Cricketers need foreign exposure
THE EDITOR, Sir:
West Indies do not need a foreign coach. It has not worked and it will never work. Since 1995, the year West Indies lost the Frank Worrell Trophy to Australia, we have never been able to return to the standard of play we enjoyed under Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards.
The main cause of this problem is that all West Indies Test players were forced by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to return here to play in regional matches to be considered for selection in Test matches. This started with Desmond Haynes not being considered for the Australian tour of 1995 and has continued ever since.
Gradually, many upcoming West Indies players did not have the opportunity to play League and County Cricket in England as had been the case since the 1930s, starting with Learie Constantine and George Headley.
My suggestion is that once you discover a talented player who shows a lot of promise, get him a contract in League or County Cricket in England. The discipline and responsibility learned in England cannot be replaced by coaching in the West Indies.
Sir Frank Worrell said it best in his book, Cricket Punch, published in 1960: "On the contrary, nothing is better for a young cricketer from the tropics than to have experience in the leagues, for it is in league cricket that you come up against so many different varieties of bowling from the ones you are used to in our home country. You meet swerve, spin, varying pace - the lot. Furthermore, it gives the cricketer from the tropics invaluable experience of English weather and English wickets. It also gives a young player a sense of responsibility, and a strong sense of responsibility is essential for any good international cricketer."
CLIFFORD K. JONES