West Indies news May 28, 2010

'More embarrassment in store from West Indies' - Hilaire

Cricinfo staff

In a scathing criticism of West Indies cricket, Ernest Hilaire, the CEO of the region's cricket board, has said fans will have to endure more "embarrassment" in the years to come not merely due to the lack of quality cricketers coming through but also because of the overall attitude of players towards the game, with money and fame favoured over excellence. The decline of West Indies cricket, Hilaire added, was also a reflection of what, according to him, was the virtual irrelevance of the "notion of being West Indian" to the younger players.

"I listen to our players speak, and they speak of money, that's all that matters to them - instant gratification," Hilaire said during a panel discussion on the topic 'Nationalism and the Future of West Indies cricket' at the University of the West Indies in Barbados. "There's no sense of investing in the future coming from them. We are producing young people in the region that we expect, when they play cricket for the West Indies, to be paragons of virtue. That just won't happen.

"Sometimes when you speak to the players, you feel a sense of emptiness. The whole notion of being a West Indian, and for what they are playing has no meaning at all.

"They have not been brought up with a clear understanding of what it means, and its importance. But do we blame them?"

This change in attitude was a product of the wider societal ills in the Caribbean, Hilaire said. "Our cricketers are products of the failure of our Caribbean society, where money and instant gratification are paramount. We as a region have some real issues and problems that are producing young men in particular, that cannot dream of excellence. Excellence for them is about the bling, and the money they have."

There was no shortage of advice for improving the state of affairs in West Indies cricket, Hilaire said, but until there was the right infrastructure, the decline was bound to continue. "Until the High Performance Centre, as a structure of support that has been created now [in Barbados] to prepare the next generation, we will suffer a lot of embarrassments and a lot of awfulness, because our present cricketers are not prepared.

"I have listened to many past players, taxi drivers, immigration officers, and hotel barmen to name a few. All will give you advice on what to do with West Indies cricket. People ask me, 'What will you do about this team? They are an embarrassment'! I tell them you have about three more years of embarrassment still to witness."

Hilaire said there was little hope even in those who could take over the reins from the existing senior team. "I keep hearing from people, 'Fire those [current] guys, and bring in new ones!', but where is the new set coming from? Who are we going to bring in?

"Somebody said to me, 'Bring in the Under-19s. They came third at the Youth World Cup'. And I whispered that almost half of the Under-19 team could barely read or write. The simple fact is that we are producing cricketers who are not capable of being world-beaters in cricket. It's just a simple fact."

While acknowledging that there was talent coming through, Hilaire said there was a general failure in the transition to succeeding at the highest level. "We can win matches occasionally, but not consistently with what we have," he said. "It is not that we do not have the talent, but in today's cricketing world, having talent alone means absolutely nothing.

"For the last nine years, we have been chopping and changing. Between 2000 and 2009, the WICB has tried 59 new players in Test match cricket alone. We have put young men in the international arena only to be slaughtered, demoralised, dejected, and the development path they ought to take never really takes place."

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  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    Hilaire is absolutely right. The team seems to have no sense of pride for who they are playing for; if you don't have this essential, how far do you think you're going to get? As a fan of WI cricket, the team manages to disappoint me and millions of others who live outside the Caribbean (who sit up till 4 a.m) to watch their team slaughtered. I think West Indies cricket is used to it, they are used to being the football: being kicked around by the other teams so that they can score the goal for themselves. While the Windies are left beaten up and in the dumps-hey that's everyday news!

  • Nicola on May 31, 2010, 18:15 GMT

    Isn't the WICB responsible for the WI team selection? So how can the CEO insult the players that he (as part of the WICB) has selected to play in the past and keeps selecting again and again, regardless of performance & results? What does that say about the WICB members, their management, vision and goals concerning WI cricket? And to 'whisper' that some members of the under-19 team cannot read and write is malicious and counter-productive. Did Mr Hillaire consider remedial help for these cricketers whom he (and WICB) chose for the under-19 team or are they not interested in building a strong, well-rounded team? I can't believe that Mr Hillaire said these nasty things the day before the decisive 3rd One Day match. How did he expect the players to feel? Elated, confident and raring to go and win the match and maybe the series? Does the WICB think about the consequences of it's mouthing off? Or it's lack of positive words and action and support? What is the WICB doing FOR WI cricket?

  • Dummy4 on May 31, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    it's time the west indies players get paid on perfomance, we are fed-up.

  • imran on May 31, 2010, 8:40 GMT

    For Test- 1.C Gayle,2.S Chanderpaul,3.R Sarwan,4.W Hinds,5.D Ganga,6.D Bravo,7.D Ramdin,8.M Samules,9.A Barath,10.D Smith,11.F Edwards,12.D Powell,13.J Taylor,14.S Benn,15.G Tonge:: For ODI- 1.C Gayle,2.S Chanderpaul,3.R Sarwan,4.W Hinds,5.M Samules,6.D Bravo,7.D Ramdin,8.R Morton,9.D Smith,10.K Pollard,11.J Taylor,12.F Edwards,13.K Roach,14.R Rampaul,15.D Sammy:: For T20- 1.C Gayle,2.S Chanderpaul,3.R Sarwan,4.D Bravo,5.D Ramdin,6.D Smith,7.K Pollard,8.L Simmons,9.D Sammy,10.M Samules,11.S Benn,12.J Taylor,13.F Edwards,14.D Bernad jr,15.D Bravo jr,

  • bernard on May 31, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    Criticism comes natural for those who are frustrated by the dismal perfermance of the West Indies team time and time again. however, I am equally dismayed by mr. Hilaire's downright and nasty criticism of West Indies team and cricket structure in the region.Why do we have this arrogant, egotistical "am brighter than everyone else" at helm of our cricket?The failure of our cricket rest squarely on your shoulders.Yet, you get in front of the media and lashout at the very same guys you are chosen to lead.Embarrassing us by calling our future test players dumd "half of the under 19 players can't read or write". Do us in this region a favour mr. hilaire, RESIGN IMMEDIATELY.Let someone who have solutions and remedies, for our inadequateness, and can lead, bring us back to prominence in world cricket. Our cricketers need people who can make them hold their heads up high, not down in shame and embarrassment.Its obvious that you don't believe in our players and our cricketing future.LEAVE NOW.

  • Shahzan on May 30, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    I'm not a West Indian but I have seen the disastrous W.Indian team when all the teams of the time were scared to wrangle the Black Hurricane, a name given by Pakistani fans to the then W.Indian team because of her mastery over both the formats of cricket i.e., ODI and Test. They have been invincible for almost a decade under the veteran captaincy of C.Lloyd and V.I.Richards. I wish them revive the same phenomenal display of exquisite cricket.Brian Charles Lara, one of the all-time best batsmen tried to sustain the falling W.Indian team but the rest of the players didn't show the needed zeal and zest of the game.Somewhat they regained the lost luster but unfortunately their team's internal crisis didn't let them overcome the hostile flow of the happenings.Anyhow, the cricket fans are not fully disappointed. I should say, 'Every sable cloud has silver lining' and "If winter comes, can spring be far behind' Good Wishes to W.Indian team!!!

  • Max on May 30, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    To get players wanting to play for the West Indies and being proud of it, not for the money, but for the honour, a similar notion of the Australian Baggy Green could be put in place. Place importance of playing for your country on a symbol, the cap their team represents.

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2010, 3:35 GMT

    First and foremost you represent your country. Obviously everyone needs to earn to survive and playing for free is just not on. If you are demanding a huge salary and not delivering then you should be paid according to your perfomance. In Smith's case he would have to be paying back to the SA Cricket Board. If you were a plumber or a electrician and did shoddy work I'm pretty sure you would not get paid and would certainly not get called back to do another job.

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2010, 23:00 GMT

    i think he was right in some sense.cricket has gotten very scientific.so without a proper education system/background,players find it very hard to understand/see methods of coaching hence a negative attitude proceed.however,there are the exceptions to education eg chanderpaul who rose to the highest on the ranking.that speaks volume of the work ethics n dedication/commitment he has bestowed.another issue is when a player does well against lower teams,our commentators make these players become swell headed in public when the real test lies ahead with the higher ranked teams.i cant understand why players of calibre of narsingh ramdin n sarwan was allowed to play for so long in a bad patch.why couldnt the west indies pullthem out/drop them n get dowlin,nash n bravo who have shown good form on the Ateam in the senior team whilst sars,ramdin n narsingh get some organise training/coaching preparing for the test series but no we allow them to play on resulting in more failures.

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    The Board the Selectors and players are responsible for the sad predicament of W.I cricket is there a code of conduct and a dress code for our players there have been open acts of indicipline by a certain player and that started under Richardsons captaincy that same player flew back home while on tour of England without the knowledge of management on tour the president when contected made excuises for him there was a fight in the hotel in S.Africa between that same player and a team mate a knife was used another player got between them to stop the fight he received a wound that player had to fly back home because of who one of the player was no action was taken there was a cover up. The selectors have been very nationalstick they have not function in the best intrest of W.I cricket. With the exception of Dawyne Bravo and Sammy these players show no pride in what they do. We need a captain who can inspiere and motivate our team I ask the question is it well in the camp? I wonder.

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