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Roberts calls for WICB resignations


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Roberts calls for WICB resignations

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FORMER?WEST?INDIES?FAST?BOWLER Andy Roberts, delivering one of his trademark bouncers, has called for the heads of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) two top bosses. 
The 60-year-old Antiguan called yesterday for the WICB president Julian Hunte and the chief executive officer Ernest Hilaire to resign, and also criticized the way the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) approaches its role. The former West Indies coach at the 1996 World Cup and selector of the regional cricket team believes a complete overhaul of the WICB was required if the region’s cricket was to improve. 
Having served on the WICB’s cricket committee as recently as 2008, Roberts claims the WICB was damaging cricket in the Caribbean.
“The board does what pleases them,” Roberts was quoted as saying on the ESPNcricinfo website. 
“They don’t have a clue how to move West Indies cricket forward. Some of the board members should resign otherwise the same problems will keep appearing in the future also.”
He made it clear the St Lucian pair of Hunte and Hilaire should quit their posts.
“Both should resign. Some of the top people on the board should resign. We need a different approach.” 
The legendary fast bowler, who captured 202 wickets in 47 Tests at an average of 25.61 runs apiece, also warned that the recent decision to push younger players at the expense of the senior cricketers could lead West Indies cricket into another cul-de-sac. 
“Fifteen years is a long time and we haven’t seen much progress, but if we don’t change the current approach, another 15 years will go down the drain.” 
Roberts feels that the board is erring by just focusing on a few players rather than thinking of developing cricket at the grass-roots levels across the entire region. 
“You can’t just concentrate on few players playing in the Test team. I have been saying this from 1995. The problem is that the board seems to view a few players as the problem in West Indies cricket. That is wrong. The entire cricket in our region is in a mess. It’s not about [Ramnaresh] Sarwan, [Shivnarine] Chanderpaul, [Chris] Gayle or [Dinanath] Ramnarine. Don’t focus on two or three players. 
“Focus on the lack of development of cricket and lack of advancement in players across the region. 
For 15 years, they have been just trying to focus on few players in Tests and haven’t done much for the development of the game. Develop the regional sides, improve the system,” said Roberts.
He believes that the real truth behind the on-going controversy between the board and some of the senior players might never be known. 
“We have three sides on this issue – your side, my side and the truth. I don’t think we will ever know the truth. Both parties have been presenting different versions.” However, Roberts thinks Chanderpaul should retire from One-Day cricket and focus solely on Test cricket.
“It’s not totally clear whether the selectors asked him to retire from all forms of cricket. Personally, I think Chanderpaul should retire from One-Day cricket and focus on Tests. West Indies needs him in Tests.” 
At the same time, he thinks the board has not handled the situation properly. 
“I am not clear on the Gayle issue. Both parties’ versions differ so much. I wouldn’t like to comment without knowing the truth, but all I can say is that it’s not being handled properly.” 
Roberts also had some advice for WIPA, which he thinks is too focused on the monetary rewards from cricket rather than the quality of the players. 
“The president [Ramnarine] needs to get the players to improve their cricket. If they are good enough, they will get the money. If they aren’t good, there will be confrontation and trouble as you are asking for something you don’t deserve. The players should focus on setting their game right. Else we shall just keep having these problems.” 
The current crop of Caribbean cricketers also came in for criticism from Roberts.
“Work on the attitude, skill, fitness, technique and work on them yourselves. Don’t wait for the board to do it. Don’t indulge in blame game. If the players can improve their skills to the highest level, and improve their attitude, West Indies cricket will improve. They have to change their attitude. That can only come from within.” 
The emphasis on fitness at the expense of actual cricketing skills has led Roberts to believe the thinking in West Indies cricket has sunk to a new low.
“The new thinking is not the old way. I know cricket has changed, thinking has changed but the basics are the same. The technique remains the same. You can’t hold the ball across the seam and hope to bowl outswingers, for example.” (EZS/Cricinfo)
 

 

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