Former world-rated cricket umpire Jamaican Steve Bucknor has painted a damning picture of the recent cop of West Indies players and administrators.
In a report in the Jamaican Gleaner recently, Bucknor described the region’s once formidable team as now littered with money-hungry, prideless players.
He suggested that this must change if the region is to return among cricket’s elite.
“There is no problem as far as they (the players) are concerned,” said Bucknor, who stood in 18 Test matches between l989 and 2009, including 26 in the West Indies.
“I can see it. Once they are making money, (they) will play,” he said.
Bucknor suggested a change in the system of compensation.
“When they play, there should be an incentive base,” he explained.
“When you do well, you get paid. So now you must perform to be recognized properly, and that is not happening,” Bucknor added.
“In the days when people were playing for pride, people were sad when they lost a game. Today at the end of a game, somebody is gone partying or something. So the care is not there. A Test match ends under three days and the cricketers, it doesn’t matter to them,” he said.
Bucknor did not spare the current West Indies Cricket Board, slamming the region’s administrative body for failure to establish a “West Indies way” of cricket; not implementing a system to properly teach cricket in each territory; discarding quality, experienced players too soon; hiring foreign coaches and not ensuring more cricket is played at the grassroots level, particularly in schools.
Bucknor, who also stood in 18×1 one-day internationals (ODIs), including five consecutive World Cup finals between 1992 and 2007, admitted there were times he was stunned by the quality of West Indies cricket while actually standing in a game.
According to Bucknor, West Indies’ recent teams are so damaged by failure they no longer recognize success.