Richards worried by woeful Windies
Former West Indies great Viv Richards says the team's state is near breaking point.
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2007 11:28 GMT

Sir Vivian Richards says it hurts to watch the current struggling West Indies side [GALLO/GETTY]

Viv Richards, West Indies' most successful captain, said that it hurt to watch the mistake-ridden current crop of islanders as they stagger towards yet another defeat on day four of the third Test against England at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The Windies face a daunting prospect against England, as they were 55 for 2 at drinks in the first session, requiring a further 400 runs for an unlikely victory to avoid a defeat that would put them 2-0 down with one test remaining of the series.

Although Windies debutant pace bowler Darren Sammy took seven wickets on Saturday, his team mates produced a miserable display with a series of laughable misfields and dropped catches that brought howls of mockery from the crowd.

For Richards, one of the finest batsmen to grace the game and also a devastating fielder, it was painful to watch.

"What we have witnessed here, the fielding, those elementary things, something is missing and you do worry and it does hurt," Richards told BBC Radio 5-Live.

"I agree (the desire is missing), maybe I could send out the rallying call.

"When you look at Dwayne Bravo, the way he enjoys his cricket, he could have been a part of what took place in the 70s and 80s and I wonder if he realises the job he is faced with of helping some of these guys to enjoy the game itself rather than looking so placid at times.

"West Indies cricket is about enjoyment and having fun but also being very successful."

Poor record

Richards knows all about success, having never lost a series during his 11 years and 50 tests as captain from 1980, and the decline since those glory years has been beyond belief, particularly away from home.

Apart from trips to Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, West Indies have gone 16 series, soon to become 17, over 12 years without winning an away series, the worst run of a major nation in test history.

In 10 years of touring, they have won one overseas test match, coming during a 3-1 series loss in England in 2000, while suffering 42 defeats.

Breaking point

Richards said that he would love to try to help turn things round, even though in his former role as chairman of selectors he was criticised for being too hard on some players.

"I tried my best, I tried to identify the individuals who were not team players and by doing that maybe you upset someone in an island or he writes to the board saying 'he can't touch one of our guys'," the man dubbed the 'Master Blaster' said.

"But it is coming near breaking point. West Indies must think seriously what is most important… is it people with their personal political agendas or the majority people who are supporters of cricket?

"I'd like to think it's the latter we've got to take care of."

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.