WICB’s ‘new direction’ in doubt

Former West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts has slammed the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) saying that the “new direction” it has taken is hurting rather than helping the game, which has seen more than 15 years of declining fortunes.

Roberts recently told ESPN cricinfo website that the board’s emphasis on using up-and-coming players to re-build the team will further hurt regional cricket.

“Fifteen years is a long time and we haven’t seen much progress,” said Roberts, a former West Indies coach.

Roberts explained, “if we don’t change the current approach, another 15 years will go down the drain.”

The Antiguan arguably one of the most feared fast bowlers during the West Indies period of dominance in the 1970s-1980s, also sent a bouncer in the Windies direction, criticizing the manner in which they dealt with the issues involving senior players.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Chris Gayle have been omitted from the current Pakistan series and Ramnaresh Sarwan was only recalled for the fourth and fifth One-Day Internationals after the regional side lost the series.

The WICB expressed its disappointment when Gayle went to the Indian Premier League recently but the hard-hitting batsman countered in a radio interview in Jamaica saying that the WICB did not communicate with him after he returned from the World Cup injured.

Roberts also renewed his call for the WICB President Julian Hunte, CEO Ernest Hilaire and coach Ottis Gibson and some of the board members to resign, saying Caribbean cricket needs a “different approach.”

He also felt that Darren Sammy needs to be removed as West Indies captain since he is holding back the team from progressing.

The former fast bowler explained that Sammy has continuously handicapped the West Indies team and members will continue to struggle if he is in the squad.

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