Stop recycling players, focus on development, Sir Andy urges

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Former fast bowler and one of four knighted cricketers here, Sir Andy Roberts, said the regional board, Cricket West Indies (CWI), should focus on ways to develop and produce quality players who could compete at an international level instead of continuously “recycling” players who don’t make the grade.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Sir Andy warned that if measures are not put in place to ensure the production of new talent, then the regional squad will continue to suffer at the international level. “We spend too much time arguing about who should be coach, but why don’t we argue about who should be opening the batting, because that is what we should be talking about, the cricketers themselves, the players.

The same way that we can organize a task force to deal with selection, the first thing we should have done is organize a task force to deal with how we can produce better players,” he said. Sir Andy, the first Antiguan to represent West Indies at the senior level, said fixing the selection policy would have very little impact if there were no quality players to choose from.

“The first objective was to deal with the selection policy [but] I don’t know how a selection policy is going to win you matches and I always maintain that you have to deal with the players first. We need to get good cricketers and if you have good batsmen, good bowlers, then selection don’t really come into the equation; so that’s what we have to try to develop – good cricketers first before we could start to think about selecting them. If not, we will be going around in circles like we’ve been doing for the last 10 to 15 years,” the former player said.

Sir Andy claimed 202 wickets in 47 Tests with a best of seven for 54 while he bagged 87 wickets in 56 One Day Internationals (ODI). His best figures in ODI is five for 22.

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