West Indian contracts crisis October 1, 2009

Regional politics to blame for West Indies decline - Murray

Cricinfo staff

The decline in West Indies and Trindad & Tobago (T&T) cricket is a result of the insular attitudes of the administrators, Deryck Murray, the president of the T&T board, has said.

"When we say insularity we really mean power politics, that 'I want to be in charge' or 'it's time for my territory' wants to be in charge ... 'it's time for the islands to be in charge or whatever'," Murray said.

"Insularity takes place outside of that [the field]. That is where cricket in Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies is falling down over the last few years. It has nothing to do with talent on the field but simply to do with who wants to control what, who wants to have what position and how can I get into the limelight."

West Indies cricket has been troubled by strained relations between the region's leading players and the West Indies board (WICB) regarding their contracts for over five years now which reached an all-time low when the board decided to send a second-string squad to the ICC Champions Trophy after the senior players went on strike.

Murray questioned why only West Indian cricketers were unable to resolve issues over their contracts. "The amounts of money in football are considerably more than in cricket but why are footballers able to bridge IP [imaging] and marketing rights and their contracts with different big companies and contracts with their clubs and not have a problem on the eve of every single match?

"Similarly in cricket, the Australians and the English cricketers don't have problems on the eve of their games, but West Indies, sliding further and further into the mire, seem to have more interest and coverage in the off-the-field activities than on the field."

The T&T side will be heading to India for the Champions League Twenty20 that begins on October 8 and Murray said because of the tussle between the WICB and the West Indies Players' Association, there hadn't been enough focus on the team's preparations.

"I am asking the public to get behind the Trinidad & Tobago cricket team much like we did for the footballers who qualified for the (2006) World Cup because that's what we should be focussing on. By the success of the Trinidad & Tobago team in the field, we will enhance West Indies cricket."