Windies focus on youth cricket

Clive Lloyd.
AP Photo/Matt Dunham,File

Newly-appointed West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) chairman of selectors, Clive Lloyd has indicated that youth development will be his primary focus in helping revive West Indies cricket.

The former West Indies captain has been given a two-year contract.

Lloyd said that in order to ensure West Indies’ ascension in the ICC Test rankings, emphasis must be placed on honing the potential of youngsters at the regional Under-19 level, something he felt was undervalued in the past.

“We have always had a lot of talent at the Under-19 level but we lost a lot of these young cricketers,” he said.

Lloyd pointed to the High Performance Center in Barbados as ideal for inculcating the skills youth cricketers needed to progress.

According to Lloyd, the facility would be crucial in instilling a mindset adapted to the rigors of Test cricket in the younger players.

He also stressed that West Indies needed to be more formidable and mentally stronger to regain respectability in Tests. West Indies are currently ranked eighth in the ICC Test rankings and have not won a series against a top-eight side since August 2011.

The side suffered a 2-0 series defeats on their tours to India and New Zealand and recently lost a three-Test series at home to New Zealand.

Speaking about the recent changes made by the WICB, Lloyd thinks that is what regional cricket needed to take the game to a higher level.

The changes to the selection committee, includes former fast bowlers Eldine Baptiste and Courtney Walsh.

The WICB said that former wicketkeeper Courtney Browne has been retained on the panel, while current head coach Ottis Gibson joins as a non-voting member.

But previous chairman, former Test off-spinner Clyde Butts and former leg-spin all-rounder Robert Haynes have been dropped.

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