'Tours are crammed'
Lloyd laments lack of preparation games, congested itineraries
CENTURION, South Africa (CMC):West Indies chief selector, Clive Lloyd, has criticised the shortage of warm-up games on the current tour of South Africa and says modern-day itineraries left little room for player development.
Lloyd, the outstanding former captain of the 1970s and 80s, was speaking ahead of Wednesday's start of the opening Test, following the only warm-up match of the three-Test series.
"I've always wanted two four-day games in the tour. I've said that to the West Indies and the ICC. I think one game is not enough," Lloyd told reporters here.
West Indies last week faced a South Africa Invitational XI in a three-day game, their only chance at match preparation for the series. Even then, rain washed out Friday's final day, leaving the tourists with just two days of cricket.
In the time allowed, Marlon Samuels slammed an up tempo double hundred and opener Devon Smith, 174, as West Indies piled up 508 all out.
Left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell picked up a five-wicket haul as the hosts were shut out for 125. But with the last-day washout, several Windies batsmen and bowlers will now enter the first Test short of work.
"I think we should've had at least three games surrounding this Test match," said Lloyd, credited for moulding the Windies side of the 70s and 80s into a winning unit.
"That way, if someone is out of form, they can go into a four-day game and get back into it. You can't tell if a player is doing well in the nets."
no room for development
Lloyd, who has served as chairman of ICC's cricket committee, was appointed chief selector in August, in a shake-up of the selection committee. An experienced administrator, Lloyd said the way current tours were constituted left no room for focus on player development.
"Most of the tours are crammed. You're playing 50-over games, T20s, it's a lot of cricket, and your body can only take so much. That's why we're seeing so many injuries. Nicely spaced-out tours would be best for me," he pointed out.
"It's also about young players, because you want them to have a game and see what they have. We just jump into a country and then we're gone.
"You can't groom players anymore. You want to try out a few youngsters. I'm not saying you have to have 10 games, but just enough that young players will get a chance."