as well. Those in the know regard that as unlikely.

Indeed, the former T&T captain, Daren Ganga, has gone for a long shot. Ramnaresh Sarwan was Brian Lara's natural successor, taking over after the great left-hander's retirement in 2007. Untimely injuries opened the way for Chris Gayle, and Sarwan was never called on again. Over the past few years, he fell out with the WICB's former chief executive Ernest Hilaire and with Ottis Gibson, the coach. Sarwan claimed that episode affected his form; the last of his 87 Tests was in June 2011. He is 33, hardly old age for a batsman, and says he's committed to forcing his way back in with performances in the coming regional tournaments. As captain? Improbable, but not entirely impossible.

In addition to the captaincy issues, the immediate on-field focus is on the regional tournaments over the coming three months - the Super50 in late January and early February, and the first-class from late February. They assume added substance given Sammy's blast after the New Zealand thrashing that "we cannot continue like this".

His contention that some careers are on the line places pressure to perform on those who faltered in India and New Zealand, even those as established as Gayle and Marlon Samuels (average 21.6 in the five Tests).

At 23, the elegant left-hand opener Kieran Powell is still seen, along with Darren Bravo, as key to the long-term batting. He kept devising frustrating ways of getting out, didn't pass 50 once in ten innings, and averaged 22.50. He needs a productive season.

At 30 and without a hundred after 18 Tests, Narsingh Deonarine, the middle-order left-hander and useful offspinner, has surely come to the end of the line.

So too Tino Best. For all his 90mph pace, energy and enthusiasm, a return of 57 wickets in 25 Tests at 40 each is not a recommendation for continuation.

Shannon Gabriel, 25, and the left-armer Sheldon Cottrell, 24, carried real hopes of two tall, strong bowlers capable of intimidating pace to partner the injured Kemar Roach when his shoulder surgery mends sufficiently for his return. On the tour technical flaws were revealed that now need attention from the coaches.

Jerome Taylor's reappearance for Jamaica in the Super50 is encouraging news. His unforgettable 5 for 11 opening burst which blew England away for 51 in their second innings at Sabina Park in 2009 highlighted his quality as a pacy swing bowler. He had 82 wickets from 29 Tests, with a hundred and a 50 to boot, before, for several reasons, he disappeared off the radar in 2010. Now 29, there are hopeful expectations for his first season back.

There are a host of others who have already made their names with the A team - the left-hand batsmen Jonathan Carter and Leon Johnson, the quick bowlers Miguel Cummins and Delorn Johnson, for instance - who must realise that now is the time to seize the moment.

West Indies cricket is certainly crying out for a regeneration.

Tony Cozier has written about and commentated on cricket in the Caribbean for nearly 50 years

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 24, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    West Indies cricket is in the doldrums.Top management need changes.They only talk what is happening and does not try to correct the situation.They are paid to do a job ,but failed miserably.

    Sammy is an all-rounder,not a captain .He palys cricket and enjoy himself ,not captaining the team as expected.Captains should have certain behaviour ,not like Sammy's.We need an approved test cricketer/ leader of men ,not boys. E.g --Sarwan,Kirk Edwards,V.Permaul. We need a coach who is a proven test cricketer as well, not a below average player.A coach should not tell a player how he should be playing.A player is picked based on his ability to do whatever he is done already.So selectors,whoever you are ,let us get some good team selection this coming seasons to follow and get West Indies cricket going uphill.

  • SNIFFLEATHER on January 23, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    As short term leader, I would appoint Ramdin to lead the Test XI. This XI needs to comprise players suited to the longer - and only TRUE form of the game. The T20 and ODI squads need to be considered but cannot garner as much attention as the test team. Therefore, choose a separate captain (DJ Bravo retained perhaps), select players suited to that format - and never let them near the test team. Likewise, the young test players should never play T20 - at any level. Regionally, some fine young players are breaking through, so all is not lost - provided they are handled correctly. Speaking of the fast bowlers, Jerome Taylor's return does indeed offer hope - provided he still bowls with the pace and accuracy he used to. Ronsford Beaton is a potential world beater, but this young man needs very careful management - DO NOT EXHAUST HIM WITH T20 CRICKET! He really could become another Ambrose, as stated not so long ago by Yuvraj Singh when he played against him. Cummins+Johnson also offer hope

  • InsideHedge on January 21, 2014, 23:12 GMT

    @Dhar40: Excellent comments, very insightful. I agree.

  • on January 21, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    Deonarine and Best are at the end of the line ? Nobody told the WI cricket board...wasn't Best given a central contract recently. Also Shane Shillingford whose future in cricket right now does not look rosy ? Recently the names of Sarwan and even Nash were touted as having a possible return tot he side. Both men are in their 30's and bringing them back would be a retrograde step. Select a young team and build them up so that in say 5 years they will develop into top level players. Who but Sammy ? Who else but WI would persist in player who cannot justify his place in the team on a consistent basis ? By all means select a young player (SA did it!!!!) and provide him with the necessary training and support to mould him into a Test captain. In these days of science and psychology in sport captains are not just born but are also shaped into the role.

  • Batmanian on January 21, 2014, 19:53 GMT

    Do WI even have a pace academy? If not, they need one. If they do, they need a different one.

  • USIndianFan on January 21, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    1. By far Sammy is the best captain that the Windies have available. The Windies have good players - they don't seem to remain focused. Not sure why Gayle has not performed. The management had a good thing going and an up-and-coming team - and then decided to tinker with the leadership role. The consequences are there for all to see. Give Sammy a second round, let him keep his team. Focus on results more and playing leader-tag less.

  • on January 21, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    I have been a great west indian fans and supported them even when they played Inida. Who can forget the greats and Viv is still my hero.. The present west indian side is all brawn and no brains. No team in the world is so consistent in repeating the same mistakes over and over again especially in tests where in India & NZ they did not seem interested t complete the 5 days. Like Tony said no good players are in the horizon also.. very sad and upset to see the great team flounder like this.

  • sajeeshms3 on January 21, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    As of now, Sammy is the best option for leading West Indies in all formats. In tests, his batting has improved and his bowling is economical to keep pressure on batsmen which will help other bowlers to pick wickets. Don't expect him to pick more than 3-4 wickets in a test match. A player like him is very important to balance any team. No arguments on his place in ODI and T20 teams. He is capable of Winning matches with bat wand ball. My Teams: Test: Gayle, Kieran Powell, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul, Ramdin (wk), Sammy (c), Rampaul, Raoch, Narine, Holder (Bench: Permaul/ Taylor/ Brathwaite/ Samuels) (Both Ramdin and Sammy should improve their batting)

    ODI: Gayle, Charles, Darren Bravo, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Pollard, Ramdin (wk), Sammy (c), Rampaul, Narine, Roach (Bench: Dwayne Smith, Holder, Badree, Simmons)

    T20I: Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Darren Bravo, Charles (wk), Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Pollard, Sammy (c), Roach, Narine, Holder (Bench: Rampaul, Badree, Simmons, Russel)

  • on January 21, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    Dj bravo is the best leader.

  • Dhar40 on January 21, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    West Indies are doing as well as can be expected. The Caribbean is now a developed region Barbados is officially a developed country, TnT, St.Lucia and Antigua are close behind. When we were poor little islands our boys played cricket all day and on every street corner. Now that we are developed the whole scene is different. This dynamic is particular true in Barbados and Antigua. Trinidad continues to produce some good players because the Indo-Trinidadian community still plays cricket and almost nothing else. Who could have imagined an Indo West Indian fast bowler! This goes with economic properity. We can realistically expect be competitive against NZ and soon Bangladesh will crush us. A bitter pill but this is a symptom of the better quality of life in the Caribbean. Jamaican track stars train locally and all the football teams are stronger thanks to these changes. West Indies should have a football team and one olympic team if we want to bring back the pride.

  • on January 24, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    West Indies cricket is in the doldrums.Top management need changes.They only talk what is happening and does not try to correct the situation.They are paid to do a job ,but failed miserably.

    Sammy is an all-rounder,not a captain .He palys cricket and enjoy himself ,not captaining the team as expected.Captains should have certain behaviour ,not like Sammy's.We need an approved test cricketer/ leader of men ,not boys. E.g --Sarwan,Kirk Edwards,V.Permaul. We need a coach who is a proven test cricketer as well, not a below average player.A coach should not tell a player how he should be playing.A player is picked based on his ability to do whatever he is done already.So selectors,whoever you are ,let us get some good team selection this coming seasons to follow and get West Indies cricket going uphill.

  • SNIFFLEATHER on January 23, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    As short term leader, I would appoint Ramdin to lead the Test XI. This XI needs to comprise players suited to the longer - and only TRUE form of the game. The T20 and ODI squads need to be considered but cannot garner as much attention as the test team. Therefore, choose a separate captain (DJ Bravo retained perhaps), select players suited to that format - and never let them near the test team. Likewise, the young test players should never play T20 - at any level. Regionally, some fine young players are breaking through, so all is not lost - provided they are handled correctly. Speaking of the fast bowlers, Jerome Taylor's return does indeed offer hope - provided he still bowls with the pace and accuracy he used to. Ronsford Beaton is a potential world beater, but this young man needs very careful management - DO NOT EXHAUST HIM WITH T20 CRICKET! He really could become another Ambrose, as stated not so long ago by Yuvraj Singh when he played against him. Cummins+Johnson also offer hope

  • InsideHedge on January 21, 2014, 23:12 GMT

    @Dhar40: Excellent comments, very insightful. I agree.

  • on January 21, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    Deonarine and Best are at the end of the line ? Nobody told the WI cricket board...wasn't Best given a central contract recently. Also Shane Shillingford whose future in cricket right now does not look rosy ? Recently the names of Sarwan and even Nash were touted as having a possible return tot he side. Both men are in their 30's and bringing them back would be a retrograde step. Select a young team and build them up so that in say 5 years they will develop into top level players. Who but Sammy ? Who else but WI would persist in player who cannot justify his place in the team on a consistent basis ? By all means select a young player (SA did it!!!!) and provide him with the necessary training and support to mould him into a Test captain. In these days of science and psychology in sport captains are not just born but are also shaped into the role.

  • Batmanian on January 21, 2014, 19:53 GMT

    Do WI even have a pace academy? If not, they need one. If they do, they need a different one.

  • USIndianFan on January 21, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    1. By far Sammy is the best captain that the Windies have available. The Windies have good players - they don't seem to remain focused. Not sure why Gayle has not performed. The management had a good thing going and an up-and-coming team - and then decided to tinker with the leadership role. The consequences are there for all to see. Give Sammy a second round, let him keep his team. Focus on results more and playing leader-tag less.

  • on January 21, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    I have been a great west indian fans and supported them even when they played Inida. Who can forget the greats and Viv is still my hero.. The present west indian side is all brawn and no brains. No team in the world is so consistent in repeating the same mistakes over and over again especially in tests where in India & NZ they did not seem interested t complete the 5 days. Like Tony said no good players are in the horizon also.. very sad and upset to see the great team flounder like this.

  • sajeeshms3 on January 21, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    As of now, Sammy is the best option for leading West Indies in all formats. In tests, his batting has improved and his bowling is economical to keep pressure on batsmen which will help other bowlers to pick wickets. Don't expect him to pick more than 3-4 wickets in a test match. A player like him is very important to balance any team. No arguments on his place in ODI and T20 teams. He is capable of Winning matches with bat wand ball. My Teams: Test: Gayle, Kieran Powell, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul, Ramdin (wk), Sammy (c), Rampaul, Raoch, Narine, Holder (Bench: Permaul/ Taylor/ Brathwaite/ Samuels) (Both Ramdin and Sammy should improve their batting)

    ODI: Gayle, Charles, Darren Bravo, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Pollard, Ramdin (wk), Sammy (c), Rampaul, Narine, Roach (Bench: Dwayne Smith, Holder, Badree, Simmons)

    T20I: Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Darren Bravo, Charles (wk), Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Pollard, Sammy (c), Roach, Narine, Holder (Bench: Rampaul, Badree, Simmons, Russel)

  • on January 21, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    Dj bravo is the best leader.

  • Dhar40 on January 21, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    West Indies are doing as well as can be expected. The Caribbean is now a developed region Barbados is officially a developed country, TnT, St.Lucia and Antigua are close behind. When we were poor little islands our boys played cricket all day and on every street corner. Now that we are developed the whole scene is different. This dynamic is particular true in Barbados and Antigua. Trinidad continues to produce some good players because the Indo-Trinidadian community still plays cricket and almost nothing else. Who could have imagined an Indo West Indian fast bowler! This goes with economic properity. We can realistically expect be competitive against NZ and soon Bangladesh will crush us. A bitter pill but this is a symptom of the better quality of life in the Caribbean. Jamaican track stars train locally and all the football teams are stronger thanks to these changes. West Indies should have a football team and one olympic team if we want to bring back the pride.

  • on January 21, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    I am sorry to say this, but West Indies's performance has not improved at all after the retirements of Ambrose and Walsh. They have continued to struggle ever since, rarely showing a glimpse of what they once were. Lara, and later Chanderpaul were the only exceptional performers, the rest being decent or just mediocre; many were even worse. Sarwan had a lot of potential at one stage in his career, but I believe he's finished now. Gayle is a great ODI player but nothing really special in tests. None of the bowlers since 2001 has held his spot for a lengthy period of time. Dillon, Pedro Collins, Drakes, Lawson, Darren Powell, Edwards, Best, Jerome Taylor, etc. were/are all very average. Roach showed a lot of promise, but he hasn't lived up to the expectations. To be honest, I don't see a really good future for the Windies.

  • everfaithful77 on January 21, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    Well put together Mr. Cozier. I agree with about all your positions and recommendations. Question: Is anyone in the WICB taking note of these SENSIBLE comments ? Darren SAMMY has given his best to Windies cricket as player and captain with some level of success. Dwayne BRAVO was handed the captaincy of the ODI squad. However I believe the team has reached crossroads marked by the recent heavy defeats in tests and limited overs cricket. A NEW LEADER and NEW COACH is necessary to take the West Indies team to a higher level. This is my opinion. Dinesh RAMDIN stands out as the right man for the job at this time having captained both Windies and Trinidad & Tobago with some degree of success. No time should be wasted by WICB in appointing a new skipper for tests and ODI's; Ramdin would make an excellent choice. Sammy should retain the captaincy of T20 team having successfully lead the Windies to the World T20 championship. Windies also need FITNESS/CONDITIONING COACH like Denis WAITE.

  • Rally_Windies on January 21, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    Screw the WI team....

    changes must be made from the BOARD level 1st .....

    I'd quicker play for America or Canada than wast my time playing for the WI ....

  • on January 21, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    Mr.Tony Cozier, DARREN SAMMY is still the best bet to Captain the West Indies team. He is one of the strongest and the toughest West Indian bloke still is ir-replaceable than any of the present bunch playing in Test/50Overs or t20. Even the dynamic Chris Gayle unable to perform for his country, what he had performed in the last IPL-2013 with his blistering. Late call up in the last IPL-2013 by Sunrise Hyderabad for Darren Sammy proved his mettle with batting bowling and fielding performance, I am still for Darren Sammy as a Captain for the WINDIES. Hope SELECTORS keeps faith in him a very much DEDICATED player.

  • Shongololo on January 21, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    I'd suggest that the WI problem is not Darren Sammy but rather the fact that they have only one Darren Sammy. Sure, he's a little limited as a true Test cricketer but he has the right attitude, he has pride and passion, he gives it his all and leaves nothing on the field. Sadly, that can't be said for the vast majority who've represented this once-proud team in recent years - they're mostly happy-go-lucky prima donnas, more interested in being mercenaries on the iniquitous T20 circuit, more concerned with their grooming, image and jewellery than in their performances. Get more people with commitment, passion and pride and you'll be halfway towards rectifying the problem.

  • mrhamilton on January 21, 2014, 3:33 GMT

    It's gotten so bad I find myself playing a game asking which one batsmen and which one bowler of the golden era of windies cricket would I put in this team if I had a time machine? I go for Vic Richards and Courtney walsh

  • TryHarder on January 21, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    I find it incredible that we have not heard a word from WICB concerning the terrible condition of our cricket team Mr Cozier analysis is correct, but very sad Will the Board please say something to offer fans a little hope? You dare not allow the ship to sink deeper Stop worrying about your jobs. do the necessary and your jobs will be secure Thank you for responding quickly

  • Thegimp on January 21, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    I've been told and seen stories from long ago Images black and white and tales full of colour They came to foe men lead by Richie Benaud And left a nations hearts so much the fuller

    The cast was set by men harder than steel Gentlemen all and all quick with a grin They came to our shores with vigour quite real Without hope, but with hope a chance they might win

    When the dust settled, with tests that were tied Weeks bowling at Sobers, Kanhai and Worrell A hero's farewell a nation's eyes never dried Calypso Kings had been born with souls colour floral

    The teams then that followed with Lloyd at the helm Cemented the legend and oh what a sight The Calypso Kings were Neptune Gods from the realm Bowler and batsmen still wake sweating from fright

    Watching Garner and Marshall, Holding and Croft Richards, and Lloyd, Dujon, Greenidge and Haynes All Pirate King swagger with heads held aloft Holding the light, playing different games

  • mrhamilton on January 21, 2014, 3:06 GMT

    Sammy is the best leader they have and despite his stats he can turn a game with bat and his bowling builds pressure if nothing else.so many talented youngsters were tried out in the early 2000s and these names still dominate today even tho collectively they led Windies to the abyss....I'm talking Samuels,Gayle,dj bravo,j Taylor,f Edwards,t best,ramdin,sarwan,deonarine.for the short term 2-4 years Gayle,Samuels,dj bravo ,sarwan , are needed the rest should be discarded and under Sammy ,youngsters need to be tried out like the other batch were in the early 2000s. Bravo jnr, Narine and roach must play every test.and for now the best team played e.g. Gayle,Sarwan,bravo jnr,chanderpaul,Samuels,bravo snr,ramdin,Sammy,roach,narine, and a new fast bowler

  • gtbadboy57 on January 21, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    the problem with the west indies is they have to get rid of gibson the guy is an idiot when you telling a player he only playing because the other guy is sick the next person is butts

  • on January 21, 2014, 0:01 GMT

    Its gong to be the same old, same old - gibson, the coach and sammy the captain. No amount of suggestions and changing of the guards - cozier and the rest of the disgruntled fans is going to do anything. Its you the cricket fans who have to seize the iniative and enact a change. Its time the fans in the west indies stay away from the matches. boycott the games. You have the power in your support.

  • JoshFromJamRock on January 20, 2014, 22:47 GMT

    Its not the players. Its the selectors.

    We have quality bowlers in Roach, Rampaul, Narine, Miller, and Holder. These five can play all formats. Badree & Santokie can T20 specialists for now. The rest are not ready.

    We have quality batsmen in Chanderpaul, Samuels, Gayle, Bravo jr, and Powell. These six can play all formats. Sarwan & Brathwaith should be Test specialists. Simmonds & Smith should be limited-over specialists. They rest are not ready.

    We have "decent" allrounders in Dj Bravo, Sammy, Russell and Pollard. They all can bat but only two (preferably Bravo & Sammy) at should play at any one time in any format. Pollard should become a pure batsman, Russell should become more consistent.

    We only have two keepers in Ramdin & Fletcher. Walton, despite the hype, is utterly worthless. Charles can't keep period. Ramdin for Test/ODI at No 6., Fletcher for ODI/T20 as opening partner to Gayle.

    What the players lack is discipline, while the selectors lack common sense.

  • wizzla on January 20, 2014, 21:58 GMT

    Cricket is more that just a game, it's a tradition and a war of character. the Aussies are not enthused about playing some young caribbean boy, they must earn their respect like Lara did. making every bowler cherish a lara wicket. until our players develop that mentality WI cricket is just a ket-chi shubbie (informal cricket in Jamaica). Have autograph from Gayle and a few players like Sarwan but when i saw some of these new players signed my last bat i was there wondering whether to erase it or cross my finger that they will become a legend some day -_- still wondering if i should!

  • on January 20, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    Well word had gotten back to the aribbean that the players fought in the nets. Best bowled a beemer at the younger Bravo, Sammy got involved and the elder Bravo hit Sammy with his bat.

  • jimmyvida on January 20, 2014, 21:55 GMT

    I, for one, had second, third and fourth thoughts about Sammy as captain. He deports himself admirably on and off the field. Compared to some of his possible replacements, his figures are quite good. At the present time I do not think WI can present appoint someone better. Though, there should be many better candidates in the Caribbean. Presently, no one stands out.

  • PACERONE on January 20, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    Sammy is right we cannot continue like this.The selectors and coach has to go.I am suggesting that Jeffrey Dujon be given the coaching job and he can select his bowling fielding and bowling coach.Jimmy Adams would of been a good choice,but W.I management wanted someone they could control.Our bowling has not improved and our batting has regressed.When we have talented batsmen who keep getting out making the same mistakes and making a good looking 20-30 is not good enough.These players should be replaced.Deonarine was picked for NZ a country noted for swing,would Johnathan Carter not been a better pick?We need young batsmen that do not continously give their wickets away.I have never seen batsmen that hit the ball in the air so often...sometimes directly to the only man in the direction they are hitting.No one ever got caught on the boundary from a ball hit on the ground.Run the first run quickly you might get two runs instead of one.Now they are about to strangle young Brathwaithe.

  • on January 20, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    Shiv is 40 in August so hell be going pretty soon but Gayle and Samuels still have time left in them - Test team should be Gayle, Powell, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul (for another year or so), Samuels, Pollard, Ramdin, Sammy ( only because he is captain), Jerome Taylor, Roach and Narine

  • mrhamilton on January 20, 2014, 20:01 GMT

    @social khan are u for real,how are "Gayle,Sarwan,Samuels,j taylor and Dwayne bravo"s " presence indicative to you of a "bright" Windies future if they "can sort out leadership and management issues prudently".my dear fellow we are in 2014 now not 2003 those pool of players have never managed to achieve anything for Windies cricket at test and world cup level. Gayle and sarwan have decent personal stats but they never won a series for Windies.chandrapaul is 39 fyi and can't go on for much longer. Sammy for all his lack of talent is the best leader out there.he has had the best results as captain.in the short term Sammy must stay captain and the best test side must be put out and guys like best,rampaul ,f Edwards,discarded for good and Samuels,bravo snr,Taylor given a last chance.my team Gayle,bravo jnr,sarwan,Samuels,chandrapaul,bravo snr,ramdin,Sammy,j taylor,roach,narine.

  • Orangetable on January 20, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    Windies cricket has finished. None of the players seem to care and haven`t really cared for a long time going back to Lara`s disastrous reign as captain. Let the Islands go their own way!

  • Frayninho21 on January 20, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    Test captain should be Denesh Ramdin and Kieron Pollard (once recovered from his footballing knee injury) should be the ODI and T20 captain. The West Indies need to move on (in tests) from the Gayle, Sarwan, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo era and look to the future. A Test squad of: Brathwaite, K. Powell, K. Edwards, DM Bravo, Chanderpaul, Carter, Ramdin, Narine, Shillingford (technical issues notwithstanding) Roach, Rampaul, Holder should be selected for the next test series at home to NZ and allowed to develop over the following 12-18 months. Players like Cummins, Delorn Johnson, Sheldon Cottrell, Nicholas Pooran and Adrian Barath should be kept in and around the squad to further develop towards playing tests. I'd encourage the likes of Gayle, DJ Bravo and Samuels to continue playing ODI's and T20's for the West Indies and review their positions after the 2015 World Cup.

  • delboy on January 20, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    Continuing my previous point. England are currently in a quandry like the WI following their recent Aussies thrashing they have now lost the ODI with their captain and coach's positions being questioned. They will start a merry go around to replace the scapegoats. Can WI afford Flower? Is WI preparing to sent England sinking further when the set foot in the WI?

  • Speng on January 20, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    On the issue of Captaincy, the captain should be a person who would definitely be on the team on a consistent basis (long term) if he were not captain and has the experience and leadership skills. I can't comment on the second but for the first it would seem as if Darren Bravo or Ramdin are the choices, perhaps Samuels. Gayle is likely to retire soon, is injury prone and probably doesn't have the 2nd aspect. Bringing Dwayne Bravo in as test captain has the same objection as Sammy so there is no improvement there.

    As an aside in the last 3 yrs Ramdin is averaging 44.3 in 14 matches so I don't understand the anti Ramdin sentiment.

    Our players need to develop technique, fitness, and professional attitude which the current FC/List A program in the WI isn't fostering. Either WI need to develop something in house (academies etc) and/or help players get the opportunities abroad. People forget many of the greats of the 80s/90s played county cricket which helped their skills greatly.

  • on January 20, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    I can empathize with WI cricket fans having seen once world dominant Indian hockey team struggling to find answers to same questions that WI cricket team is aspiring to. When they were dominant, they had the world at their feet and everybody thought they had to turn up to win. But the dramatic collapses of Indian hockey and WI cricket coincided with rest of the world using technology to play a more scientific game. But occasional wins by WI cricket team and Indian hockey team and the sense of history and tradition hopefully will see Indian hockey and WI cricket past this dark phase.

  • akshay_heble on January 20, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    @cricketmaan: I think if West Indies break up, then that will be even worse for the Caribbean region because if say Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana play as separate nations I don't think they will be test cricket worthy and will be hammered by the other test nations probably even by Bangladesh. Maybe in the 80's it would have been okay because for instance Barbados had openers like Haynes, Greenidge and even bowlers like Marshall and Garner. so they would have been a decent test team back then. So if they break up now I think ICC might even allocate them at the associate level to first prove themselves, and if that happens it will be difficult to come back to test cricket at all.

    So I feel west indies should play as one nation and instead administrators should take the right steps to get the team back on its feet, rather than playing as separate nations because that will really be a step backward and spell doom for the sport in the Caribbean region

  • rnarayan on January 20, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    I honestly don't know who is the answer, and as one who manages a company, maybe the answer is two people who have the skills and work in Tandem. Think back to India in the 60s.. Tiger Pataudi pulled a diverse side together and gave them belief, while being the best bat and fielder So.. there is a a basis.. a leader, a bat/bowler/fielder..who can pull a side tgether and give them pride.. Gayle/ Chanderpaul/Bravo/ Rampaul..Can they pull a side together> It is for them to do....Successs will breed support from the guys who run cricket.. and money which will pay for the infrastructure..unfortunately thats the way it works.. Ask the ICC! Or Pataudi (RIP).. who set India on the road..

  • shahzaibq on January 20, 2014, 16:00 GMT

    To all who are suggesting that bringing in Holding, Garner, LLoyd et al will help: No amount of coaching will help the West Indians until they do away with their own apathy for international cricket, fitness, training etc. Sammy, for all his limitations has shown that dedication, sincerity and hard work can bear fruit. I don't see the same level of application in others with far more talent and skill. T20 super-stardom has gone to some players' heads, and the newer ones are striving for it, instead of trying to make a mark on the international Test scene. Until this attitude changes, performances won't.

  • Roysingh1972 on January 20, 2014, 15:55 GMT

    Not one of these players was in the test team Mr. Cozier quote, There are a host of others who have already made their names with the A team - the left-hand batsmen Jonathan Carter and Leon Johnson, the quick bowlers Miguel Cummins and Delorn Johnson. Under Jeffery Stolmeyer, WI claim 2 world cups, now we have selectors, who pick players with the worst stats, while the ones who should have a chance to be pick, is not even look at. The West Indies cricket board has become ( the laughing stock ) of cricket, it is like a university who does not know how to produce great students, and the one they have, they fight with. We all "the fans" had enough, this been going on for years now. People in the Caribbean rather watch

  • on January 20, 2014, 15:52 GMT

    With the likes of Gayle, Darren Bravo, Sarwan, Samuels, Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, J Taylor, K Pollard, K Roach and S Narine in pool the future of WI cricket is bright if they sort out leadership and management issues prudently.

  • CricketMaan on January 20, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    Would it prudent to let Windes play thier Regional teams rather than this united front which seems to suffer from 'team unity'?

  • akshay_heble on January 20, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    The problem west indies is facing in my mind is that they lack passion. It was so evident in the series of india. They are not passionate as the greats of the past. There are many issues: 1) There is very little money in west indies cricket as compared to india, which is why many of the cricketers prefer playing in ipl than for west indies. For eg Chris Gayle is whole different player when he plays for RCB as compared when he plays for WI 2)I have noticed West Indian players enjoy the short formats more than the Test crickets. If they replicate that same passion in 5 day cricket, they can be a force to reckon 3) Clive Lloyd had instilled unity in the team. He made the players believe that they were playing as a nation and not just as a cricket team. He gave them a sense of purpose. The players dont play with so much pride since they are not representing their respective nations. On paper there is talent. But proper steps should be taken to get the best out of these players.

  • anton111 on January 20, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    Pollard for captain across all 3 formats. Destructive batsman, brilliant fielder, useful bowler.

  • on January 20, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    Saddened by the state of the Windies team. I was hoping they had turned a corner after the World T20 win in Sri Lanka. But they clearly havent overcome those days. I dont think its a matter of talent since there are a bunch of talented Windies players - Batsmen and Bowlers. The WICB should enroll the greats from the past team - Lloyd, Richards, Sobers, Haynes, Holding, Roberts, Garner, Walsh, Ambrose as coaches for domestic and the international sides to hone the raw talent in the country. The glory days of the 70s and the 80s can be reached by learning basic skills from these all-time greats.

  • flickspin on January 20, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    albert dominique thomas

    thier is a strong correlation between money and olympic medals

    carribean nations that get gold at the olympics is shear natural talent such as usain bolt

    the same carribean shear natural talent that has produced, gary sobers,viv richards,curtly ambrose,courntney walsh, lance gibbs, brian lara,clive lloyd malcom marshall, michael holding,joel garner who probably had little coaching.

    in this day and age coaching and fitness helps.

    if each nations government spent the money on acadmies( i know it would be hard for government to spend $500000 on sport when thier are bigger problems in the country) but the they would get results alot quicker.

    the academies would last 30 years, the academies should have gyms, indoor nets, full time coaches.

    and any talented player would be discovered at a early age, and would have mentors.

    ex west indies players can travel from academy to academy mentor and coach youngsters.

    developing test players is that easy, it takes time

  • on January 20, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    Test:- K. Powell, K. Brathwaite, K. Edwards, Darren Bravo, S. Chanderpaul, K Pollard (C), D Ramdin, J. Holder, K. Roach, S. Narine, M. Cummins (M Samuels, L Simmons, J Carter)

    ODI:- Johnson Charles, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy (C), Sunil Narine, Nikita Miller, K. Roach (Dwayne Smith, J. Holder, J. Carter)

    T20:- Christopher Gayle, Johnson Charles, Dwayne Smith, M. Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy (C), J. Holder, S. Narine, S. Badree (N. Miller, K. Santokie, A. Russell)

  • on January 20, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    All of these suggestions cost money that this region can't afford to spend.

  • on January 20, 2014, 10:47 GMT

    Yes, West Indies needs a major overhaul. As Cozier says we need to know what happened exactly first before we pick any teams because it can see some of the big name players losing their spot. I think the attitudes of players are poor and it may take a drastic societal change for us to get back to where we were, do we need to fight for Independence or Universal adult suffrage all over again? I am a Sammy fan but I will keep him as ODI and 50 over captain only. My Test Captain is the man who has three ODI centuries batting at NO 6 under pressure. My pick is the man who was retained by Mumbai because he is someone special and brings a difference on and off the field. He won the hearts of bajans when he captained the Tridents in the CPL. Make Kieron Powell Test Captain. We need that type of player to take us forward. A Viv... K. Powell, K. Brathwaite, K. Edwards, D Bravo, S. Chanderpaul, K Pollard, D Ramdin, J. Holder, K. Roach, S. Narine, M. Cummins (M Samuels, L Simmons, J Carter)

  • jw76 on January 20, 2014, 10:38 GMT

    I think West Indies should never get rid of Darren Sammy until they are quite sure they have somebody better. He has given so much to West Indian cricket, plays the game in the right spirit, catches very well and gives all he has on and off the field. Men like him should be valued and not discarded without extremely good reason. I think he is very well respected among players worldwide.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on January 20, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    WI needs to drop head coach and WK ramdin. Both are worst.

  • VisBal on January 20, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    1. Conduct an Argus Review type report. 2. Widen the talent pool. Create separate pools of players for T20, ODIs, and Tests with no overlap. This will make the players specialists in their chosen discipline and they will develop the skills they need to excel. 3. Increase the experience level by organising more A and junior tours. Also, have touring international sides play against the islands. 4. Spread experience and work on technical flaws by having the international players turn out for their islands between international commitments. 5. Pick a young captain for the future. This is an ideal time to do what South Africa did with Graeme Smith. Pick a player who is projected to have a long career ahead of him and make him captain. Build the team around him. In the absence of many seniors or an established captain, this is as good a time as any. But he must be supported by the Board. 5. Bring in the former greats to mentor the players during the off-season or between series.

  • hsk-cricket on January 20, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    I think WI squad should be this:-

    TESTS Gayle. Darren Bravo, Sarwan, Samuels, Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo (C), D Ramdin (wk), S Narine, K Roach, Rampaul, F Edwards, J Taylor, K Powell, D Bishoo, T Best

    ODI Gayle. Darren Bravo, Sarwan, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo (C), K Pollard, D Ramdin (wk), S Narine, K Roach, Rampaul, F Edwards, J Taylor, D Sammy, D Bishoo, A Russell

    T20 Gayle. J Charles, Darren Bravo, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo (C), D Ramdin (wk), D Sammy, S Narine, K Roach, Rampaul, F Edwards, J Taylor, D Bishoo, A Russell, Dwayne Smith

    Best (in bowl), A Russell (in batting & bowling) need to imporove. Bishoo needs to be given confidence. Darren Bravo should be made opener for both Tests and ODIs. Sarwan & the fast bowlers need to be backed.

  • Nuxxy on January 20, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    For immediate results, speak to Austrialian Shield sides and South African First Class teams. Arrange to have promising players take part. If you want to groom someone for leadership, or to play longer innings, to bat of bowl with more discipline, say so. Tell them, tell the management, coach and captain of the team they are going to. And then see which players respond - which players actually care about upping their game, and which players are happy to vacillate.

  • flickspin on January 20, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    the west indies should build acadmey on the main islands

    the west indies should build academy on trinidad at port of spain and san fernando

    build a academy on tobago at scarbourough

    build a academy on bridgetown on barbados maybe build one on the north of the island at speightstown

    build a academy on jamaica at montego bay and kingston or could also build academy on the center of the island at mandeville

    build academy on guyana at georgetown, new amsterdam and other areas in the west and in the interior

    have 50 of the best player for the under 15's, under 17's and under 19's

    if 1 player per academy goes on to play test the academy has paid for itself

    it will probably cost $ 500000 to build each academy and $50000 to run, maybe each government could spend the money on the academies with help from the icc.

    the west indies should seek the expertise of other cricket academies and the of experience of ex players.

    something as extreme as my proposal is needed to turn the tide

  • trigga315 on January 20, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    The problem for West Indies is they are have had it out for two of very good batsmen in regards to the test match scene in Sarwan, Bravo and Gayle (more due to putting 20/20 first) and the fact that they are not generating enough good bowlers.

    Statistically Sammy is their best fast bowler (who played against NZ) with an average of 35 as Gabriel and Best average 38 and 40 respectively. Last game they played 7 players who averaged less than 30 and only one bowler who averages better than 30 @ 29.7. When Roach comes back this will look much better.

    Also Narine who is clearly their best spinner after improving immensely due to 20/20 and ODI cricket needs to play basically every game.

  • flickspin on January 20, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    you can fit 166 west indies into the population of india and has half the wealth of australia, west indies needs academy on each island

    each island on the windward islands needs a academy

    grenada needs a academy, grenadines needs a academy, st vincent needs a academy,st lucia needs a academy, martinuque needs a academy,dominica needs a academy

    each island in the leeward island needs a academy

    guadeloupe needs a academy, montserrat needs a academy, st kitts needs a academy, nevis needs a academy, antigua needs a academy, barbuda needs a academy, anguila needs a academy, british virgin islands needs a academy

    have 50 of the best under 15's, under 17's and under 19's, and the academy runs 12 months a year, playing practice matches working on technique, and finding fast bowlers

    all you need is 1 player per age group per academy to be test standard and the west indies will improve.

    also build academies on west indies division 2 islands like bahamas, belize suriname,cuba and so.

  • flickspin on January 20, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    what the west indies do now to turn the tide, will show up 10 years from now.

    every island should have academy every single island in the leeward and winward islands, and the big island like jaimaca, guyana and trinidad and tabago need 2-3 academies.

    the academies should have the best 50, under 15's, under 17's and under 19's on each island and the academy should run 12 months a year.

    the west indies can no longer rely on raw talent, talent with coaching expertise is now needed

    the west indies should create a west indies division 2 comprising of belize,bahamas,suriname, hispanoila( haiti & dominican republic), cuba and the turks and caicos islands and the dutch antilles.

    when thier standard improves add them to division 1.

    and they can supply players for the west indies.

    viv richards and curtly ambrose are from antigua, omari banks is from anguila, edgar davids is from suriname, thierry henri is from guadeloupe, so small Caribbean islands internation sports stars

  • Sir_Ivor on January 20, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    For one who has always looked up to the West Indies as the true cricketing country I feel very sad that things are in such disarray there. This despite having some really good players who are all pure athletes capable of thrashing the pretenders elsewhere. What they definitely need is someone inspirational and lucky to be captain. Someone like the great Frank Worrell used to be. Who was a great batsman and a very good bowler. And then he was an intellectual as well with the qualities of an eminent statesmen. Tony Cozier with his own long term association with West Indies would probably be the best man to decide who amongst those available are worthy of even a comparison with the great man. My own impression was that Darren Ganga could have been good if he had the ability to be a regular in the side on the basis of his cricketing skills. But I am not too sure considering the many talented young men coming up. It is important that such a man is highly respected in every way possible.

  • on January 20, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    West Indies cricket board will need to sack DDG Sammy as the test captain. He has hardly contributed with the bat in tests.

  • wdepoo on January 20, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    Great article as always by Mr. Cozier. WI cricket does need a regeneration. There are so many talented players in the West Indies. The best young players should be scouted and prepped. This is what the top teams do. They find the best talent, and groom them. The team is not going to be successful if we keep switching players. That is detrimental to team chemistry, and a young player's psyche.

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  • wdepoo on January 20, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    Great article as always by Mr. Cozier. WI cricket does need a regeneration. There are so many talented players in the West Indies. The best young players should be scouted and prepped. This is what the top teams do. They find the best talent, and groom them. The team is not going to be successful if we keep switching players. That is detrimental to team chemistry, and a young player's psyche.

  • on January 20, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    West Indies cricket board will need to sack DDG Sammy as the test captain. He has hardly contributed with the bat in tests.

  • Sir_Ivor on January 20, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    For one who has always looked up to the West Indies as the true cricketing country I feel very sad that things are in such disarray there. This despite having some really good players who are all pure athletes capable of thrashing the pretenders elsewhere. What they definitely need is someone inspirational and lucky to be captain. Someone like the great Frank Worrell used to be. Who was a great batsman and a very good bowler. And then he was an intellectual as well with the qualities of an eminent statesmen. Tony Cozier with his own long term association with West Indies would probably be the best man to decide who amongst those available are worthy of even a comparison with the great man. My own impression was that Darren Ganga could have been good if he had the ability to be a regular in the side on the basis of his cricketing skills. But I am not too sure considering the many talented young men coming up. It is important that such a man is highly respected in every way possible.

  • flickspin on January 20, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    what the west indies do now to turn the tide, will show up 10 years from now.

    every island should have academy every single island in the leeward and winward islands, and the big island like jaimaca, guyana and trinidad and tabago need 2-3 academies.

    the academies should have the best 50, under 15's, under 17's and under 19's on each island and the academy should run 12 months a year.

    the west indies can no longer rely on raw talent, talent with coaching expertise is now needed

    the west indies should create a west indies division 2 comprising of belize,bahamas,suriname, hispanoila( haiti & dominican republic), cuba and the turks and caicos islands and the dutch antilles.

    when thier standard improves add them to division 1.

    and they can supply players for the west indies.

    viv richards and curtly ambrose are from antigua, omari banks is from anguila, edgar davids is from suriname, thierry henri is from guadeloupe, so small Caribbean islands internation sports stars

  • flickspin on January 20, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    you can fit 166 west indies into the population of india and has half the wealth of australia, west indies needs academy on each island

    each island on the windward islands needs a academy

    grenada needs a academy, grenadines needs a academy, st vincent needs a academy,st lucia needs a academy, martinuque needs a academy,dominica needs a academy

    each island in the leeward island needs a academy

    guadeloupe needs a academy, montserrat needs a academy, st kitts needs a academy, nevis needs a academy, antigua needs a academy, barbuda needs a academy, anguila needs a academy, british virgin islands needs a academy

    have 50 of the best under 15's, under 17's and under 19's, and the academy runs 12 months a year, playing practice matches working on technique, and finding fast bowlers

    all you need is 1 player per age group per academy to be test standard and the west indies will improve.

    also build academies on west indies division 2 islands like bahamas, belize suriname,cuba and so.

  • trigga315 on January 20, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    The problem for West Indies is they are have had it out for two of very good batsmen in regards to the test match scene in Sarwan, Bravo and Gayle (more due to putting 20/20 first) and the fact that they are not generating enough good bowlers.

    Statistically Sammy is their best fast bowler (who played against NZ) with an average of 35 as Gabriel and Best average 38 and 40 respectively. Last game they played 7 players who averaged less than 30 and only one bowler who averages better than 30 @ 29.7. When Roach comes back this will look much better.

    Also Narine who is clearly their best spinner after improving immensely due to 20/20 and ODI cricket needs to play basically every game.

  • flickspin on January 20, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    the west indies should build acadmey on the main islands

    the west indies should build academy on trinidad at port of spain and san fernando

    build a academy on tobago at scarbourough

    build a academy on bridgetown on barbados maybe build one on the north of the island at speightstown

    build a academy on jamaica at montego bay and kingston or could also build academy on the center of the island at mandeville

    build academy on guyana at georgetown, new amsterdam and other areas in the west and in the interior

    have 50 of the best player for the under 15's, under 17's and under 19's

    if 1 player per academy goes on to play test the academy has paid for itself

    it will probably cost $ 500000 to build each academy and $50000 to run, maybe each government could spend the money on the academies with help from the icc.

    the west indies should seek the expertise of other cricket academies and the of experience of ex players.

    something as extreme as my proposal is needed to turn the tide

  • Nuxxy on January 20, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    For immediate results, speak to Austrialian Shield sides and South African First Class teams. Arrange to have promising players take part. If you want to groom someone for leadership, or to play longer innings, to bat of bowl with more discipline, say so. Tell them, tell the management, coach and captain of the team they are going to. And then see which players respond - which players actually care about upping their game, and which players are happy to vacillate.

  • hsk-cricket on January 20, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    I think WI squad should be this:-

    TESTS Gayle. Darren Bravo, Sarwan, Samuels, Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo (C), D Ramdin (wk), S Narine, K Roach, Rampaul, F Edwards, J Taylor, K Powell, D Bishoo, T Best

    ODI Gayle. Darren Bravo, Sarwan, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo (C), K Pollard, D Ramdin (wk), S Narine, K Roach, Rampaul, F Edwards, J Taylor, D Sammy, D Bishoo, A Russell

    T20 Gayle. J Charles, Darren Bravo, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo (C), D Ramdin (wk), D Sammy, S Narine, K Roach, Rampaul, F Edwards, J Taylor, D Bishoo, A Russell, Dwayne Smith

    Best (in bowl), A Russell (in batting & bowling) need to imporove. Bishoo needs to be given confidence. Darren Bravo should be made opener for both Tests and ODIs. Sarwan & the fast bowlers need to be backed.

  • VisBal on January 20, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    1. Conduct an Argus Review type report. 2. Widen the talent pool. Create separate pools of players for T20, ODIs, and Tests with no overlap. This will make the players specialists in their chosen discipline and they will develop the skills they need to excel. 3. Increase the experience level by organising more A and junior tours. Also, have touring international sides play against the islands. 4. Spread experience and work on technical flaws by having the international players turn out for their islands between international commitments. 5. Pick a young captain for the future. This is an ideal time to do what South Africa did with Graeme Smith. Pick a player who is projected to have a long career ahead of him and make him captain. Build the team around him. In the absence of many seniors or an established captain, this is as good a time as any. But he must be supported by the Board. 5. Bring in the former greats to mentor the players during the off-season or between series.