By Neto Baptiste
Iconic former West Indies batsman and captain, Sir Vivian Richards, has encouraged all to throw their weight behind newly appointed captain Kraigg Brathwaite, for the two Test series against Sri Lanka, here at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Sir Viv opined that Brathwaite would have done well to permanently force his way into that position following a successful tour of Bangladesh and should continue to receive the support of all players.
“I don’t think it was a long term plan and this is only my opinion, but I believe it was because of the things that would have taken place in Bangladesh in terms of the team being successful, but I don’t think Kraigg was in the picture at all. I don’t know how well they would have prepared Jason Holder for what would have taken place and that is left to be seen but now that we have a fresh new captain, it could only be that whomever must fully get behind the new captain,” he said.
News broke last week that all-rounder Jason Holder had been sacked as Test captain and replaced by Brathwaite for the pending Sri Lanka series.
Brathwaite, who has previously led the team in seven Tests whilst deputising for Holder, becomes the 37th Test Captain of the West Indies.
Sir Viv believes that Brathwaite’s handling of the team and their eventual success in Bangladesh may have set the tone for recent successes against to Sir Lanka.
“You have to give credit, first of all, for the run that we would have had starting with Kraigg Brathwaite and the individuals who would have gone to Bangladesh. I think they did very well and that would have sort of set the momentum or the stage for the individuals in the T20 for them to accomplish what they recently did,” he said.
“I think they played very well, I think they look like a powerful team, in my opinion, and it’s a team that can beat any given team in the world on any given day. We had a few little issues at times with the spin but I believe it’s a team that’s so deep that anyone can come and do the business,” he added.
Scorer of 8,540 runs in 121 Tests, Sir Viv said that although some may question the quality of opponents the team has faced in the last two series, the players must be credited for getting the job done either way.
“People speak of it only being Bangladesh, or it’s only Sri Lanka, but we have to start somewhere because if they go and get beat, then we would be criticising and saying all the nasty stuff, but in the profession you have got to take care of what is in front of you and they have done that. To me, I believe that by doing such it creates the confidence they need pushing forward and when you do that, then you can take on the bigger teams and because of the fact that you are on a winning streak, this does help,” he said.
The first Test is slated to start on March 21 while the second Test is slated for March 29 to April 2.