Laughing stock

Lara says Windies will struggle to reach top again

Legendary batsman Brian Lara has described West Indies cricket as “a laughing stock”, in the wake of the last month’s abandoned tour of India and the subsequent bickering between Caribbean cricket authorities and players.

The former captain was speaking in Sydney, Australia after arriving to play in next week’s pro-am golf tournament ahead of the Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club.

Lara, who retired from international cricket in 2007, said a lack of communication especially on the part of the West Indies Cricket Board, was at the centre of the latest controversy.

Brian Lara, pictured here recently posing with young Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood, says West Indies has best talent in the world.
Brian Lara, pictured here recently posing with young Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood, says West Indies has best talent in the world.

“We’re a laughing stock at present. It’s very unfortunate,” Lara told Australian media.

“The real problem is communication. I won’t point fingers. I am very biased towards players, because I was a player and I’ve experienced relationships in the past with the West Indies Cricket Board and I know what they’re like.”

He continued: “There is no communication and it escalates into something disastrous. Communication is something I have never experienced with the West Indies Cricket Board, as a captain and as a player. I suspect it’s the same thing that’s going on at the moment.”

Lara, too, was at the centre of a pay dispute with the board 16 years ago, when he and several West Indies players refused to travel to South Africa from London until the board addressed their concerns.

Ironically, the latest impasse has come ahead of the Test and one-day tour of South Africa scheduled to start next month, and already there has been considerable concern about the tour coming off as planned.

The Windies players abruptly walked off the tour of the tour of India last month over a contracts row with their union, the West Indies Players Association.

They completed only four matches of the intended six-match limited overs series, and also put paid to the three-Test series that was supposed to bowl off on October 30th.

A furious Indian Cricket Board blamed the fiasco on the WICB and subsequently slapped them with a compensation claim of US$42 million.

Meetings between the feuding parties, chaired by St Vincent’s Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, have yet to produce a definitive resolution to the impasse.

“It’s sad where our cricket has reached. It’s out in the open. The egos have to get out of the way. It’s very frustrating. It’s not something you envisage from a country that has brought so much joy to their people,” Lara said.

“I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth and express blame. But it’s really sad that we haven’t come to terms with what cricket means to us.”

Ironically, the left-hander’s remarkable career coincided with the lean years of West Indies cricket. Despite his record 11 953 runs, two records for the highest Test score and 34 centuries from 131 Tests, West Indies continued to slide to their current number eight in the world rankings.

As to whether West Indies could reach their number one status in the world again, Lara remained doubtful.

“It might be tough to get back. Those halcyon days from the 1970s and ‘80s where we were dominating are over. We’ve got to put that into the history books,” Lara said.

“But I honestly believe we have the best talent in the world. When you look at a West Indian when he is 17, a fast bowler or batsman, and what he’s capable of, I still think we have the best talent. We take very good talent and turn them into ordinary talent.”

Source: (KIP)

4 Responses to Laughing stock

  1. Alex Alleyne November 19, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Mr. Lara should know exactly how it feel and what he is talking about ,because he had the WI in the same position a few years ago . He started it all ,and from there it was “down hill” for WI cricket . WICB have not catch itself since .

  2. Cathy Lashley
    Cathy Lashley November 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    There is a saying in the Bible: “The love of money is the….”

  3. Randy Bridgeman November 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Top 10 WI batsman but a rebel. Lara should be the last one to talk about WI being a laughingstock as he and Carl Hooper conspired to temporarily abort the 1998(?) tour to SA. Only the intervention of the legendary Nelson prevented them from going through with their threat. Why did he and Hooper agree to go on the tour, then hold the Board to ransom for money just as those knuckleheads did recently? The players salaries should be docked to help pay the $42 million compensation claim made by BCCI.

    If Bravo’s group had gripes about the contract, then they should’ve aired them PRIOR to commencement of the tour to India. Initially, the problem was basically an internal WIPA one. The Board was forced to get involved when another rebel Bravo
    led his men to strike. And so it goes. Three strikes in nine years. We’re the only cricketing nation whose players have embarrassed their people and nation in this manner.

  4. george downes November 27, 2014 at 6:26 am

    this is the west indies and as west Indians its always best to blame someone, anyone, who gives a crap, if I may be a true westindian here and join the blame game, CLIVE LLOYD and his cricketers turn high paid super stars started the crap, what was worst they gave nothing back to the game, only when they was something in it for them to gain, blame blame blame, what we need is for indivisual governments to get more involved with the structure, development, organisation, pay and everyday running of the game, we dont have the financial infrastructure as the bigger richer cricketing nations, in other words a WICB that changes with the times and cost of living, Lloyd or lara cant do nothing for the windies, so lets move on, we know the talent is there, I saw some some it in the west indies recently, no use bringing it forward to push it back into pay disputes, please please, please restore our pride.
    as a west indian today I join in mourning the death of Phillip Huges a wonderful young aussie player struct by a bouncer 2 days ago, with pain in my heart for his family, may he rest in peace.


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