CWI blamed for decline
Stressing that there was no development plan, Franklyn Stephenson is blaming Cricket West Indies (CWI) for the team’s downward spiral in the world rankings.
Stephenson, a world-class all-rounder of the 1980s who had successful stints with Tasmania, Barbados, Orange Free State and Notts, thinks the management of the game is in the wrong hands.
“We are not building. In the modern-day game people are working out your strengths and weaknesses and so when they see you again, you have to make your weaknesses stronger.
“It is always a work in progress and I don’t see us working. I don’t see the West Indies with a plan of development.
“All of the other teams are keen on their cricket and we have a lot of sidetracking issues. Management isn’t supporting growth and development but rather are dictating.
“Who are they to dictate and bring in to develop our game. People are picking favourites and expatriates, it is crazy.
“They don’t know anything about development and still they are in charge.
“Instead of seeking advice, they get very big-headed when they are criticised or you say something they don’t like.
‘Get around management’
Who are they? Our cricket is in a serious, serious state and there is no coming through it, we have to get around it and that means getting around management,” he said.
Stephenson, 59, the last man to do the double of 1 000 runs and 100 wickets in the English County Championship – achieved in 1988 for Nottinghamshire – is arguably the best cricketer from the region who never played Test cricket.
Now the driving force behind the successful Franklyn Stephenson Cricket Academy, Stephenson said he was hurt to see the West Indies slide to a record low ninth in the Test rankings, behind even Bangladesh.
Stephenson says it won’t be long before unheralded Afghanistan challenge the West Indies in the five-day format.
“We can’t bat the Afghan spinners. Afghanistan are improving, they have heart and grit. We have to take 20 wickets and that is going to be a challenge for us.”
Stephenson is in no doubt that most of the problems in West Indies cricket is administrative.
“We are not putting any infrastructure down. We had great success in the past and if we were smart enough, we could look and see how that came about and look to restructure and get it to come back.
“We are doing nothing of the sort, we are looking for something new every day, we are looking for Australians that failed in their career to come down here and work on our cricket.
“What sort of developmnent plan is that?
“Our game is built on passion and love for the game and we are not seeking to bring that back.
“Our players are lost in that system. Where is the development?,” he added.
Bangladesh have moved up to 75 rating points while the Windies remain on 67.
India remain the top-ranked Test team with 125 rating points. South Africa are right behind them with 112 points, followed by Australia, New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Zimbabwe are in tenth position. Ireland and Afghanistan will be added to the 2019 Test rankings making it a 12-team table. (MK)