KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Controversial Cricket West Indies president, Dave Cameron, has questioned the commitment of West Indies players and has warned that “serious decisions” will be taken at board level to curb the problem.
Speaking in a radio interview here in the wake of the Windies historic series whitewash to Bangladesh in the two-Test last week, Cameron said the board was spending “millions of dollars” to develop players but was not managing to maximise its investment.
“Part of our challenge is we’re having players who are going in and out of the system, they’re not fit enough and we spend millions of dollars on bringing them to where they’re at and we need players to commit to West Indies,” Cameron said.
A CWI board meeting was held in Trinidad last weekend which Cameron said would have been used to come to “serious decisions” on what is referred to as the “West Indies cricket first policy”.
The policy urges players to prioritise West Indies availability over global Twenty20 leagues, with the aim of ensuring the best squad at all times for international tours.
Cameron hinted that at the moment, players seemed to be distracted by the lure of the lucrative short format franchise cricket.
“Everybody wants the game to be over in three hours and we all want to get rich very, very quickly,” he contended.
For the ongoing three-match one-day series in Bangladesh, West Indies are again without several first-choice players like Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell.
While Gayle indicated his unavailability prior to the India tour last October, mystery surrounds the omission of Lewis, Narine and Russell especially since the trio turned out in the T10 League in Sharjah earlier this month.
In the past, West Indies selectors have struggled with player unavailability due to contractual commitments to foreign franchises, and were forced to do without several players for their World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe last March.
Cameron argued the Caribbean was perhaps the only jurisdiction where players were allowed to freely flout national selection.
“It’s not an outcry across the region because West Indies is not one country. If this was South Africa, we would not allow our players to be playing other events while West Indies is playing cricket. There would be a national outcry and players would be banned and all kind of things but it’s ok,” he pointed out.
“We seemingly don’t have the moral authority to choose people to play for us even though we spend millions of dollars developing these athletes. I think we need some kind of a public forum where everybody can get behind us.”
At last weekend’s board meeting, CWI were also expected to discuss vacant head coach position of the men’s team, following the recent resignation of Australian Stuart Law.