Lloyd disappointed former champions WI missing from World Cup
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Former captain Clive Lloyd said West Indies missing the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 India was "hurtful", and there was enough talent in the Caribbean to turn the fortunes of the team around and ensure it never happens again.
Lloyd, who led West Indies to victory in the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979 in England, said a more direct and strategic approach to the development of the sport in the Caribbean was needed to harness the talent that he felt was clearly evident.
"I feel very disappointed when I see a team such as the Netherlands and we are not there," Lloyd said during a telephone interview with I95 radio this past Saturday in the Trinidad capital. "It's hurtful, but I think we just sort of got too blase about things, and not take our game seriously.
"We have some very good cricketers, and most of our cricketers are wanted throughout the world in [franchise] cricket. So it's not that we have a bad set of cricketers, but to get to a stage where our cricketers, whether they like it or not - I don't mind cricketers making money, any cricketer that makes money I am happy, because they put in the hours for it - but I am against any cricketer who does not want to play for their country."
Lloyd said players had to understand that they learnt the sport in the West Indies system, and it was important they return to be a part of the team when required.
He said players also had to realise that the longest versions of the sport - two-innings, four-day first-class or five-day Tests - play an important role in the development of skills in the shorter versions, such as 50 overs-a-side and Twenty20.
"You look at our four-day cricket, it is not as good as it should be," he said. "We have a lot of talented cricketers, but they do not understand you can get mentally tired when you are flying all over the place, and you get stale ... . They just keep thinking you can keep playing this T20 thing. You got to start playing the longer game."
Lloyd said another critical part of revitalising the sport in the Caribbean was interaction between past players and the present and emerging talents, to share knowledge that can help them to be more successful than players of the modern generation.
"We have got to get our senior players talking to our youngsters, imparting the knowledge that they have acquired over the years," he said. "Everybody else is doing it except us, and we have [produced] some of the greatest players in the world, but we are not engaging with them. Our youngsters are left there to fend for themselves..."
He added: "We have very good cricketers, and I think unless we get to the stage where we can give them that knowledge to compete with the rest of the world, the rot will continue ... . It's not that the other teams are better than us, it's just that they are getting better grounding than us."