Floyd Reifer September 2, 2009

Reifer revels in his opportunity

Stand-in though he is, West Indies' new captain is determined to play a big role in the future of West Indies cricket
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"Make sure you get this in," said Floyd Reifer, as the interview drew to a close. "I want the people in the Caribbean to know that this is a West Indies team that is dedicated to West Indies cricket. This is not a second-string team. We will do the six million people of the Caribbean proud at the ICC [Champions Trophy] tournament."

Ordinarily a captain rallying his team would create not so much as a ripple in international cricket. From Durban to Dhaka, such expressions of confidence - whether heartfelt or contrived - are considered de rigeur. Another tick for the sports psychologists; another soundbite for the media.

But when the call to arms is sounded in the midst of intense industrial action and directed towards a hastily cobbled-together collection of wizened veterans and raw rookies, the comments assume far greater importance. Around the time mediation talks between WIPA and the WICB broke down on Tuesday, Reifer, the West Indies' 37-year-old stand-in captain, risked the ire of the union and its striking players by insisting the show must go on and expressing pride in his new-look squad.

"The fans have a right to feel bad about some of the things that are going on, but there must be cricket," Reifer told Cricinfo. "The game cannot stop because of other issues. I do not listen to the negative talk, I don't read negative things. What I know is that we have a group of players here right now who are happy to be here and are happy to play for the many people in the Caribbean who have cricket at heart."

Many a modern West Indies captain has supped from a poisoned chalice, but perhaps none so toxic as that inherited by Reifer. In shades of Bob Simpson circa 1977, Reifer was called upon to lead an "establishment XI", after a decade on the outer, while senior players stood against the board. The initial results were underwhelming to say the least - a 0-2 Test series defeat to Bangladesh, followed by a 0-3 whitewash in the ODIs; and with the likes of Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul unavailable for this month's Champions Trophy, few are expecting a prompt reversal in fortunes.

The Reifer story redefines unusual. Called into a West Indies team battling a myriad of transitional issues, Reifer played four unspectacular Tests and two one-day internationals between 1997 and 1999 against Sri Lanka and South Africa. Over the ensuring decade, the Bajan batsman established a solid domestic record in the Caribbean and Scotland before gravitating towards coaching. He had assumed the role of player-coach with the University of the West Indies in recent seasons.

Then came the call. On the evening of July 7 Reifer was asked to board a flight to St Vincent. On the morning of July 9 he lead an almost unrecognisable West Indies side onto Arnos Vale for the first Test against Bangladesh. At a time when most cricketers are penning epilogues to their careers, Reifer was reeling off new chapters. But whether they will receive positive reviews remains to be seen.

Inevitably, some will view Reifer as a regional pariah for accepting work at a time when many of his contemporaries were feuding with their employer. That said, the game in the Caribbean might have faced financial ruin under the weight of ICC fines and legal challenges from broadcast rights-holders had the board been unable to fulfill its hosting commitments. Still, right or wrong, Reifer intends to continue at the helm of the West Indies team indefinitely, and spark a revival that many have attempted but few have achieved.

"I see my role as trying to help rebuild West Indies cricket," he said. "We have a group of young players here who are trying to take West Indies cricket forward. They have shown commitment and dedication. Before we went out to play on the first day against Bangladesh I told them that they were the West Indian team, not a second-string team, and to go out there and fight for the people of the Caribbean.

"I don't feel there is any pressure on me. I was very grateful to receive the opportunity to captain the West Indies. If you go through history, there are probably only 25 or 30 people who have had that honour. It is what every young cricketer in the region dreams of doing. I give thanks to God for the opportunity. If [the WIPA-WICB dispute] ends and they don't see a role for me anymore, I will graciously move on. But if they think that I have performed well and led the team well, then I can't see any reason why I could not play on for the next couple of years."

"You think of all the great West Indian players like Sobers, Walsh, Ambrose, Lara, Weekes and where they took West Indies cricket, and you desperately want to do well"

Reifer is not prepared to discuss the recent termination of John Dyson's coaching contract, and insists he is "not fully aware" of the intricacies of the dispute between the players' union and the West Indies board. He is adamant he has received no negative feedback from the striking players, and is hopeful of holding his place in the West Indian side if or when the matter is resolved, even if his batting averages of 9.25 and 16.20 in Tests and ODIs suggest he will have a difficult time doing so.

He has sought leadership advice from the great Sir Garfield Sobers, and notes with no small amount of satisfaction the recent performances of Omar Phillips, Kemar Roach, David Bernard and Chadwick Walton, three of whom made their Test debuts at Arnos Vale. But it might well be that Reifer is remembered as the man who allowed Bangladesh to triple their number of Test victories over three forgettable weeks in St Vincent and Grenada this July. Only once in their previous 59 Tests had Bangladesh tasted success in the five-day format, and that to a struggling Zimbabwean side more than four years ago.

"The Bangladesh series was difficult," Reifer said. "I received the call on the Tuesday night and the Test started on the Thursday. We hadn't really played together and we didn't really have time to prepare. We played tough cricket, and most of the games were quite close, but in the end you have to give credit to Bangladesh. It hurt all the guys really badly. You think of all the great West Indian players like Sobers, Walsh, Ambrose, Lara, Weekes and where they took West Indies cricket, and you desperately want to do well.

"There wasn't really any strategy at first, but we learned as we went on. The team played some tough cricket, but made crucial mistakes at crucial times. They will learn from those and become stronger for the experience."

Only Reifer truly knows whether his insistence that West Indies can "go deep" in the Champions Trophy is a genuine appraisal of an improving side or an attempted pick-me-up for a downtrodden squad. History appears to be on their side - West Indies have made the past two Champions Trophy finals, and won the tournament in 2004. However, with a patchwork team and India, Pakistan and Australia in their pool, bookmakers have echoed the sentiments of most observers by installing them as 20-1 outsiders.

"Like anybody, we will go into the ICC tournament thinking we can win," he said. "I am not saying we will go out and beat everybody, but I think we have a young and talented team that can advance. The world will be watching us, and it is an opportunity for us to show that we can go out there and play tough cricket."

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY stabba on | September 5, 2009, 21:52 GMT

    Mr Reifer,its a second string team you are leading.You should not even been on that team because of your continous poor form.I would not pay a penny to watch that team play.I wish all the fans would follow me and boycott all the games

  • POSTED BY gottalovetheraindance on | September 5, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    Obviously west indies cricket is in dire straights. However this contract dispute/impasse could be a blessing in disguise. if we can resolve this conflict quickly then we may be in a better position to improve our cricketing results as a region. who knows a few fresh talents may emerge from this tournament. if they are nutured and have the right atitude then in a few years they may be performing well for a full strength west indies team. we just have to be patient and give them all our support. however we need a full strength team to be touring australia by november. if we pick a second string squad for that tour then it is quite likely the australian cricket board will cancel the series or the series will be a disaster both to our reputation and the finances of both cricket boards due to the loss of spectator support & television / radio broadcasting rights. i dont think the ACB can afford this much more the money strapped WICB.

  • POSTED BY Clynie on | September 4, 2009, 10:22 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Reifer as a batsman and captain with an average of 9, you pronouncements here would not help you gain confidence. Please step aside and let the process of proper governance in WI cricket take shape.

  • POSTED BY hazeltine on | September 4, 2009, 9:37 GMT

    The problems with Reife's article is that he has not acknowledged his own form and he has not said if the players are concentrating on their fielding, bowling or batting and above all DISCIPLINE. His sound bites are like all of the recent WIndian players and Coaches of the last ten years, have spoken generally without saying ANYTHING CONSTRUCTIVE and this way of speaking alone, indicates there will be no development within the team. It would have been better if Reifer admitted that his team are second stringers, but will go to the champions trophy with the intention of developing their cricket and DISCIPLINE, even if they do not fare well in the tourmament. As it is, they will get pummelled because they have not admitted that they have a lot to learn, so will go on in the same ill disciplined way.

  • POSTED BY Benster2 on | September 3, 2009, 22:34 GMT

    Statistically Reifer must be one of the worst batsman to play test cricket. For him to even imply that a spot may, even potentially, be open to him once the contract issues subside is an outright joke. I don't even think he should be in a second string WI test side - let alone the First XI. For a man who has batted 12 times in test cricket, an average of 9.25 is embarrassing.

    His attempted spirited words are meaningless when WI have been flogged by Bangladesh. He doesn't mean it and no one believes it. How can you be proud of a side that got panned by a nation that has won one test match (pre-series) since its introduction?

  • POSTED BY krd_kevin on | September 3, 2009, 20:17 GMT

    The ICC needs to implement systems of standards for the management of cricket to which all Cricket boards need to adhere to before they are allowed to continue to play cricket.

    Rules for payments of players and staff as well as benefits and bonuses should be set by the ICC. This will ensure that all teams ands players will be treated equally and fairly and the cricket boards do not take advantage of the players and conversely the boards will not be at the mercy of cricketers demanding more than is due to them.

    The ICC mission states: As the international governing body for cricket, the International Cricket Council will lead by: Promoting and protecting the game, and its unique spirit Delivering outstanding, memorable events Providing excellent service to Members and stakeholders Optimising its commercial rights and properties for the benefit of its Members

    The question to be asked is where is the International Cricket Council amidst this conflict?

  • POSTED BY AARON.IFTEKHAR on | September 3, 2009, 19:06 GMT

    Of course, a combined West Indies side stronger than any of the its separate islands, but the separate island's team is much stronger by themselves than today's so-called 2nd grade combined West Indies team, which should be disqualified immediately by ICC. @ redneck, India is an independent country, whether West Indies is a group of independent Caribbean countries, and Karnataka or Mumbai is an integral part of India. Before 1947, the territories of today's Pakistan and Bangladesh were in India, and India's national cricket team has granted Test cricket status by ICC (Imperial CC) in 1932. Pakistan as a separate independent country has granted test status in 1952, when Bangladesh(1947-1972) for a short-time was in Pakistan. As an independent country Bangladesh has granted test status in 2000. Where is the logic to exit West Indies as a combined Caribbean islands cricket team? If so, then European Union have more judicial right to form a combined strong European Union cricket team.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | September 3, 2009, 18:49 GMT

    Something will have to give.The Champions Trophy is a showcase tournament.Everyone will be watching and there are only a couple of weeks left. Whatever the reasons and continuing arguments someone HAS to get Gayle and team out into the field for that tournament. So get on with it whoeverNOW!! Or get Holding and Viv out of retirement.

  • POSTED BY RickyRuns on | September 3, 2009, 17:58 GMT

    It is clear to me that the WICB does not have the future of WI cricket or the its followers on there mind. How in the world can we ever think about sending this bunch ti the Champion Trophy. Reifer is a "has been", and most of the other on the troop are "may have never been". It hurts as a WI supporter to have to endure and follow this. Chris Gayle in my opinion has never been commited to test cricket. However after seeing what is happening now, I fully support WI most talanted cricketers "Chris / Sarwan / Shiv / Dwayne / Danesh / Jerome / Fidel and the rest to see occuption otherwise. It is clear your employees does not appreciate you. WICB / Riefer and the rest, feel free to continue to embarass us.........

  • POSTED BY Fla_Me on | September 3, 2009, 16:53 GMT

    The only reason why, in my view, the WICB can maintain its status quo [see recent reelection of incompetent leaders] is because the regional boards can't see eye to eye on a number of, probably, key issues. It has to be, because they're the ones who lend authority to the WICB and how could one explain their passive attitude otherwise while all this nonsense is taking place. No matter how you turn it at the end of the day WI aren't united and to the man it comes down to whether we own similar passports. Ironically enough however, they all realize that standing alone won't work but I suppose all this supposedly passive behavior covers a more active jockeying for power and control.

  • POSTED BY stabba on | September 5, 2009, 21:52 GMT

    Mr Reifer,its a second string team you are leading.You should not even been on that team because of your continous poor form.I would not pay a penny to watch that team play.I wish all the fans would follow me and boycott all the games

  • POSTED BY gottalovetheraindance on | September 5, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    Obviously west indies cricket is in dire straights. However this contract dispute/impasse could be a blessing in disguise. if we can resolve this conflict quickly then we may be in a better position to improve our cricketing results as a region. who knows a few fresh talents may emerge from this tournament. if they are nutured and have the right atitude then in a few years they may be performing well for a full strength west indies team. we just have to be patient and give them all our support. however we need a full strength team to be touring australia by november. if we pick a second string squad for that tour then it is quite likely the australian cricket board will cancel the series or the series will be a disaster both to our reputation and the finances of both cricket boards due to the loss of spectator support & television / radio broadcasting rights. i dont think the ACB can afford this much more the money strapped WICB.

  • POSTED BY Clynie on | September 4, 2009, 10:22 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Reifer as a batsman and captain with an average of 9, you pronouncements here would not help you gain confidence. Please step aside and let the process of proper governance in WI cricket take shape.

  • POSTED BY hazeltine on | September 4, 2009, 9:37 GMT

    The problems with Reife's article is that he has not acknowledged his own form and he has not said if the players are concentrating on their fielding, bowling or batting and above all DISCIPLINE. His sound bites are like all of the recent WIndian players and Coaches of the last ten years, have spoken generally without saying ANYTHING CONSTRUCTIVE and this way of speaking alone, indicates there will be no development within the team. It would have been better if Reifer admitted that his team are second stringers, but will go to the champions trophy with the intention of developing their cricket and DISCIPLINE, even if they do not fare well in the tourmament. As it is, they will get pummelled because they have not admitted that they have a lot to learn, so will go on in the same ill disciplined way.

  • POSTED BY Benster2 on | September 3, 2009, 22:34 GMT

    Statistically Reifer must be one of the worst batsman to play test cricket. For him to even imply that a spot may, even potentially, be open to him once the contract issues subside is an outright joke. I don't even think he should be in a second string WI test side - let alone the First XI. For a man who has batted 12 times in test cricket, an average of 9.25 is embarrassing.

    His attempted spirited words are meaningless when WI have been flogged by Bangladesh. He doesn't mean it and no one believes it. How can you be proud of a side that got panned by a nation that has won one test match (pre-series) since its introduction?

  • POSTED BY krd_kevin on | September 3, 2009, 20:17 GMT

    The ICC needs to implement systems of standards for the management of cricket to which all Cricket boards need to adhere to before they are allowed to continue to play cricket.

    Rules for payments of players and staff as well as benefits and bonuses should be set by the ICC. This will ensure that all teams ands players will be treated equally and fairly and the cricket boards do not take advantage of the players and conversely the boards will not be at the mercy of cricketers demanding more than is due to them.

    The ICC mission states: As the international governing body for cricket, the International Cricket Council will lead by: Promoting and protecting the game, and its unique spirit Delivering outstanding, memorable events Providing excellent service to Members and stakeholders Optimising its commercial rights and properties for the benefit of its Members

    The question to be asked is where is the International Cricket Council amidst this conflict?

  • POSTED BY AARON.IFTEKHAR on | September 3, 2009, 19:06 GMT

    Of course, a combined West Indies side stronger than any of the its separate islands, but the separate island's team is much stronger by themselves than today's so-called 2nd grade combined West Indies team, which should be disqualified immediately by ICC. @ redneck, India is an independent country, whether West Indies is a group of independent Caribbean countries, and Karnataka or Mumbai is an integral part of India. Before 1947, the territories of today's Pakistan and Bangladesh were in India, and India's national cricket team has granted Test cricket status by ICC (Imperial CC) in 1932. Pakistan as a separate independent country has granted test status in 1952, when Bangladesh(1947-1972) for a short-time was in Pakistan. As an independent country Bangladesh has granted test status in 2000. Where is the logic to exit West Indies as a combined Caribbean islands cricket team? If so, then European Union have more judicial right to form a combined strong European Union cricket team.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | September 3, 2009, 18:49 GMT

    Something will have to give.The Champions Trophy is a showcase tournament.Everyone will be watching and there are only a couple of weeks left. Whatever the reasons and continuing arguments someone HAS to get Gayle and team out into the field for that tournament. So get on with it whoeverNOW!! Or get Holding and Viv out of retirement.

  • POSTED BY RickyRuns on | September 3, 2009, 17:58 GMT

    It is clear to me that the WICB does not have the future of WI cricket or the its followers on there mind. How in the world can we ever think about sending this bunch ti the Champion Trophy. Reifer is a "has been", and most of the other on the troop are "may have never been". It hurts as a WI supporter to have to endure and follow this. Chris Gayle in my opinion has never been commited to test cricket. However after seeing what is happening now, I fully support WI most talanted cricketers "Chris / Sarwan / Shiv / Dwayne / Danesh / Jerome / Fidel and the rest to see occuption otherwise. It is clear your employees does not appreciate you. WICB / Riefer and the rest, feel free to continue to embarass us.........

  • POSTED BY Fla_Me on | September 3, 2009, 16:53 GMT

    The only reason why, in my view, the WICB can maintain its status quo [see recent reelection of incompetent leaders] is because the regional boards can't see eye to eye on a number of, probably, key issues. It has to be, because they're the ones who lend authority to the WICB and how could one explain their passive attitude otherwise while all this nonsense is taking place. No matter how you turn it at the end of the day WI aren't united and to the man it comes down to whether we own similar passports. Ironically enough however, they all realize that standing alone won't work but I suppose all this supposedly passive behavior covers a more active jockeying for power and control.

  • POSTED BY kirksland on | September 3, 2009, 16:17 GMT

    This current team should never have been allowed to enter the uncoming championships, as the W.I. should be forced, for the intergrity of the sport, to field a full strength team. This situation makes a mockery of the game and empowers the board who put us in this position in the first place.

    The Goverments of the caribbean should get together to dissolve the board as it currently exists and start from scratch.

    The are at best incompetent, and they need to go.

    I cannot support these reserves, as their only interest is to get into the team via the back door, and get a place they really did nothing to deserve.

  • POSTED BY Jookie43 on | September 3, 2009, 15:28 GMT

    Until the WIPA and WICB stop playing games the players will not be able to play cricket.

  • POSTED BY Waikato_FC on | September 3, 2009, 15:06 GMT

    WI cricket may well be in disarray, but if there were more guys with the sort of passion and committment that Reifer has, then things would improve ... We all know he wouldn't be playing international cricket if it weren't for the ridiculous situation WI cricket find themselves in, but good luck to the guy!

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | September 3, 2009, 12:41 GMT

    West Indies series was a great loss for Bangladesh. They did not go there to play against half-players; rather they wanted a full strength West Indian side. Bangladesh white washing them in both series are not getting full credit to their achievements, while they are good enough to win also against the full strength WI side. ..... I feel for Reifer; it is not his fault that he is drafted in the side; but at the same time he is opportunistic and selfish. I do not buy that he is all for West Indian cricket. In effect, he is aiding the West Indian cricket board, which is the main responsible entity for destroying cricket in the Caribbean.

  • POSTED BY mohammed.rizwan on | September 3, 2009, 12:08 GMT

    I could not agree anymore with the comments made by HumanSyndrome. West Indian cricket is in a shambles at the moment!!!

  • POSTED BY K.noel on | September 3, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    I agree with Chandau that this team should be referred to as the WICB XI and not the West Indies. Some of the wisest heads in the Caribbean, consulted with all the stakeholders and concluded that the Board should be completely restructured so that our cricket can be run by an organisation capable of dealing with the realities of the modern game. But this meant that some of members of WICB would have to give up their power, so what happened? They banded together and threw out the recommendation. How can a team be said to represent the West Indies when the vast majority of Westindians do not agree with its composition? WIPA may be making mistakes, but at least its leadership is democratically elected by the players to see about their welfare [as a union]. But theWICB is an outdated entity. At present they are so blinkered that they believe that flexing their muscles at this time is in our best interest. Our elected leaders must ensure that they GO! I refuse to support this WICB XI!

  • POSTED BY Gazza_11 on | September 3, 2009, 9:20 GMT

    id love it if they sent the b'desh team down here to aus... id be playing my own b-team, blood some youngsters and give em a fight

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | September 3, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    I may be from Sri Lanka, but still it's quite sad to see a nation once dominated world cricket is now finding it's quite difficult to compete even with the likes of Bangladesh. Still I won't wonder regarding the results of this second XI team recently had, especially given what their all the more experienced XI did over the last 10 years or so. Even with players like Lara, Gayle, Chanderpaul, Sarwan, etc. they were on the loosing side more often than not, may not be quite as pathetic as the recent performances of this newly formed XI, still quite unacceptable given what the same nation did from mid 70s to mid 90s (till the sad exit of Richie Richardson). Even under Richie Richardson, they were by far the best side in the world until '95. They lost to Australia in '95 by 2-1, their first ever series defeat since '81/82. No any other series defeat came under Richie Richarson, the next closest series being 2-2 tied one in England in '95/'96. But what happened to them after '96 ? I dunno.

  • POSTED BY benpoint on | September 3, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    feel sorry for Reifer. If he and his team is not the problem or solution for west indian cricket heads should be rolling already julian hunt has to go period. the solution to west indian cricket is in the hands of all the Island & Country cricket board just withdraw your support from the WICB like T&T did...Now listen to me big solution.#1 take giant eraser & chalk put all their position and name side by side and start erasing from left right & center.Those who don,t want to go erase their position #2 let say solution#1 dont work who need wicb put together a real team call it West Indian Cricket Best.Need to get rid WICB. I do remember King Pele the greatest football player ever was in some sort of high political or sport position in Brazil and did not want to step when ask to do so the government eliminate his what ever it was.i am just tired seeing Julian hunteee in west indian cri news yu know

  • POSTED BY YL89 on | September 3, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    If this West Indies side turns up in Australia in November, which looks increasingly as if it will be the case, it could be one of the most humiliating moments in the history of West Indies cricket.

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Man on | September 3, 2009, 4:22 GMT

    I completely agree with MikeGraham :)

  • POSTED BY HumanSyndrome on | September 3, 2009, 2:06 GMT

    The WICB and WPA are two bodies run by egomaniacs and some of our top players are just plain greedy. If they perform well in their underpaid but prized position in the West Indies team, they will automatically make big bucks with sponsorships and IPL league etc. The WICB must relinquish some of their powers of wanting to control the lives of our players. The WPA must advice their players that they must make some sacrifices. They will still earn more than most people in the Caribbean. REIFER and his bunch of fifth string/rated players....good luck and enjoy your brief stay. Hopefully some of the younger players shine and would contribute. As an aside REIFER has not proven that he should be in the West Indies team...at the least the WICB should replace him with a potential younger talent...It shows the incompetence of the bunch that call themselves selectors. From: A very fruastrated West Indian

  • POSTED BY aptie on | September 3, 2009, 1:50 GMT

    Come on he know they are not playing for anyone in the Caribbean. They just want to say that they played cricket for the Worst Indies Cricket Board. Most of these guys could hardly make their own islands team. Biggest scabs ever.

  • POSTED BY poui_avenue on | September 3, 2009, 1:50 GMT

    Poor Reifer--doesnt read the negative things !!!!They should have recalled Lara or Richards to lead the team and they would have made more runs than his team put together. The present Gayle team is a second rate team -- so what poor Reifer team is-- nobody cares to know. Well, you should have said that you have never been to South Africa before and maybe people would have believed that excuse for your team's pathetic display .

  • POSTED BY redneck on | September 3, 2009, 0:04 GMT

    i guess it would be concerning if a captain wasnt talking up his teams chances before a tournement??? however i think hes been smoking too much of his last name! im mean your avg is 9!!!! that doesnt warrant comparisons to lara, sobers etc. or earn yourself a spot in a full strength west indies side! i would hate to see what AARON.IFTEKHAR is suggesting in the islands going it alone. there is no way in hell that any of the islands would be stronger by themselves than as a combined side. it would be like karnataka or mumbai etc basicly leaving india and getting their own test status and believing that they are stronger going it alone than as a combined indian side. theres no way they would be correct! anyhow i really hope west indies pull themselves out of this, they were showing good improvment when they played england at home. i just hope if/when gayle and co return to the fold this doesnt set them back further in the teams progress!

  • POSTED BY haganal on | September 2, 2009, 23:01 GMT

    This fiasco is just humiliating to me as an avid WI cricket fan. I am almost reduced to tears. Those guys (WICB and WIPA) need to come to some kind of agreement asap. West Indies cricket does not deserve this.

  • POSTED BY FlashAsh on | September 2, 2009, 22:35 GMT

    Good luck to Reifer and his team of journeymen, they are going to need it!! It would be laughable if it weren't so sad to see WI reduced to this.

    I wonder if Reifer and his team have received payment for their Bangla Tour and matches and if they were given valid contracts to play? That would be an interesting development!! I bet Reifer and co will be knocking at WIPA's doors shortly asking them to help resolve payment issues!!

    WICB should fall on their swords and ICC should have courage to ban them until the disputes are resolved as they did with USA!! Surely ECB/ACB and BCCI can only see harm to TV rights if WI enter Champions Trophy?

  • POSTED BY MikeGraham on | September 2, 2009, 22:13 GMT

    Hi Floyd, the reality is that it will be difficult for West Indies to advance as a team with the present squad. BUT, each member will surely benefit from the experience and this will make them stronger.....thus causing the west Indies team to advance as a unit in the future.

    As captain, you have done the right thing (and all the critics should recognise this). How can a captain of an international team come out and say, "We are a second-string team. We will be slaughtered in all our games".

    Keep your head up man, keep giving the youngsters hope...but be honest with them individually, and instill in them the confidence to do their best.

  • POSTED BY AceB on | September 2, 2009, 21:00 GMT

    So you all think CARIBBEAN Cricket is dead and buried. It may be that the WICB is now trying to do what should have been done a decade ago, that's par for the course, it's how we do it....Laugh if you like...Write off the team if you want..But wait until OCTOBER to preen...

  • POSTED BY TheExpat on | September 2, 2009, 19:21 GMT

    The noble lineage of West Indies captains runs through Frank Worrell, Garfield Sobers, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Vivian Richards, Richie Richardson, Brian Lara - to Floyd Reifer, who averages 9 in Test cricket. Enough said. His optimism is admirable, but really - this must be the most unmerited establishment selection since Vizianagram. Some of the youngsters seem to have a bit of talent, but then again, so do some of Zimbabwe's youngsters. There is no measure by which this side can be considered representative of the West Indies. Someone ought to listen to Tony Cozier.

  • POSTED BY Zeebel on | September 2, 2009, 18:59 GMT

    Reifer should not fool himself.....this is not a 2nd string team.....this is way less than a 5th rate team......a cobbled up side. It is not going to work. This team will have extreme difficulty winning against Zimbabwe or even Holland or Afghansitan.....delusions by inept folks in WI cricket......Hunte and Co should stop pointing fingers and examine themselves.....

  • POSTED BY hytman on | September 2, 2009, 18:39 GMT

    I never liked football but now there is no cricket to watch and my friends are all hyped for the new bpl season i am begining to like it. If West Indies Cricket dont straighten up soon they will start losing more fans to football as i am unconsciously being drawn to. I don't know what Reifer is thinking but teams like INdian and Australia will have a party with them ranking up scores of over 400.

  • POSTED BY cricketforever123 on | September 2, 2009, 18:13 GMT

    Advance you say?? I am shocked, why couldn't you have said this second string (and we all know it is a second string) team will compete hard, and leave it at that. The full strength West Indies side might not be able to beat India, Pakistan or Australia, how in the world can this team even be competitive...oh but you say advance right?

  • POSTED BY chandau on | September 2, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    The West Indies team of the 1980s sacred the poop out of other teams. They had real fast bowlers and flamboyant batters. Though of not same class the teams of recent years managed to thrill albeit sporadically. Just have no idea what the WICB XI can do at the Champions Trophy ot why they are there in the 1st place. ICC has a requirement that countries must put their best players on the park for internationals. Has this requirement changed / amended for the WI team recently or what ???This is unfair on other teams, since the points racked up versus WI will help some teams while others will have a real fight on their hands against better opposition. BAN WI from international cricket till they can sort all administration problems and send a proper team ICC!!!

  • POSTED BY why450 on | September 2, 2009, 17:33 GMT

    Floyd ma man......i respect ur optimism but give it up u know that u guys can't compete out there. The full strength squad used to have a hard time what u think u second rate newbies can do??? Just Hurry and burry WI cricket!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY AARON.IFTEKHAR on | September 2, 2009, 15:54 GMT

    Today's ICC is not 1926's the Imperial Cricket Council, when WICB has became a full member. At one time, there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies (1958-1962) composed of 10 English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then UK dependencies, and the Federation collapsed due to internal political conflicts. Now, WI have 6 territorial separate independent cricket associations, why still we should to accept 1880/90 & 1926/28's model West Indies Cricket team as a combine team of independent Caribbean islands, who represented the British colonies of the West Indies Federation? So, it's time to scrap them due to internal conflicts,& let them come as Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, and Windward Islands cricket team, like other Caribbean territories such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Even these teams are much stronger than today's so-called 2nd grade West Indies team, which should be disqualified immediately by ICC.

  • POSTED BY AARON.IFTEKHAR on | September 2, 2009, 15:25 GMT

    Why we need WICB, a combine board of independent Caribbean islands, as a full member in the ICC today? This is not fair as the today's ICC is not 1926's the Imperial Cricket Council, where WICB has became a full member. At one time, there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies (1958-1962) composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then UK dependencies, & the Federation collapsed due to internal political conflicts. But now, they have 6 territorial separate independent cricket associations. In 21st century why we should to accept 1880/90's model West Indies Cricket team, who were represented the British colonies of the West Indies Federation? So, it's time to scrap them due to internal conflicts, and let them come as Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, & Windward Islands cricket team, like other Caribbean teams as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, & these are much stronger than today's 2nd grade WI team.

  • POSTED BY Fla_Me on | September 2, 2009, 15:19 GMT

    By choosing to neglect clear & justifiable industrial action by their peers they have not only chosen to side with the inept leaders of the very institution destroying WI cricket, but they've also chosen to jeopardize the well-being of future professional cricketers who will find themselves between a rock and a hard place when faced with practically any and all issues relating to the players and the WICB.

  • POSTED BY emmwill on | September 2, 2009, 14:25 GMT

    I am sorry, Reifer, but it seems you are in a dreamworld, or you are the male "Alice" in Wonderland. The team you lead is way below par. The psychobabble will not work. Stop flogging a dead horse. West Indies Cricket, as we know it, is DEAD. There's no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The WICB and the WIPA will never see eye to eye on the payment and contractual issues. I am weeping for West Indies Cricket. Good bye West Indies Cricket and good night!!!!

  • POSTED BY ChinmayD on | September 2, 2009, 13:04 GMT

    The current West Indies side would fail to beat domestic sides of Australia, England, India, Pakistan and South Africa. Probably even the sides in Australian grade cricket.

    That's saying something.

  • POSTED BY jeyjoe on | September 2, 2009, 13:00 GMT

    This is a joke, we have seen them against B'Desh.

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  • POSTED BY jeyjoe on | September 2, 2009, 13:00 GMT

    This is a joke, we have seen them against B'Desh.

  • POSTED BY ChinmayD on | September 2, 2009, 13:04 GMT

    The current West Indies side would fail to beat domestic sides of Australia, England, India, Pakistan and South Africa. Probably even the sides in Australian grade cricket.

    That's saying something.

  • POSTED BY emmwill on | September 2, 2009, 14:25 GMT

    I am sorry, Reifer, but it seems you are in a dreamworld, or you are the male "Alice" in Wonderland. The team you lead is way below par. The psychobabble will not work. Stop flogging a dead horse. West Indies Cricket, as we know it, is DEAD. There's no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The WICB and the WIPA will never see eye to eye on the payment and contractual issues. I am weeping for West Indies Cricket. Good bye West Indies Cricket and good night!!!!

  • POSTED BY Fla_Me on | September 2, 2009, 15:19 GMT

    By choosing to neglect clear & justifiable industrial action by their peers they have not only chosen to side with the inept leaders of the very institution destroying WI cricket, but they've also chosen to jeopardize the well-being of future professional cricketers who will find themselves between a rock and a hard place when faced with practically any and all issues relating to the players and the WICB.

  • POSTED BY AARON.IFTEKHAR on | September 2, 2009, 15:25 GMT

    Why we need WICB, a combine board of independent Caribbean islands, as a full member in the ICC today? This is not fair as the today's ICC is not 1926's the Imperial Cricket Council, where WICB has became a full member. At one time, there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies (1958-1962) composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then UK dependencies, & the Federation collapsed due to internal political conflicts. But now, they have 6 territorial separate independent cricket associations. In 21st century why we should to accept 1880/90's model West Indies Cricket team, who were represented the British colonies of the West Indies Federation? So, it's time to scrap them due to internal conflicts, and let them come as Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, & Windward Islands cricket team, like other Caribbean teams as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, & these are much stronger than today's 2nd grade WI team.

  • POSTED BY AARON.IFTEKHAR on | September 2, 2009, 15:54 GMT

    Today's ICC is not 1926's the Imperial Cricket Council, when WICB has became a full member. At one time, there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies (1958-1962) composed of 10 English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then UK dependencies, and the Federation collapsed due to internal political conflicts. Now, WI have 6 territorial separate independent cricket associations, why still we should to accept 1880/90 & 1926/28's model West Indies Cricket team as a combine team of independent Caribbean islands, who represented the British colonies of the West Indies Federation? So, it's time to scrap them due to internal conflicts,& let them come as Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, and Windward Islands cricket team, like other Caribbean territories such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Even these teams are much stronger than today's so-called 2nd grade West Indies team, which should be disqualified immediately by ICC.

  • POSTED BY why450 on | September 2, 2009, 17:33 GMT

    Floyd ma man......i respect ur optimism but give it up u know that u guys can't compete out there. The full strength squad used to have a hard time what u think u second rate newbies can do??? Just Hurry and burry WI cricket!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY chandau on | September 2, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    The West Indies team of the 1980s sacred the poop out of other teams. They had real fast bowlers and flamboyant batters. Though of not same class the teams of recent years managed to thrill albeit sporadically. Just have no idea what the WICB XI can do at the Champions Trophy ot why they are there in the 1st place. ICC has a requirement that countries must put their best players on the park for internationals. Has this requirement changed / amended for the WI team recently or what ???This is unfair on other teams, since the points racked up versus WI will help some teams while others will have a real fight on their hands against better opposition. BAN WI from international cricket till they can sort all administration problems and send a proper team ICC!!!

  • POSTED BY cricketforever123 on | September 2, 2009, 18:13 GMT

    Advance you say?? I am shocked, why couldn't you have said this second string (and we all know it is a second string) team will compete hard, and leave it at that. The full strength West Indies side might not be able to beat India, Pakistan or Australia, how in the world can this team even be competitive...oh but you say advance right?

  • POSTED BY hytman on | September 2, 2009, 18:39 GMT

    I never liked football but now there is no cricket to watch and my friends are all hyped for the new bpl season i am begining to like it. If West Indies Cricket dont straighten up soon they will start losing more fans to football as i am unconsciously being drawn to. I don't know what Reifer is thinking but teams like INdian and Australia will have a party with them ranking up scores of over 400.