West Indies chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd wants to see more dedication from regional players as the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) looks to take its cricket to the next level.
Speaking to the media today at the Accra Beach Hotel, Lloyd said he would like to see more of the region’s top class cricketers play more domestic cricket. He noted that one of the problems West Indian cricketers currently had was that they did not play enough cricket at home and when they went abroad young cricketers at home suffered.
“Years ago Garry Sobers and [Seymour] Nurse and all those guys would come off a plane and on Saturday afternoons [go] straight to their club cricket and that was the normal thing. You play with the youngsters and they get the benefit of your experience and I would like to see more of that and I am not so sure it is happening throughout the West Indies,” Lloyd said.
The legendary former West Indian captain said he would like to see a settled one-day side and added the West Indies had one of the best one-day sides that could match any in the world once they played their best cricket.
He said he was quite heartened by the way the West Indies approached their cricket against Bangladesh at home but added the great test would come when they travelled to the subcontinent to play India who were one of the best teams in the world.
“Some people think that beating Bangladesh is not really a big thing but a win is a win in the Test arena and they [Bangladesh] have beaten some good teams in the past couple of months. So our approach is pretty good, we left a lot of balls alone and it was a good attitude test for them and I think the same thing will happen in India and wherever we play,” Lloyd said.
He said the region had a few good young and upcoming players and among them was young Barbadian opener Kraigg Brathwaite who scored a brilliant double century against Bangladesh, Guyanese Leon Johnson who made his debut against Bangladesh with a half century and Jamaican Jermaine Blackwood who also made a half century against Bangladesh to follow that against New Zealand.
The chairman specifically pointed out Brathwaite who he compared to West Indies batting star Shivnarine Chanderpaul who scored his 30 international Test hundred against Bangladesh this week. He said Brathwaite seemed to have the right attitude towards the game which has caused some of the other players to look at their approach to the game especially as it related to leaving balls alone that they might have previously played at.
“Kraigg seems to be pretty solid and the good thing about Kraigg is that he is like a Chanderpaul in the sense that he wants to play cricket. It does not matter who you play you still have to concentrate and I think his attitude has been very good. I think they were looking at the way he played because if you noticed most of the players were leaving the balls alone too, balls that we would normally play at. So I think so far we have done fairly well. Every time I look at my television Kraigg scored a hundred for Wanderers,” he said.
Lloyd explained it was very difficult to say when somebody should retire and added he believed Chanderpaul who is 40 could continue for a while in Test cricket if not necessarily in the shorter versions of the game.
The chairman added that the upcoming tour to India would be tough and therefore they would not be taking too many young players.
“I see it as a great challenge for our players against India because they have some of the best players in the world. I think we have a few good young and upcoming players and there is no doubt about that. But with the tour to India we do not want to take too many young players because it is going to be a very tough tour and we are still building as such. But I can assure you once they continue to perform they will be chosen,” he said.
Lloyd said the team needed to work on the batting order at the top and the fielding which was a problem against Bangladesh. He said the squad for India had already been selected and would be announced in a matter of days. He however revealed that Marlon Samuels, dropped during the series against New Zealand and who played no part in the series against Bangladesh, was back in the line-up.
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