West Indies news August 11, 2014

'We can't be in the doldrums' - Lloyd

Clive Lloyd, West Indies' new selection committee convener, has indicated that youth development will be his primary focus in helping revive West Indies cricket. Lloyd said that in order to ensure West Indies' ascension in the ICC Test rankings, emphasis must be placed on honing the potential of youngsters at the regional under-19 level, something he felt was undervalued in the past.

"We have always had a lot of talent at the under-19 level but we lose a lot of these young cricketers. We need to harness this talent and get them up to standard that is needed," he said. "We cannot be in the doldrums as we've been, for a long time. This [new] change is a structural change and let's hope the youngsters realise that we are moving into a new era and they can be part of this thinking.

"We have got to think a lot more about our cricket and I hope that can be injected in our young players that are coming through because these Under-19 guys, they will be the future of West Indies cricket and if they can inculcate the right sort of things, we would have a very good future."

Lloyd pointed to the High Performance Centre in Barbados as ideal for inculcating the skills youth cricketers needed to progress. According to Lloyd, the facility would be crucial in instilling a mindset adapted to the rigors of Test cricket in the younger players.

Lloyd also stressed that West Indies needed to be more formidable and mentally stronger to regain respectability in Tests. West Indies are currently ranked eighth in the ICC Test rankings and have not won a series against a top-eight side since August 2012. The side suffered 2-0 series defeats on their tours to India and New Zealand and recently lost a three-Test series at home to New Zealand.

"I know we won a T20 championship, but we need to be more consistent with our play. We need to move up the ladder, specially where the Test matches are concerned," he said. "We have some good bowlers around the place but our batting has not been up to par. But there are some good cricketers here and it's just a matter of getting people who want to bat for long periods. As I said before, I want to see players bat ugly. Not every day is going to be one where you can drive it around, you've got to be able to battle your way out of situations.

"We shouldn't be bowled out in two sessions in a Test match. We should not be beaten in two-and-a-half days in a Test match. We have to think properly and if you notice, any time there is a close game we get beaten. So our thinking has got to be much better."

Lloyd, who has a two-year contract as convener of the selection panel, welcomed the appointment of Courtney Walsh and Eldine Baptiste as selectors. He revealed that other former players could join the set-up in different roles and hoped the changes would work as a catalyst for improvement. He expressed optimism with the plans suggested by WICB's director of cricket, Richard Pybus, and said the ideas could help West Indies move upwards.

"They are all experienced guys - some have captained, some have managed," he said. "Some other guys will also come into play, there are a lot of other guys who will be working in different areas of our cricket. So we are bringing in experienced people, guys who are accustomed to winning, guys who are professional and that's what we need - a professional body not only on the field but off the field and I hope that will be the catalyst that will get us moving again."

Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. @RenaldoMatadeen

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shoaib on August 13, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    Top 8 side? Windies are in top 8 so its top 7 side you haven't won any series.

  • Strategic on August 12, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    I dont see ,These Legends(Gayle,Samuels,Smith,Sammy,Bravo,Pollard,Edwards,Taylor,Best,Cotrell)Playing another World Cup... Hence an strong strategy needs to be drafted to empower this bunch to bring the World cup. They are feared in the cricket world by all nations viz: South africa, Aussies, Srilanka, NZ,India, Pakistan.. This is the only bunch that is capable of Decimating any oppisition.. Hope the new selection commitee will not drop any of these key players before the WC... for it is difficult if not impossible to replace such phenomenal players who are made solely on their merit for the last decade or so. This needs to be the core team if WI need the world cup. For some reason, in terms of strenght WI are second to none, however in terms of strategy traditionally WI have been laging behind. Like Kerry Packer once said" WI cricket is full of power houses, in their own merit". Post the retirement of these legends cant imgaine the state of WI cricket....!

  • Jack on August 12, 2014, 2:24 GMT

    I agree with Lloyd wholeheartedly. My difficulty is in equating his views with Gibson and Stew Williams maintaining their positions. Everyone knows the chain is as strong as its weakjest links. Action please! Get rid of these guys and stop confounding the problem.

  • Strategic on August 11, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Hi im from India, however have been a great admirer of WI cricket for about 1 and a half decade...! they always have legendary players..! personally im backing Windies to win the 2015 WC. Look at the names.. Gayle, Samuels,Smith, Bravo, Pollard Sammy... Who on their day can demolish any bowling in the world.. and some exciting bowlers.. edwards, taylor, best, cotrell..With an eye on the WC this core team should be harnessed.... also backing INDIA...

  • kent on August 11, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    @wapuser. I agree with your comments. We need people who are intensely passionate and will live and breath WI cricket, and not just see it as an 8-4 job. Ambrose is one such. Lets find others who really care and give them the opportunity to contribute and build the game in the region.

  • kent on August 11, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    @flickspin. We do not need academies on every island. Rather we need greater corroboration and communication between the island governments on WI cricket. Although WI cricket is one of the few institutions that bind the islands together, there is still a remoteness and some distance among the island governments. Policies regarding macro aspects of the game should involve govts, of course controlled and administered by WICB. A case in point is the academies. Players from each island should receive sponsorship deals in consultation with govts to attend the existing academies. That way we further develop, enhance and centralize the academies now, finance and staff for the maintenance being supplied by all the island govts. No more than maybe three such academies are needed to supply the entire WI region.

  • Paddy on August 11, 2014, 9:51 GMT

    Long Overdue-India also had the same problem until recently.Professionalism OFF the field is a must

  • dan on August 11, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    west indies only have a combined population of 6 million the second smallest population in world cricket

    i think each island should have a academy, i dont see how a 17-18 year from jamaica or guyana would leave his home and studies and go to an academy on barbados,

    i would have a academy on

    antigua,barbuda,barbados,dominica,grenada,jamaica,st kitts,nevis,st lucia,st vincent,grenadines,trinidad,tobago and guyana,angullia, briish virgin islands, montserrat

    you could have 2-3 academies on trinidad,guyana and jamaica

    the government of each island should pay for the academies, it would cost $100000

    i would also have prize money of $5000 u.s for the fastest bowler in each islands academy, under 15',under 17's and under 19's

    the prize money would be for the fastest bowler that year in his age group, extra money for the bowler who breaks the country level and extra money for the bowler who breaks the west indies record

    the academy would be for under 15's, under 17's and under 19's

  • Dummy on August 11, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    Good comments by the greatest captain of all time. However i would like to see Curtley Ambrose as head couch or bowling coach in place of the fringe players of last gen like stuart williams/gibson. Curtley is very passionate about west indies and abdolutely hates losing. Very serious cricketer. He mentored Jason Holder, one of the leading bowlers we have out there to day as testament to that.

    Jeff Dujon is also a qualified coach

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