Engage BCCI now - Roberts
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Former West Indies fast bowler Sir Andy Roberts is not in concert with the recent decision by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to establish a task force to look into the circumstances surrounding the recent pull-out by players during their recent tour of India.
According to Roberts, a member of the world champion West Indies teams of the 1970s, what the board should have done, at the very least, was to first address the issue of recent threats from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
"I would not go the route of a task force right now. I would get people down to India to see if we can salvage anything," Roberts told The Gleaner.
"For me, that is more important right now than to set up a task force to find out what transpired between WIPA, the players, and the board."
The BCCI, through a post-tour cancellation working committee last week, took the decision to suspended all bilateral tours to the West Indies.
The Indians were expected to play five series against West Indies in the next eight years, including four visits to the Caribbean.
The working committee also contended that the BCCI was contemplating taking legal action to recuperate close to a reported US$65 million it stood to lose due to the tour cancellation.
The West Indies, in addition to the tour-opening five-match ODI series, were slated to play three Tests and a Twenty20 international.
"If India goes through with their threats of cancelling or suspending tours for how much years, our cricket is going to suffer tremendously," Roberts said.
"It may take you another two or three months before this task force sends in its report.
"For me, it's a situation of let's see if we can salvage something from the Indian board before that."
Roberts expressed disgust at the players' withdrawal but said he was awaiting full details of the impasse before casting blame.
He also suggested what the make-up of the delegation to India should look like.
"We should get a few respected former players, maybe one or two prime ministers, because I think we may need governmental intervention," he said.
"A former president, and it would be if that president has a legal background, so that you don't have to carry two people for that.
"The only member of the board who I'd say should go and make any form of contribution might be Joel Garner, with him being a former player.
"I would send no president, no CEO. I don't event think Clive Lloyd should go because I think he was part of it down there (in India). You don't want anybody who was involved to go."