West Indies needs to recapture cricketing culture to be competitive - Sir Richie Richardson

By April 16, 2020

For the West Indies to be a consistently competitive force in world cricket, it has to revive the culture that helped create the juggernaut that dominated world cricket for 15 years, says former captain Sir Richie Richardson.

A swashbuckling batsman in his heyday, the now 58-year-old Antiguan played 86 Tests for the West Indies from 1983 to 1995, scoring 5949 runs at a healthy average of 44.39. During that time he scored 16 centuries 27 half-centuries. Richardson was appointed captain of the West Indies in 1991 and led the Caribbean side through 24 Tests until 1995.

Incidentally, he was captain when the West Indies relinquished the Frank Worrell trophy to Australia in 1995, which many believed triggered the start of the decline in fortunes of the West Indies.

Speaking on Mason and Guest in Barbados on Tuesday, Sir Richardson said the West Indies and the region needed to recapture some of that magic of old.

“We have to find a way to recreate a strong cricketing culture, and how we are going to do this, it’s going to take a concerted effort by the entire region,” said Sir Richardson.

“Not just cricket boards but schools, parents, communities, we all got to find a way to come together again.

“Someone has got to put something in place, someone has got to put a structure in place and I think the West Indies Cricket Board has that responsibility to put that structure in place and work with all the other stakeholders. You have to have a system from the West Indies Cricket Board right down through to school-boy cricket.”

If that can be achieved, he said, the West Indies would eventually begin to reap the benefits.

“Once we could get that going and get everybody on the same page from the grassroots going right through, I believe we can start to see a change. It is not going to be easy but I believe it can be done. Our talent is immense, our talent is immense in our genes and nobody can take that away from us,” he said.

“It is now for us to harness that talent, pull it together and find a system to bring that talent through and if we do that I can see us being competitive again.”

Since his retirement, Sir Richie Richardson has remained active in the sport.

He was appointed the West Indies' team manager for a period of two years in January 2011 and was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Nation (KCN) by the Antiguan Barbudan government on February 28, 2014.

He was appointed to the Elite Panel of Match Referees by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2015.

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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