'West Indies are in a very bad state' - Croft April 3, 2007

Lara under pressure to keep captaincy

Cricinfo staff



Brian Lara's captaincy is not up to scratch, according to fans and former players © Getty Images

West Indies' dismal efforts in the Super Eights have brought calls for change from fans and experts alike. Michael Holding suggested Brian Lara should quit as captain and Colin Croft called the situation "desperate" after the home team lost three in a row, including Sunday's 113-run defeat by Sri Lanka.

Croft said Sri Lanka inflicted the most comprehensive thrashing the West Indies had endured in a long time. "It was terrible and like all the West Indian supporters and former players, this hurts terribly," Croft wrote in the Guyana Chronicle.

"I don't think that the West Indies have anything special about them now. I cannot remember seeing a team look so poor on the field. Times are now decidedly desperate for the West Indies cricket team, and this has nothing to do with the World Cup. The West Indies team, based on what I saw on Sunday, is in a very bad state."

Holding said there was only one course of action that would bring positive change. "Lara has to step aside, not necessarily as a player, but as captain," he said. "He appears bigger than the game. He has got whatever he has wanted.

"We haven't seen an improvement when he has taken over the captaincy. Everyone knows he's a great batsman but that's not what it takes to lead a team. I can't even say he is a good captain tactically."

Croft agreed that Lara's leadership was probably not working. "It is very obvious that the West Indies players are either not reacting positively to the captain or that they are not as good as the people that have selected them think," he wrote.

Fans have also joined in the calls to take the reins away from Lara after their hopes were raised by an unbeaten run in the group matches. "What we are getting is simply not good enough," Lindon Albert, a fan who watched the latest West Indies loss from a bar in Bridgetown, told AFP.

"I don't see them winning another game. This is over for us. Lara should go, he should retire from the game. He is a great batsman but his leadership is weak."

Timothy Daniel, another supporter in the same bar, also wants Lara gone. "In all my days I've never seen us as bad as this - we can't take this any more," he shouted across the room. "Time for a change. We have to get rid of Lara. He looks lost, he looks rusty."

Sean Clarke, who listened to the game from Brown's Beach, outside Bridgetown, was more philosophical. "Another rough ride," he said. "I'm not surprised. I sort of expected us to lose. We're not a strong team."

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