Sir Andy Roberts believes that the Professional Cricket League (PCL) is missing the mark in terms of readying the next generation of West Indies cricketers for competition at international level.
Roberts expressed the view while speaking recently with Andrew Mason on the Mason and Guest radio programme in Barbados.
Asked to give his assessment of the Ricky Skerritt-led CWI administration so far, the former West Indies cricketer said: “I think if we can get our cricket on the field up to par (with other international teams), I would say Ricky has done a great job. At the moment, it is not even close.
“We are still trying to mend fences between the administration and some of the players who are still playing, instead of focusing on bringing the younger players to the forefront because, if those (younger) players cannot make it at the international level, then we are doomed,” Roberts said.
“More emphasis should be placed on the upcoming players and in my view, the franchise cricket is not doing the work that it should be doing because we are not seeing the players coming forward and producing at the higher level. They do well in regional cricket but once they step away from the regional cricket, they are found wanting. As far as the cricket is concerned, I will give them a six,” he added.
Roberts also noted that the administration of the game, coaches and selectors usually take the brunt of the blame for the performances of the team. However, he insisted that players must also accept responsibility.
“One of the things that people keep running away from is that we are placing all the blame on administrators and coaches but we are giving the players a free pass. I will forever keep saying that unless these players accept at least 60 percent of the responsibility for their own development, we are not going anywhere.”
Meanwhile Sportsmax Zone host George Davis also spoke with Mason about Skerritt’s tenure, saying CWI is moving in the right direction.
“I am not going to criticise the reign of Ricky Skerritt and his team so far. I am more going to critique the reign. To critique you will assess and you will diagnose something and look at it dispassionately. When you criticise, you will point out the flaws in a disapproving manner so I don’t want to criticise, I want to critique,” Davis said at the onset.
“What is true is the administration has sought to end an important thing that has affected relationships with players and the board, and the players and the fans, and that is simply the harmony around West Indies players and what it means to be part of a West Indies team,” he explained.
“I think that with the moves made to mend fences with the likes of (Kieron) Pollard and the two Bravos (Dwayne and Darren) and other players and bringing them back in the fold, I think white-ball cricket, at least, is stronger with the reintegration of these guys and the mending of fences,” he argued.
He noted that the past disequilibrium between the players and the board has been the cause of a lot of unnecessary pain for West Indies cricket and “for the administration to mend that so soon in the mission to move forward is commendable, and you have to give Skerritt and (vice-president Kishore) Shallow and their team full marks in that respect.”
Davis also felt that where the high performance centre was concerned, “it needs no analysis to say they have fallen short there.”
He explained: “They have started and they are moving in the right direction. They were clear that what was needed was not a revolution but an evolution in some respects, and a gradual improvement while delivering the best team possible. So I mark them on the line of progression and say they are doing okay, not spectacular but it has not been a dog’s dinner either.”
Both Roberts and Davis gave Skerritt a six out of ten for his first year at the helm of West Indies cricket.