Former West Indies wicketkeeper, Deryck Murray, believes drastic structural changes must be implemented in order for the team to have any hope of regaining its place among the elites of international cricket.

Earlier this week regional cricket governing body Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced the decision to replace lead selector Roger Harper and Miles Bascombe, following a disastrous showing at the ICC T20 World Cup earlier this year, and subsequent fruitless tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

 For Murray, however, the decisions may not run deep enough in tackling the substance of the issue.

“Yeah, they’re going to change the selectors, but are they going to exchange some for others or is it going to be a real radical change in the way West Indies cricket is run,” Murray queried on the Mason and Guest radio program.

“If our cricket is ever going to improve, the first thing to do is to get the board structure right.  The way the board is constituted now, at least three reports have been absolutely clear, The Patterson report, the Caricom Report, and the Wehby report all have said exactly the same thing, the structure, and composition of the West Indies board has to change,” he added.

“The way it’s constructed at the moment, all you are going to get is people vying to get people picked who are their friends or come from the same territories and we’re not going anywhere.”

Fourteen years ago, former Jamaica Prime Minister PJ Patterson, Sir Alister McIntyre, and Dr. Ian McDonald produced a Governance Report, which listed 65 recommendations to improve West Indies cricket.  At the time, the document was dismissed as not relevant by the then administration.  In 2015, a Caricom Governance of Cricket report was submitted by a panel chaired by Professor V Eudine Barriteau, which included former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice Sir Denis Byron, Murray, Warren Smith, and Dwain Gill. 

Two years ago, another report, conducted by an independent task force led by former Jamaica Senator Don Wehby, which also included Sir Hilary Beckles, O.K Melhado, Charles Wilkin QC, and Murray, produced 36-pages of recommedations that also pointed to the need for structural reforms.  The majority of the recommendations from any of the three documents are yet to be implemented.

Former Windies wicketkeeper, Deryck Murray, believes it is important for the team to cultivate the habit of winning and admits to being encouraged by the displays in recent weeks.

The West Indies followed up a gutsy away win over Bangladesh, with a hard-fought T20 series win over Sri Lanka, before putting on a dominant display in a One Day International (ODI) series against the same opponents.

While some may view the results with an air of skepticism, due to what they believe is inferior opposition, Murray was quick to point out that the team’s approach and attitude in recent encounters was just as important as the results and could augur well for the future.

“We are at a stage where West Indies cricket, let’s face facts, is at the bottom of the rung and we have taken the opportunity to beat teams on an equal footing with us or just above us,” Murray told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“What we saw in the One Days against Sri Lanka were people playing to their responsibilities within the team…we saw that in areas of the One Day game where people were called up to bowl at different times, people coming to bowl at the death, etc. People were moving out of their comfort zone and doing what the team needed,” he added.

“Between going from number 9 to number 1 there are going to be obstacles and hiccups along the way.  We are not going to beat everybody as we go along but being able to win in tight situations is key, forget whether it was Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.  In tight situations, we came out of it winning.  Players are going to start believing they can win.  So, when we face England, Australia, India, or New Zealand, it’s not going to be us trying to do something as a one-off but let’s get into a situation to give ourselves a chance to win.  You are going to start winning more than you are losing.”

The West Indies will now turn their attention to securing victory over Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series, which begins on Sunday.  

 

Former West Indies wicketkeeper, Deryck Murray, believes there should be a serious consideration for Kraigg Brathwaite to remain captain on the back of the team’s strong showing against Bangladesh.

Brathwaite, who took charge of the regional squad after Holder and several others opted out of the tour, after citing health and safety concerns, has widely been credited for unifying the team under difficult circumstances.

Holder, on the other hand, has had a difficult spell in charge over the last several months with lopsided losses to England and New Zealand.  Albeit triumphing against more lowly ranked opposition, Murray believes Brathwaite was able to pull exceptional performances out of the squad and is in favour of keeping momentum.

 “It is something that you have to talk about very seriously.  I do not discard Kraigg Brathwaite as Test captain automatically,” Murray told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“You need to look at the team that we are going to put together, and if it is that there is going to be four or five players from this (Bangladesh tour) team there is a strong case for doing that (retaining Brathwaite),” he added.

“There is a strong case for saying to Jason Holder ‘come back, don’t have the pressures of captaincy on you.  You are going to be the central all-rounder in this team.  You are going to bat at six, we need you to attack as a bowler, be a wicket-taking bowler, not a containing bowler as the fourth seamer in the team, and therefore we need to have the best available team at that time.”

“The team who is coming with the confidence of just being successful.  Rallying around the team that we are going to build for the next three or four months because we have two or three series coming up in quick succession.  We have to make sure we are doing that and that we don’t suddenly say ‘yep these players have done it but we are not putting too much emphasis on that.”

 

 

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