SYDNEY, Australia, CMC – West Indies legend Clive Lloyd has made a passionate plea for the international powers to offer more assistance to West Indies cricket.
Lloyd, the captain of the all-conquering team of 1970s and 80s, is chairman of selectors and is with the team in Australia for the ongoing Frank Worrell trophy series.
Speaking on a wide range of topics, he argued that the game in the Caribbean was in need of resources to aid with development and progression, and called on the world governing body, the International Cricket Council, to act on its behalf.
“To run cricket you have to have quite a lot of money. We’re not as wealthy as the other countries. We did well in the 70s and 80s because we were coming as champions and if you’re coming as champions you can demand something,” the 71-year-old Lloyd told reporters here today.
“So now if you’re not champions you don’t get things thrown at you and unfortunately we need things thrown our way so we’re able to compete with the bigger countries.”
He continued: “People must realise where West Indies is concerned, we have a plethora of islands … we can’t drive anywhere … we have to fly everywhere. To fly from Guyana to Jamaica takes four to five hours. And each island has different cultures.
“So we need to have more money to help us because, don’t forget, when we play our cricket it is high season and hotel rates are very exorbitant. We’re not as wealthy as the other countries.”
Lloyd has been hailed as the architect of one of the greatest periods of sporting dominance when West Indies dominated world cricket.
That era stemmed from a defeat to Australia in 1975-76, after which the regional side ruled the cricket world for 20 years. During that period, they won the World Cup in 1975 and 1979 under Loyd’s captaincy.
Also a former team manager, Lloyd said the present side in Australia had the potential to become a match-winning outfit but needed to gain more experience in foreign conditions.
“If a team comes to any country they should be able to play enough warm-up games to get accustomed to the conditions. We’ve travelled 12,000 miles and it’s different here,” Lloyd pointed out.
“We had jetlag, there’s the heat, the hardness of the grounds, it’s just getting accustomed to a lot of things and two four-day games would probably have put us in good stead.
“It showed in the last game at the MCG we batted fairly well on a pretty good Test pitch so I’m sure the guys will give a good account of themselves in the long run. But it will take some time to build a Test team.
“We have to try and look to build a team that’s going to stand us in good stead for the future.”
Lloyd was also quick to hail the work of newly appointed Test captain Jason Holder. He said the 24-year-old had shown great character in handling the pressure of the tour.
“Jason continues to do a great job both on and off the field. He knew what it would be like before he took the job and he has handled himself very well on this tour,” Lloyd said.
“There has been a lot of pressure on him, but we saw how he bowled and especially the way he batted in the last match. That demonstrated his mettle. He’s mature beyond his years and will continue to do well for us.”