West Indies news November 14, 2011

'Our infrastructure is terrible' - Lara

ESPNcricinfo staff

Brian Lara, the former West Indies captain, has said that the administrative infrastructure for cricket in the West Indies has to improve before the team can become consistently competitive again.

Lara, who scored 11,953 runs in 131 Tests, was speaking at the World Travel Market in London last week, where he was part of a contingent representing Trinidad & Tobago as a tourist destination. He was not surprised West Indies failed to hammer home the advantage in the first Test against India, and ultimately ended up losing by five wickets.

"[We] still have a very long way to go,' Lara told the Caribbean Tourist Organisation. "I would not have been surprised if we won this game, because I know what we are capable of -- sporadic, good sporadic performances -- one here, one next year, but in terms of consistency, Trinidad, West Indies lack that, and that is not something that you regain overnight."

I think our infrastructure is terrible administratively, we have got it wrong on many occasions."

A key problem, according to Lara, was the tumultuous relationship between the cricket board and the players. "Our player-board relationship -- that has gone wrong for many years, gone sour, and we need to improve these things, fix it, set a base, get the infrastructure in, and then think about five, ten years down the line.

"So it might be a dismal outlook, but if we keep just trying to put a plaster on every sore that we have, it's not going to work. So I hope one day somebody's going to take it up and really get things going."

Lara said there was still plenty of cricketing talent in the region, but it needed to be developed and nurtured properly. "On any given day, I think we've got the best talented cricketers in the world," Lara said. "It's always been the case over the years, since even before my days … cricket has gone a long way now. Talent is only a very small part compared to 20, 30 years ago, when it was a major part -- your physical fitness, your talent -- that played a bigger role.

"Now [with] technology, there is a lot of things coming into play, and I say it all the time -- we in the West Indies take very good talent and make it average, and people like Australia and England and India take average talent and make it very, very good, and that is where the problem lies."

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  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    We wish the batting God himself takes a critical role in WICB or as coach and bring the WI up the ladder !!!

  • H on November 14, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Lara was a great batsman, I give him that, but was he a great leader? The board might be wanting in some respects, but I continue to argue that it does not all lie with the board. Does the WI have talented players? Yes. Why haven't they perform to their talent level? I would venture to guess it has to do with each and every players' attitude and professiionalism.

  • Sachit on November 14, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    Lara quoted very correctly about the infrastructure in Windies. Level of domestic Cricket has to improve a lot to enable spotting of right talent. Recently concluded List A tournament did not give enough chances to each of the team to perform as most of the matches were either partially or fully washed out with rain. Barbados campaign ended with just one full match. It's sad. There T20 and first class tournaments are scheduled for too late it the season. You can't just prepare bench strength with tours like Bangladesh A tour. You need to have more and more domestic matches to give ample opportunities to yougsters so that they could perform and prove their credentials for hightes level and also to seniors so that they could practice and regain form before crucial series and tournaments like the currently ongoing tour India. Talented batsmen like Keiron Powell or Kraigg Braithwaite can't be thrown into subcontinental conditions and challenges with almost negligible domestic experience.

  • ashok on November 14, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    Honest words from Lara, if the board has issues, then the government of the country should step in and set things right. really hard to see talents like Gayle sitting out.

  • Ryan on November 14, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    "we in the West Indies take very good talent and make it average, and people like Australia and England and India take average talent and make it very, very good"

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