Baccus: Players today should be fitter, stronger

Former West Indies batsman, Faoud Baccus (left) watches the ball as it races towards the boundary as he bats against England at the Oval in Barbados.
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By Neto Baptiste

Former West Indies cricketer, Faoud Baccus, believes players today should perform at a higher level than those from his generation, given the services readily available to them.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Baccus said that while playing at the highest level, the team was not afforded half the staff and services available to players today but that players now seem to pick up injuries more often than before.

“In the olden days we didn’t have the gyms; we didn’t have the facilities; we didn’t have the coaches; we didn’t have the doctors. We did have people around, but not to that extent. We did train but our training was mostly physical — running. Later, guys started going to the gyms and today, every guy has his personal trainer,” he said. 

The former Guyana national cricketer, who has a highest of 250 against India in 1979, said that when he played, the focus was on avoiding injury rather than treating them.

“I remember the days when Kerry Packer was there, we didn’t even have a physio; we had one guy who was at the grounds and that was it. We had a guy named Dennis Wade with the team and all the series Mikey [Michael Holding] played before that he was having some little niggles and Dennis believed that prevention was better than cure so instead of you getting injured and then treating the injury, he believed in preventing the injury so he would have Mikey doing some funny exercises. We called them funny but they were strengthening exercises and they worked well,” he said.

Baccus, who also played for the USA, made his Test match debut for the West Indies at the age of 24 in the 1977/78 series against Australia.

His international career came to an end after he joined the rebel tour to South Africa in 1983–84, defying the international sporting boycott of the apartheid state.

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