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Lara Bashing is not the answer
Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2004

By Ian W Smith

Many years ago, I think it was 1988 while I worked in the media in TnT I did an interview with famed Pakistani Cricketer Intikhab Allam. He was then manager of the Pakistani team in the region. Allam wanted to know how after all the victorious years in cricket, conditions in the West Indies were still so backward and there were no good practice facilities. From what I understand despite some big grounds in the smaller island the every day cricketer in the region still plays his game on matting wickets. If selected for national or regional duty he then has to make the adjustment to the turf. In the interim West Indies cricket has gone from being top of the rung in Lloyd/Richards era to the bottom of the barrels with all the Captains that followed whether it be Richards, Adams, Walsh Hooper and now Lara.

I submit that we have failed largely in developing the infrastructure for the game so how does anybody whether it be Richards himself, Croft, Gibbs and Cozier expect us to improve. The fact is all the other countries in the world have invested heavily, the Asians continent where Bangladesh is now emerging, the Englishmen have found a way first to blunt and then to dominate our fast bowlers, while New Zealand and Australia are turning out players like Detroit turns out cars. I am tired of hearing about the raw talent, gosh Lara is probably the best man who ever picked up a bat but he is not God to make it happen in his favor all the time.

The critics therefore can spend their time attacking the local associations to turn around the game at the root level. We must return to the communities and furnish them with the right condition to turn it around otherwise we loose big time. Lara alone cannot do it and I swear if they win the war and force him into premature retirement I will learn American football and baseball thereby changing my sporting interest. We definitely need to put the pressure in the right place.

I swear we are better off losing with Lara now and developing the game than to give Sarwan the leadership and making sure that he too fail.

If we fail to prepare then we have definitely prepared to fail.

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