By Rajiv Bisnauth
CLIVE Lloyd, former West Indian captain, believes regional players must make West Indies cricket their top priority; hence playing for the region is ultimate.
Lloyd, an outstanding batsman during his era, thinks only a settled side can allow West Indies to perform consistently.
“We changing captain, and we changing players … there is no consistency. We have to be consistent. we have to get a settled side. We have to build a side and until we do so consistently we will not able to perform. We cannot have guys saying that they are not playing this tournament, or I am not going on this tour … no, we cannot do that; playing for your country is the ultimate,”
Lloyd said during contribution on the Mason and Guest Radio Show Tuesday evening.
The Caribbean outfit have been dealt a massive blow with Test captain Jason Holder and limited overs skipper Kieron Pollard among twelve players who refused to tour Bangladesh, due to COVID-related concerns and other reasons.
As a result Cricket West Indies (CWI) was forced to name two second-string squads.
However, according to Lloyd, the most successful and respected captain of West Indies cricket, while it’s unfortunate, the situation now gives the youngsters an opportunity to prove themselves.
“Our guys seem reluctant to play the longer game which is a bit unfortunate, because if we have just over five million people in the West Indies, and if we can lose ten players, it somewhat inflates the side.
“I do hope the youngsters who are going will now get that chance to prove themselves and if they do, the board will have to just stick with them. It is somewhat strange because in other countries their players are playing in the T20 game but they still want to play for their country,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Lloyd, who led the West Indies for a decade from 1975 to 1985, a period when the Caribbean side gathered massive success in world cricket, believes it should be a good contest between both sides, since Bangladesh is an improved cricketing nation.
“It should be a good contest if we can get our players to play to the best of their ability and play five-day cricket. You can’t just go out and play T20 cricket for five-day cricket … no, that’s not it. As I said T20 is an exhibition, while the five-day cricket is an examination, so the point is concentration. All the great players have done well because of their concentration and they have applied themselves to the task,” Lloyd stated.
The Windies, who have failed with bat and ball this year, are aiming to improve with a new look squad when they face Bangladesh for five matches in January and February.
The touring party is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka, the largest city in Bangladesh, on January 10. They will undertake quarantine protocols prior to training and kick off preparations with a one-day warm-up game in Savar, the closest city to Dhaka.
The tour comprises three ODIs and two Test matches in Chattogram and Dhaka respectively.
These Tests will form part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World Test Championship, with the trio of ODIs being the first matches in their ICC World Cup Super League campaign that offers the opportunity to qualify for the lucrative ICC World Cup 2023.