Barbados [West Indies], Apr. 06 (ANI): After West Indies slumped to a four-match T20 series defeat against Pakistan, legendary cricketer Vivian Richards has launched a scathing attack on the country's cricket board and slammed the arrogance of administrators in the Caribbean side for the absence of the region's best players from international cricket.
Several key players of West Indies including Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Carlos Brathwaite, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and Darren Bravo are currently in India to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) despite knowing that the three-match ODI series against Pakistan gets underway on Friday in Guyana.
Emphasising on the same, Richards blamed that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have done a` lousy job` by creating an environment where players feel treasured by the national set-up.
"When you have an arrogant administrative unit, guys are going to pick and choose. We must remember that many of the players come from humble backgrounds. I have no qualms in saying this. Some of these administrators think they are as important as the players on the field. They are not. It is all about the attraction of the environment that the players on the field would have created for them to be in an administrative position," ESPNcricinfo quoted Richards as saying.
While T20 skipper Brathwaite has clarified that his absence from the ODIs is due to being dropped, other major players including Bravo have declined WICB contracts in last few years after the players are being asked to play the Regional Super50, the domestic 50-over competition, in order to qualify for selection for ODI squad
"I think it is a bigger issue than about the guys playing in our domestic competition. Most of the guys played there when they first started out, that's what they wanted to do. But when you get an administration who thinks that they are the most important entity where West Indies cricket is concerned, they better wake up. The players have done their bit in terms of their representation," he said.
Richards stressed that the West Indies' recent defeats after winning the last World T20 title might send out a bad message to the world.
"We lost a series in the UAE recently [in 2016 against Pakistan], now we have lost the T20 series in West Indies to Pakistan. All this after winning the last World T20. That sends a message in my opinion that all is not well with all the players who are representing West Indies at this stage," he added.
West Indies have recently slipped to ninth spot in the International Cricket Council's ODI rankings and also failed to qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy, while they are also facing a risk of missing automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup.
The 65-year-old's comments come after new WICB chief executive Johnny Grave said earlier this week that he would be open to a new system of central player contracts, which would potentially allow some compromise around the scheduling of matches.
Richards, however, remained hopeful that the West Indies could turn the things around while also urging the country's cricket board to listen to the advice of former players.
"I am one of those individuals that never say never. I believe if we start having a little bit more respect for the individuals who would have helped the administrators into that administrative position," he said.(ANI)