Leadership, T20s cause WI decline - Waugh
SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):
Successful former Australia captain, Steve Waugh, has blamed poor leadership and the lure of global Twenty20 tournaments for the demise of West Indies cricket.
Speaking in Bangkok at a global forum for young leaders, the 50-year-old Waugh said the decline of West Indies cricket had been unfortunate, but was hopeful the region could rebound soon as world cricket needed a strong Windies side.
“What has happened in the West Indies unfortunately in the last 10 years is that they have lacked leadership,” said Waugh, who led Australia in 57 of his 168 Tests before quitting international cricket 11 years ago.
“A lot of their current players value, I guess, Twenty20 cricket and making money rather than representing the West Indies.
“They need to get back that real sense of pride for playing for the West Indies. They have a great culture and tradition in cricket.”
West Indies dominated world cricket in the late 1970s and 1980s, producing star studded teams under the astute leadership of legendary figures like Clive Lloyd and Sir Vivian Richards.
However, West Indies have struggled over the last 20 years and are ranked eighth in Tests and ninth in one-day internationals. They missed out on qualification for the 2017 Champions Trophy because of their ranking, marking the first time they have failed to qualify for the ‘mini World Cup.’
Waugh told the forum that the Australia side which came to dominate world cricket following the Windies’ fall had been built on the model established by the successful Caribbean team.
“They were the benchmark for cricket. That was what the Australian team’s success was based on, following the blueprint of what the West Indies cricket used to be and used to do. No shame in that,” Waugh explained.
“They were too good for everyone. They were unbeaten for 15 years. Australia hadn’t beaten the West Indies for 22 years and I definitely followed their model and we tried to tweak it a bit to suit Australia’s way of cricket.
“I would hate to see that lost because a poor West Indies cricket side really weakens world cricket; so I, for one, would love to see the West Indies strong again.”