West Indies A in Sri Lanka 2014-15 October 8, 2014

Wrong time to ban bowlers with suspect actions - Richards

Viv Richards: "Sunil Narine is a mystery man, it's going to hurt West Indies cricket more than any other team." © WICB

Former West Indies captain Viv Richards has said the ICC's crackdown on bowlers with suspect actions has not come at the correct time and it should have been done a while ago.

"In my opinion such action should have been taken some time ago and on a wider basis because these guys have been there for quite some time," Richards said in Colombo, where he is with the West Indies A team as technical director.

"I am not sure because West Indies are touring India, there is going to be a World Cup next year, whether all this has something to do with it, I just believe the timing has to be good. With the next World Cup around the corner this is not the correct time to take such measures."

West Indies spinner Sunil Narine was reported twice for a suspect action during the recent Champions League T20 and was barred from bowling in the final and other tournaments organised by the BCCI. The West Indies Cricket Board took a precautionary measure of withdrawing him from the India tour "to have his action assessed."

"Sunil Narine is a mystery man like Murali [Muttiah Muralitharan], it's going to hurt West Indies cricket more than any other team," Richards said.

Apart from Narine, Sri Lanka offspinner Sachithra Senanayake, Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal and a number of other spinners were reported for suspect actions and banned from bowling in the last year.

Speaking of West Indies' chances in the 2015 World Cup, Richards said, "West Indies have a magnificent team and I think if they can gel well they can accomplish victory. They are a multi-talented team when you look at the Bravos, the Andre Russells, the Pollards. We can beat anyone on any given day and if we do that we will be pretty much in the picture."

With the West Indies team touring India, Richards said there was a possibility of some of the players from the A team joining the seniors for the Test series.

"We hope that when we [West Indies A] leave here [Sri Lanka] we have some exciting players who would do justice to West Indies cricket in the future. The challenge for the future is for the present individuals to try and emulate how well West Indies did in the past. It's a huge task but you should never ever say 'never' because all things are possible."

West Indies A play three four-day matches and three one-dayers against Sri Lanka A, with the first match starting on October 11 in Hambantota.

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