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A legend’s lament

Michael Bascombe

A legend’s lament

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PORT OF SPAIN – Legendary former West Indies cricket captain Clive Lloyd wants current players to recommit themselves to the improvement of the game in the region.
Arguably the most successful Test captain of all time, Lloyd said the players must develop a passion for cricket, and not just the money.
“We must have our best players playing in our cricket – all aspects of our cricket,” he said in a recent interview with former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop.
“You can’t just think that you want all the money. Fellows are being paid pretty well but you must have some love for West Indies cricket and at the moment I’m not seeing how it could move forward. I would like to see more of a skill set.”
Lloyd, who played in 110 Tests and 87 one-day internationals for West Indies between 1974 and 1985, said regional players were being overwhelmed by their opponents.
“You looked at our players and you are not seeing this extra fight that is needed to compete. We don’t seem to be competing against other nations. They seemed to be outmanouevring us in all departments of the game, which is unfortunate,” he said.
“We still have people here who are interested in the game, people still support cricket and we have to because as West Indians we want our cricket to get back up that hill. But at the moment it is not there. We have one or two good players, no doubt about that, but we are not kicking on.”
The former captain is also concerned about the fitness of the young players who are representing the regional side. He said the fitness of the players is affecting the performance of the West Indies team.
“I found that our players don’t look as fit as they should be. I still would like to have someone like Dennis Waight with our guys. To me, too many of them are being injured and I don’t know why 19 and 20 year-old guys getting injured and they are not playing a lot of cricket. So I think it’s a fitness situation and we would have to try and do that over a period of time but fitness is going to be very important to us.”
Lloyd is also concerned about West Indies’ selection policy and the output of the Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre (HPC) based at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).
“We don’t have that cohesion at the moment. We seem to be a bit sporadic with our selection and so on and I think that comes from not winning,” he said.
“We’ve an academy now and I think when we produced someone from this academy, it’s a well-rounded player. We should not have to be working on this player’s fitness, thinking of the game, reading the game as it goes along – that’s where we are being beaten. People out-thinking us,” he added.
Lloyd, who during his captaincy West Indies had an unbeaten run of 27 matches, wants to see the utilisation of more former West Indies players to help in developing cricket in their respective territories.
He said that the top cricketing nations have used their former players successfully and West Indies should do the same.
“Look at the Australian backroom staff when they played against England a few weeks ago, all ex-Test cricketers who have done well, who are now putting something back into the game. All of the other countries seem to be utilising the people we have.”
He said: “You have Ambrose, Walsh, Richards, Greenidge, Haynes – these are guys who just finished playing cricket and they want to put something into our game, and I think we should be able to utilise their skills.”