ST JOHN’S – West Indies team manager Richie Richardson is singing the praises of the management of regional cricket.
The former Leeward Islands and West Indies captain has described the current regional management as “the most organised and best” he has ever worked with in any organisation. And he has called on Caribbean cricket fans to put aside insularity in relation to team selection and “stop bickering and pulling against each other”.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview after West Indies lifted the ICC World Twenty20 Cup for the first time in Sri Lanka just over a week ago, Richardson pointed to the professionalism exhibited by the management team.
“I have to say I’ve worked with a number of organisations and I think the management team of the West Indies is certainly the most organised, the best team I’ve ever worked with. Everybody looks out for each other, very organised, very professional, always in position to do what they have to do and look after the players,” Richardson said.
He was first appointed manager in January last year. Under the captaincy of all-rounder Darren Sammy, West Indies beat Sri Lanka by 36 runs in the final in Colombo on October 7th to spark wild celebrations among the players, management and fans. Significantly, the team for the final comprised six players from Trinidad & Tobago – Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul and Samuel Badree, three from Jamaica, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Andre Russell and two from St. Lucia Sammy and Johnson Charles.
Those in the squad who did not play in the final were Barbadians Fidel Edwards and Dwayne Smith and Trinidadians Darren Bravo and Lendl Simmons. The latter did not get a game during the tournament.
“It’s about time we stop bickering and pulling against each other and stop having such narrow views about selection and who is playing and stuff like that,” Richardson said.
“Obviously people are going to have their opinion, but at the end of the day we should always support the team that goes out there on the field to represent us.
“So I just want to reach out to Caribbean people. Let us continue to support our team, let us continue to be together because we have problems and one of the problems that we have is that we pull against each other.
“Everybody wants their player to captain or their player to play. It’s all about the Caribbean. If 11 players are from Trinidad, let’s support those 11 players. If the captain is from Nevis, let’s support that captain. It’s about the West Indies and I know the selectors will pick the team that they think is the best to go out there and do the job. Let us all support that because when we win we all feel really, really good,” he said.
Richardson added: “At times when we looked like we were going to lose matches we have seen guys come out and play magnificently well. We have seen Marlon Samuels, Chris Gayle play well, (Andre) Russell pull off some magnificent fielding, Darren Sammy bowling well. I think overall we have played well as a team. We have gelled well and I think that is what has contributed to our success.”