Thu | Sep 21, 2017

T20 exodus hampering Windies - Lloyd

Published:Saturday | January 2, 2016 | 1:00 AM
Windies visit to Prime Minister's Residence West Indies legend Clive Lloyd speaks to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mrs Turnbull during a visit to Kirribilli House on January 1, 2016. WICB Media Photo

SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):

Selection chief Clive Lloyd believes the exodus of players like Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Lendl Simmons to the lucrative Twenty20 circuit has definitely had a negative impact on the development of the West Indies Test side.

The legendary former West Indies captain said the absence of such players had left the Caribbean side with a vacuum and forced authorities in the region to undertake a rebuilding process.

"You can't fault them (players who have turned to T20s)," Lloyd told a media conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday.

"The money that is being paid in these shorter games, it's obvious that players are looking towards their future. And, unfortunately, we're missing out, all those guys who we groomed have now left, so we're left with a vacuum and we now have to fill that."

He continued: "People might say that we're not a top-class side, but some of these guys [in the current squad] have only played four Test matches and we can't bring anybody from home because they'll be just as raw, or young."

Big Bash players

While West Indies have been locked in the current three-Test series against Australia, Gayle, Simmons and Russell have all been campaigning in the

Big Bash League here for various

franchises.

Former Test and one-day captain Darren Sammy and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo are also involved in the Big Bash after having retired from the longer format of the game.

Lloyd, who oversaw one of the most successful periods of West Indies cricket in the late 1970s and early 80s, said some of these players would have played key roles in the touring Test side.

"That's the situation we have; we have guys like Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle, Bravo and these fellas, (but) they've retired from the longer form of the game," he explained.

"I think somebody like Russell - surely we would have had a chat with him - but he has a problem with his knee and he's just playing one-day cricket. Lendl Simmons, too, would have been a nice guy to have in the middle there because he's an opener, (and) he plays spin very well; he would have fitted in fine with our batting.

"But he's not involved, so we've got to look somewhere else. It's a bit of a sad situation, but I'm sure that our cricket will get better."

West Indies have struggled on tour so far, losing both Tests by significant margins. They went down by an innings and 212 runs in the Hobart opener before crashing to a 177-run loss in Melbourne last week.

They face Australia in the final Test here starting today.