Melbourne/Kingston: Two West Indies players, one representing the glorious past and other the shambolic present, have come together to criticise their Cricket Board and called for complete revamp to revive cricket in the Caribbean nations.
While Dwayne Bravo has criticized the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) over its strained relationship with players and a lack of facilities for the sport, pace legend Michael Holding has termed the Board as "dysfunctional" and "untrustworthy."
Bravo, who will play with the Melbourne Renegades in Australia's Twenty20 league, said "too much politics is killing our cricket."
"We've got the players to be up there with the best in the world but there's a lot of things going on,' he said. "Those in charge have to look into themselves. We don't have proper grounds, proper nets or a proper academy. All these things are a part of our downfall."
Bravo was stripped of the captaincy of the West Indies limited-overs team a year ago and then was left out of the squad that contested the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February and March. He retired from test cricket in January.
He is the older brother of Darren Bravo, who was on the team which lost the first test to Australia last weekend in Hobart by an innings and 212 runs, and is a cousin to West Indies great Brian Lara.
Holding has called for immediate changes in the board to avoid further deterioration of cricket structure in the Caribbean.
"As for the state of West Indies cricket, that will only get worse as long as this current crop of board members remains there and the structure and culture remains the same," Holding said on Wednesday.
"You cannot have a healthy, productive, employee workforce while the employer is dysfunctional, untrustworthy and not liked by the employees."
West Indies cricket was thrown into turmoil in October 2014 when players went on strike and quit a tour of India. Its coach has been suspended over a dispute with selectors and many top players have chosen lucrative Twenty20 contracts overseas rather than play test cricket for the West Indies.
"The relationship between players, board members and management staff — it needs to get stronger and tighter," Dwayne Bravo said. "They need to have a lot more honesty."
Even as West Indies suffered an innings and 212 run defeat against Australia at Hobart, the directors of WICB showed defiance at their quarterly meeting in St Lucia on Saturday.
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) had labelled the governance structure of the WICB as "antiquated", "obsolete" and "anachronistic" and called for immediate dissolution of the board in its report.
But Caribbean legal figure Anthony Astaphan, whose services was sought as an advisor to discuss the review by CARICOM's cricket sub-committee, said in a WICB release that the way forward "will look at how both organisations can work together for the benefit of the improvement of cricket on and off and the field".