By Neto Baptiste
Iconic former West Indies captain, Sir Viv Richards, is not opposed to taking a hands on approach as part of efforts to improve regional cricket but is adamant there must first be meaningful changes to the current structure.
The Antiguan, who scored 8540 runs in 121 Tests, hinted that before he could commit to coaching and or mentoring within the current set-up, he must be given some degree of freedom to work outside of the normal politics plaguing regional cricket.
“I am a lover of the region and I will do everything that I can but there will have to be certain things done and too many folks cannot get in the way and I think that at present, there are lots of chefs but there is not much cooking,” he said.
Sir Viv, who had taken over as West Indies coach during the 1999 World Cup following the hospitalisation of his former teammate Malcolm Marshall, for the removal of a tumour on his colon, said that although the current crop of players have shown patches of brilliance, there is a need to improve the mental aspect of their game.
“There are certain improvements in the team but we are seeing it in bits and pieces and we’re not seeing those pieces being put together. When you look and see maybe a Blackwood go out and score a hundred in some difficult circumstances and we saw in Shai Hope when these guys went to Leeds and beat England in conditions that were much more favourable to England so I believe it’s just totally mental because we bat in little bits and pieces. Look at Alzarri Joseph, we saw him come and play a batsman role in the very first Test match [against New Zealand],” the former player said.
In their two Test series against New Zealand earlier this month, West Indies went down by an innings and 134 runs in the first Test before losing by an innings and 12 runs in the second match.