Windies self-inflicting blow

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara has described as “a self-inflicting” blow, the decision by the Clive Lloyd led selection panel to omit Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo from the region’s side for Cricket World Cup 2015 currently underway in Australia and New Zealand.

Lara, the former West Indies captain, says he is confused by the decision to leave Pollard and Bravo out of the squad still struggling to reclaim its title as world beaters.

Lara’s opinions are contained in an article he wrote for a daily newspaper in Trinidad just before West Indies crashed to a shocking four-wicket defeat at the hand of minnows Ireland in their world cup opener recently.

“I believe we shot ourselves in the foot and had the people who selected our team seen the World Cup for the prestigious tournament it is, both Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, would have been in Australia, New Zealand,” Lara wrote. “It is hard to understand the reasons why they are absent. It’s a self-inflicted blow, for sure,” he added.

Bravo was the captain of the West Indies side that pulled out of the tour of India last October because of a pay dispute between the players’ union and the West Indies Cricket Board.

Pollard and Bravo are fourth and fifth on the list of highest run-scorers for West Indies since the 2011 World Cup.

Meanwhile, former West Indies captain Sir Richie Richardson says cricket’s revival in the Caribbean will pivot on how much emphasis is placed on development at the grassroots level.

The current West Indies team manager said there had been little investment at that level during the glory years and said any return to the pinnacle would involve a renewed emphasis on coaching throughout these various age groups.

“What’s important to me is what we produce at home, what we do at the grassroots level, what systems are in place,” Richardson said.

Sir Richie was part of the dominant West Indies team of the 1980s, which also involved the likes of fellow Antiguans Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Curtly Ambrose.

Together, they formed a feared unit which controlled Test and One-Day cricket, up until the start of the 90s decade.

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