ANTIGUA OBSERVER – Former West Indies captain Sir Viv Richards has blamed the “arrogance of administrators” involved in West Indies cricket for the failure to ensure the best players in the region remain available for international duty.
Several big-ticket players including Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Carlos Brathwaite, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and Darren Bravo are currently in India to participate in the IPL even as a three-match ODI series against Pakistan gets underway on Friday in Guyana.
In the last few years a number of high profile Caribbean players declined central contracts from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), leaving them under no compulsion to appear for national duty. One of the dictates of the WICB that has irked the players is being asked to play the Regional Super50 in order to qualify for selection for ODI squad.
Considering the aforesaid players all featured in domestic T20 leagues like the Big Bash, which clash with the Super50, they have refused to sign the binding WICB contract.
Richards insisted that the situation has come to pass only because members of the WICB have done a “lousy job” in 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,” Richards told ESPNcricinfo in Mumbai on Wednesday.
“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.
“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.”
Having failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy in June, West Indies are currently lying ninth in the ODI rankings and face the prospect of missing out on direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup.