Amidst speculation over possible industrial action by regional cricketers this weekend, champion West Indies batsman Brian Lara has told youngsters the game is more than about money.

His comments came during the Barbados Cricket Association's (BCA) annual awards ceremony at the Accra Beach Hotel on Wednesday night, a day after the West Indies Players Association president Dinanath Ramnarine expressed dissatisfaction over the slow pace of talks with West Indies Cricket Board officials.

Among the issues at the heart was a rise in pay for the regional first-class matches and the talk surfaced in the build-up to this weekend's semifinals of the Carib Beer International Challenge.

"At this present time in this juncture of West Indies cricket, it seems as though the advent of money has had the most lasting effect on us," Lara said.

"I beg the young cricketers to understand that in this day and age of sports, we do have to make a living, but we must also understand what we represent, who we represent and how many people want to be in our position at this present time."

It is the second time in recent months that regional cricketers have voiced concerns over financial issues, following a grouse with the WICB in the build-up to the World Cup.

"It is unfortunate that these issues seem to surface at critical times when the attention of the cricketing world is focused on us," BCA president Stephen Alleyne told the audience in his address that preceded Lara's.

"We must develop a more systematic approach to these issues and resolutions of them."

In the packed room were a number of former outstanding West Indies players, including Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Clyde Walcott, Charlie Griffith and Seymour Nurse, and Lara also urged the young players to rub shoulders with those from previous eras.

"I must tell the present players here how your role is important to West Indies cricket. I want to thank you," Lara said. "I know you all have watched West Indies cricket rise to the top and presently it is at the bottom.

"I know for sure that you know what the answer is and I hope you can share it with us and I hope that the youngsters can come forward and seek the advice necessary for us to get back to the top."

As a youngster, Lara looked to those like Sir Vivian Richards and Gordon Greenidge, who were senior West Indies players when he burst onto the first-class arena in 1988 as an 18-year-old.

"I want you [young players] to understand that the great Viv Richards and the great Gordon Greenidge were products of the teams of the 50s and 60s. They won," he said.

"Why can't we be the same? Why can't we be a product of the 50s and 60s. What we need to do is to build a relationship with the guys from that era."

In the midst of disappointing results by West Indies teams in the last seven years, Lara believes he was among the last group of West Indian cricketers who understood what winning was about.

It was his view that both cricketers and administrators rested on their laurels, believing that perhaps another Sir Garfield Sobers or Vivian Richards was around the corner.

"We sat back and thought they were going to be churned out by just sitting back - we don't have to do anything. We don't have to build any academies, we won't have to look after our youngsters, we don't have to do anything," he said.

"All the teams we were beating put the necessary things in place to ensure they came up to scratch. We have been in the doldrums for maybe the last seven or eight years. Without any astute thinking, that is where we are going to stay."