November 9, 2023 -Former West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, expressed his disappointment at the absence of the West Indies cricket team from the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India.
Lloyd, who led the West Indies to victory in the inaugural two World Cups in 1975 and 1979 in England, voiced his concerns and called for a more strategic approach to the development of cricket in the Caribbean to ensure such exclusions do not occur in the future.
During a telephone interview with I95 radio in the Trinidad capital, Lloyd lamented, “I feel very disappointed when I see a team such as the Netherlands, and we are not there. It’s hurtful, but I think we just got too complacent about things and did not take our game seriously.”
Highlighting the abundant talent in the Caribbean, Lloyd emphasized the need for a renewed focus on nurturing that talent. He acknowledged that West Indies has several cricketers who are highly sought after in franchise cricket around the world, suggesting that it’s not a lack of talent but a lack of commitment that has led to their absence from the global stage.
Lloyd stressed the importance of players understanding their responsibility to represent their country, as they learned the sport within the West Indies system. He also underscored the significance of the longer formats of the game, such as two-innings, four-day first-class, or five-day Tests, in developing skills that can be applied to shorter formats like 50 overs-a-side and Twenty20.
“Our four-day cricket is not as good as it should be,” Lloyd remarked. “We have a lot of talented cricketers, but they do not understand you can get mentally tired when you are flying all over the place, and you get stale… They just keep thinking you can keep playing this T20 thing. You got to start playing the longer game.”
In addition to player commitment, Lloyd emphasized the need for interaction between past players and the present and emerging talents. He called for a stronger connection between senior players and youngsters to share knowledge and experiences that can help the new generation of cricketers succeed on the international stage.
“We have got to get our senior players talking to our youngsters, imparting the knowledge that they have acquired over the years,” he emphasized. “Everybody else is doing it except us, and we have produced some of the greatest players in the world, but we are not engaging with them. Our youngsters are left there to fend for themselves.”
Concluding his thoughts, Lloyd reiterated, “We have very good cricketers, and I think unless we get to the stage where we can give them that knowledge to compete with the rest of the world, the rot will continue… It’s not that other teams are better than us; it’s just that they are receiving better grounding than us.”