Dr Kishore Shallow said the feedback from Brian Lara’s involvement with the West Indies international teams has been positive so far.
The new Cricket West Indies president addressed several issues on the Mason and Guest cricket radio programme on the Voice of Barbados Tuesday night.
Former WI captain Lara, hired as a performance mentor in January, has a contract until the end of next year. But Shallow said his understanding is that the legendary WI batter has had a positive impact.
“Basically the feedback from the players and management who have engaged Brian is quite positive. There are some who gave examples of exchanges with him that has already manifested in positive results,” said Shallow.
Among those is batter Alick Athanase who credited Lara with improving his form in the CWI’s Four-Day Championship after he spent time with the world Test record-holder for the most runs in an innings during the tour of South Africa earlier this year.
“And others have expressed similar sentiments,” stressed Shallow.
On the topic of player availability with the myriad of limited over leagues engaging the services of WI players, Shallow said: “We have to have the conversation with the players. At this point, I can’t say there is one player who has made him or herself unavailable for selection. So it is really for the director of cricket and the lead selectors to reach out to the players, probably have a forum, probably one-on-one in some cases and just to confirm the availability of those players. Probably it would help if we had that extended schedule ...so they could know their commitments.”
Shallow said while the CWI was happy that players, who he said had a short career, could be contracted to leagues throughout the world to earn more income it was imperative for them to be there for the Windies.
“What we want, though, is for them to be available to us for international duty to represent the West Indies and by us communicating, we will certainly understand that and hopefully with more confidence in the system with some frank discussions, we would hopefully have those players available at all times so we could always have our best 11 on the field.”
On the matter of WI cricketer Devon Thomas being suspended by the ICC for seven breaches of the ICC’s anti corruption code, Shallow said he was shocked to learn the news and said the CWI must do better with their education of players.
“We have to continue our drive to sensitise cricketers to the risks of corruption, of doping in the game” he said.
The 33-year-old Thomas last played for the West Indies in December 2022 when he made his Test debut in Adelaide against Australia. Thomas has 14 days from May 23 2023 to respond to the charges made against him.
The charges involve “contriving or being party to an agreement to fix or attempt to fix, contrive or influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspects of matches in the Lanka Premier League 2021,” according to an ICC statement released on Tuesday.
He has also been charged under several other codes, including failing to disclose full details of an approach in the Lanka Premier League 2021, Abu Dhabi T10 2021 and CPL 2021.