Former West Indies fast bowler Sir Andy Roberts disagrees with the widespread conclusion that there was an improved level of play during the just ended West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Super50, in comparison to previous tournaments.
On the contrary, the Antiguan believes that in some instances, the level of play has even declined with batsmen getting out in similar fashion to previous dismissals throughout the tournament.
“Our players do not work hard enough at harnessing their talent, and until they do they will never improve. All of us have faults and we all have strong points and weak points, and your strong points you would continue to have because it comes natural to you, but your weak points are the ones you have to try and eliminate,” he said.
“[As a batsman] you may not be able to score much runs, but you should not get out in the same area, innings after innings and that is what is happening,” he added.
Losing finalists, the Jamaica Scorpions posted the highest ever total in the tournament during their semifinal triumph over T&T Red Force, piling up a massive 434 for 4.
They then removed Red Force for just 142 to win by 292 runs on February 15 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.
Leeward Islands Hurricanes, in their first round clash against Windward Islands Volcanoes, posted over 300 runs to win that match.
But according to Sir Andy, this does not mean improvement, but rather that some teams are becoming even weaker than before.
“If your opponent is weak, then you are going to see these scores, and playing at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, the boundaries are not the biggest, so you are going to get big totals.
“What were the totals like on the bigger grounds in Barbados, and what were the totals like up at Sir Viv? All the teams that played here in Antigua played at both venues, but you don’t see that kind of score up at Sir Viv,” the former player said.
The first Antiguan to play for the West Indies senior team, Sir Andy does not give the regional squad a fighting chance in their upcoming home series against England.
“I don’t expect anything new until I can see some improvement in the quality of play on the international level. I am not going to judge based on the performances in our domestic cricket, because the standard of our domestic cricket is not of the highest,” he said.
West Indies will take on England in two One Day Internationals (ODI) here on March 3 and 5.
The third and final match will be held in Barbados on March 9.