It has been a long time since the issues between West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and players began. There have been several issues that have lingered on for long and despite all adversities, the Caribbean side at one stage dominated in the sport and Sir Viv Richards was part of that team. Under the captaincy of Richards, West Indies did not lose a series. But West Indies’ aura diminished with Richards exiting the scene, and they have plummeted to the bottom of the pool, as far as Test cricket is concerned. Richards, who is currently in India to coach Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the latest edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), opened up on several issues.
“There are too many little issues that affect the (West Indies) team in terms of performance as a united unit, because of some of the problems they (would have) with administrators,” Richards told PTI in an interaction. “There has been too much involvement of folks (people) who do not quite matter. If you can find a common bond, where administrators stop thinking that they are the sole representatives of West Indies cricket, that’s rubbish, we should eliminate that factor.”
Richards also spoke with ESPNCricinfo and blamed the arrogance of administrators for the failure of West Indies cricket. He asserted the board has done a “lousy job” in terms of creating a healthy environment and added, “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.”
Richards continued and kept on his emotions coming out by saying, “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. 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.”
Despite all such issues, Richards is still hopeful of a turnaround and urges administrators to take guidance from former greats of the team. “I am one of those individuals that never says never,” Richards said.
“I believe if we start having a little bit more respect for the individuals who would have helped the administrators into that administrative position. You have a Michael Holding, who refuses to be part of cricket in the region because of the behaviour of members at the administrative level. It hurts because we are the ones that are the trailblazers, not the ones who have come on the scene at present wanting to be administrators. We are the ones who made it attractive enough for them to administer and they have done a lousy job,” he said.
The West Indies, who recently lost the T20 series against Pakistan, are far from the force they used to be. Several senior players have issues with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Right after winning the World T20 in India last year, the skipper of that side, Darren Sammy, had lambasted the board officials.