The decline of West Indies cricket September 28, 2007

Sobers calls for 'drastic action'

Anmarie Bailey



Sir Garfield Sobers: 'Players have to start thinking about the game as a team game and go out there and try and play the best for their team and forget self performances' © Getty Images
It's time for "something very drastic" to be done to West Indies cricket, to get it back on track. The strong words came yesterday from Barbados' sole living National Hero, iconic cricketing allrounder Sir Garfield Sobers.

After participating in the opening ceremony of the National Heroes Gallery and Museum of Parliament, Sir Garry spoke to The Nation about the beleagured team and its lacklustre performance in recent years.

Admonishing the team, he said change was vital. "They have to start thinking of West Indies cricket and start concentrating on how they are going to get it back to where it used to be," he charged. Although he recognised "it's not going to be easy", he chided the players about their attitudes.

"Players have to start thinking about the game as a team game and go out there and try and play the best for their team and forget self performances," Sir Garry emphasised. He also reminded players of the fans and for whom they were playing. "Cricket in the West Indies is very important to the people in the West Indies, even if the players don't think it's important to them."

Offering a solution for the team's poor showing recently, he said: "Getting the players they think have passed involved is key. A lot of the young [players] think players like myself, Sir Everton Weekes and Wes Hall have passed and have nothing to pass on, but that is where they are wrong."

He underscored the wealth of experience the icons have and suggested tapping into that unused resource. "I think we have more to pass on. We've been through it, we know what it's like, we know how to build a team and what a team needs to win."

Although disappointed with the current state of affairs of cricket in the region, Sir Garry was hopeful. "I think it will come around to that. The past will come around to the present."

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