By Neto Baptiste
Cricket West Indies (CWI) President, Ricky Skerritt, said the regional body has been making a concerted effort to involve former players in their drive to move the game forward.
The former West Indies cricket team manager, however, said that more could be done and that former players should be more involved at the association level as well.
“The short answer is no, but what I can tell you is that more of our former players have been engaged since I have been president and maybe some of them feel like they haven’t been engaged enough and I have no doubt they could be engaged more, but the people who really operate across the region and for whatever reasons that gap is just too huge,” he said.
“For example, the legends in their own home islands, it would be great if they could do more. Some of them would tell you that well, I have been living here for so many years and the cricket association president or whoever has never asked me to do anything, so people tend to sit back and wait to be asked because of bad experiences in the past or whatever,” he added.
The CWI boss was, at the time, responding to enquiries on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show as to whether or not past players were being utilised in an effective manner.
Skerritt said he wants the former players to be involved in all aspects of the game and not just in coaching.
“One of the first things we did for World Cup last year is that we mobilised five legends and sent them to England during the World Cup and they spent several weeks during the World Cup doing public relations type work, which is a little bit easier to organise as long as you have the sponsorship funds and so on. One of those five people was an Antiguan but my point is that, what we really want them to do is both in terms of that and being able to big brother and mentor young cricketers,” he said.
The consensus has been widespread that former players, especially those who would have found success at the international level, are not being given enough opportunities to contribute to the development of West Indies cricket.
A number of former greats have however lamented that they have never been asked by their respective national associations to assist in any aspect of the national programme.