St. John’s Antigua- Barbadian cricketing great and former West Indies batsman, Desmond Haynes, believes that administrators of the game within the Caribbean are at a loss as to what it will take for the standard of play to improve.
The opening batsman believes there is a need for more programmes geared towards development and that some regional administrators are just on a joy ride.
“In the Caribbean we need to make sure that the administrators of cricket understand the importance of cricket and we have got a lot of administrators who tend to think that they are just going to stay away from the whole development of the sport and just want to make sure that it’s perceived to be a boys’ club; but the only way West Indies cricket is going to get strong again is when we get the administrators really putting in big efforts in making sure that cricket is being developed in the various territories,” Haynes said.
Haynes, who was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1991, called on regional governments to put pressure on administrators who are not producing as head of their various territories.
“I would also like to think that the governments could also put a bit of pressure on these administrators to make sure that they understand the whole tourism effect. All of our islands depend on tourism and so it is very important for our cricket to be strong because it helps our tourism. So to the administrators, for God’s sake, get it right and try to do what is right for our cricket,” the former batting star said.
The cricketer turned coach also paid tribute to those former Antiguan cricketers who contributed to both the success and development of West Indies cricket while complimenting recently elected head of Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association, Zorol Barthley.
“I think he is going about it the right way in embracing a lot of the ex-players in order to get Antigua cricket back on track and hopefully in extension get Leeward Islands cricket back to where it belongs. People talk about when Barbados cricket is strong that West Indies is strong; but they also must remember that when the Leeward Islands cricket is strong, the West Indies is strong as well,” he said.
“You guys have produced some fantastic cricketers in the past and I hope that you can do something very quickly to turn around Leeward Islands cricket because if you are looking at a team, it is only as strong as its weakest link and we don’t want to know that Leeward Islands cricket is in such shambles. We really want to see it get better,” Haynes added.
Haynes formed a formidable partnership with Gordon Greenidge for the West Indies cricket team in Test cricket during 1980s. (By Neto Baptiste)