I'm pretty realistic about where we're at. That's the starting point: to be very clear about where we are. I don't know if I see my role as turning things around. There are a lot of processes that need tidying up in our cricket. It's not an overnight job and I may not live to see the promised land. But I can certainly take the first steps.
Our standards aren't good enough across the board, and it's reflected in the cricket that we play. But we have the raw materials; we have good young players. What we need is a system that can take this raw talent and convert it into an international product that's world-class.
I'm not the only person who is going to be involved in the decision. But I'm certainly of the view that it needs reviewing. There's a process behind that, which means it probably won't happen overnight. The review is ongoing and has started, but if a change of direction is to happen, it won't be overnight, as there is a process that backs that up. But it is being reviewed. A lot of stakeholders in our cricket appreciate now that it does have to be looked at.
I've only watched CPL from a distance in the last five years. I think, based on the quality of cricketers that we have here, and the quality of cricketers that have come in for CPL cricket, I think we can get better. But I also think that a lot of our international players - the Chris Gayle generation - will have started under Stanford, but will have developed and become battle-hardened in leagues outside the Caribbean. And if I'm waving a magic wand, I'd like to have the standard in the Caribbean, where, if they do play overseas, that's fine - certainly from a financial point of view - but in terms of developing our own T20 to an international standard, then we want our cricket in the Caribbean to be a lot stronger.
I'd like to have the best players available. I'm not going to stick my neck on the block. It's a selection panel decision as to who the best players are, but ideally you always want the best players available for selection.
I think so, yes.
I watched half of it. I saw the Antigua leg. I saw the semis and the final. I saw bits and bobs from Barbados. I was very encouraged. The first thing was, the players had an opportunity to play a long tournament. The finalists played ten games, the losing semi-finalists played nine, and everyone else eight.
"At the highest level talent is irrelevant. Everybody has the talent and it's the other issues that become more and more important"
Generally speaking we could lift standards across the board in every area - batting, bowling, outfielding. Fitness as well.
I've spent time in different roles. I represented the players' association for a few years as secretary and actually worked as director of cricket - or technical director - with Jamaica, so I've already stood on both sides of the fence. So I can quite appreciate a lot of the issues that face both the board and the players. I think that we have the potential to achieve a lot more if we can get people singing off the same hymn book going forwards.
I don't see why not. I do think… this is more a philosophy than empirical evidence, but I think we all need it as a guiding light for what we do: I think the West Indies has more resources than we think we have. I think what we haven't been good at is how efficiently we engage and use those resources. The names you've called - and I could mention many more - could potentially offer quite a lot to us. To me, they stand as potential resources going forward. It might not be one size fits all, but all those names have achieved so much by doing things well for a long time. Again, philosophically, we're talking about finding consistency across the board: they have lived a life of consistency to achieve what they have on a cricket field. In any way possible that we can engage them in our cricket going forward, the key challenge is finding the right fit. Not square pegs in round holes. But I do think there are roles for these people if they are willing to get into West Indies cricket.
No, I wasn't involved. We were both appointed around about the same time. But we've come across each other going back many years. We both played in the first Youth World Cup in 1988 in Australia. The relationship started from there. We played against each other at international level as well, so there is a history. It might not be a big one, but we've both had conversations over the years. What little I know of him, I think he's a fairly honest bloke. At the end of the day, that's a huge starting point for me: let's just be honest. He's very down to earth in his views on the game, and if the early signs are an indication, he's on his way to building a pretty strong relationship with the lads, which I think is critical.
I'd ask for empirical evidence. Without empirical evidence, my gut feeling is that far more important are the standards within the pyramid than the numbers at the base of the pyramid. I'm not saying we can't do with more numbers - we always can. I think there will always be a challenge if you go back ten to 15 years with what is available for young people. I don't think the West Indies are the only entity that have that challenge.
"It's a challenging situation. I think what encourages me is, I think, we have some very good people involved in our cricket"
Yes, but let me make the distinction. A very crude example is that, at that young level, it's about 90% talent and 10% thinking and lifestyle. But at the highest level it is the other way around. Talent is irrelevant. Or 10%, anyway. Everybody has the talent and it's the other issues that become more and more important. If they aren't ingrained by the time they are in their early 20s, it becomes very, very difficult.
I don't know if we have enough time. I'm not trying to evade the question. I literally could go on until tomorrow morning… It's a challenging situation. I think what encourages me is, I think, we have some very good people involved in our cricket. I keep saying again, you're moving out of an amateur system into a professional one, and maybe, without speaking out of turn, maybe a lot of the drivers that have driven our cricket for a long time need to change. You're talking about mindsets that have existed for a long time, except that changing mindsets is not an overnight thing. Also, processes that have been in place that I think in this day and age are outdated, they are tied into constitutional areas. You're talking about changing the constitution of any entity that's something that can drag on for a long time. Do we change our constitution or do we try and work around it?
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. He will be covering England's tour of the Caribbean in association with Smile Group Travel, specialists in hosted supporters' packages.