West Indies Barbados post mortem April 7, 2004

Richards: some players are 'going backwards'

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Viv Richards: 'I am a little bit worried ... you can play a lot but some have not learnt a lot' © Getty Images

Viv Richards, the chairman of selectors, has admitted that he is running out of patience with the speed of progress of some members of the West Indies side. Richards's anger during West Indies' second-innings collapse was clearly captured by television cameras, and after the defeat in Barbados he fumed that some players were "going backwards".

Richards was still unhappy more than 24 hours later. "We are at a stage now where we are not learning as quickly as we should," he said in an interview on the local radio station, the Voice of Barbados.

"When you have individuals who have been given enough opportunities, and opportunities in my view for you to be competitive, I haven't seen individuals learning, and learning rapidly the way I think they should in order for them to go forward," he said. "I am a little bit worried. You can play a lot but some have not learnt a lot.

"We have found some individuals who can play the game," he continued. "We need individuals who are clear thinkers of what needs to be done and to work around how it should be done. We have some individuals who remain totally stagnant in terms of the progress of learning and moving forward. Ability is going to take you so far, the thinking factor and all that stuff comes into play and if you cannot do that on a regular basis it means that you are not ready for this."

Richards added that the Antigua Test, which starts on Saturday (April 10), is a final opportunity for some players to redeem themselves. "You allow yourself to be disgraced, if you may call it that particular word, you have an opportunity, if given an opportunity to get it done," he explained. "You can help to pick yourself up."