THERE is no doubt that West Indies cricket is on the verge of sinking to its lowest ebb, and to this end, former batting coach of the regional side, Toby Radford, is not convinced that the governing body is doing enough to improve the standard of the game in the Caribbean.
Radford made the comment during an interview on the Mason and Guest Radio Show, last week.
“There is a lot of things that could be done because this is not about just winning now, this is about getting the legacy back. So, the next ten years and beyond, everyone will look forward to see West Indies get back to where they have been,” he said.
Radford added “I would like to see a document; I would like to see a real blue print; I would like to see a five-year plan; a five-year plan of investment with some good practice facilities for the players, some better pitches for the players, some equipment to work with. I would also like to see a really good plan on how they plan to grow the game in schools again”.
Further, the Welshman, who spent several years as part of the West Indies coaching staff, feels the reintroduction of the High Performance Centre (HPC), remains one of the most critical aspects as it relates to the development of the Caribbean players.
“I would like to see the HPC come back. The best part of my coaching career was the few years I did with the HPC, but that was Sagicor money, and the minute they took the money away, the HPC pretty much fell apart,” Radford reckoned.
He went on to explain “I think the governing body should be driving a HPC, I think if you look at High Performance Centres all around the world, be it England, New Zealand or Australia, they not waiting for sponsors to come and fund it; the governing body puts the money in and I think it’s really important.
We know the players that came through at the back of the HPC, how they talk about it, so the regional body need to get that properly up and running. I know the raw materials are there. I am not convinced they, the governing body, is doing everything that is supposed to be done”.
The HPC, previously housed at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, was closed, effectively, in January 2017, after Cricket West Indies Board of Directors agreed to a write-off of the sponsorship income of US $1,081,405 emanating from the sponsorship of the HPC.
That amount had been utilized by CWI in the improvement of the physical cricket facilities of the HPC. The sponsorship of the HPC ran for five years and was the subject of a tripartite agreement between the three parties, the sponsor, UWI and CWI.
Meanwhile, back in March 2019, Cricket West Indies president, Ricky Skerrit, had said the reactivation of the HPC is top of the list, and is within touching distance of getting the production train rolling in that regard, but nothing has yet been done by his administration.
Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime.