‘T20 money decimated Windies cricket’


West Indies cricket has suffered a sharp decline in recent years because of the money on offer at T20 leagues around the world, and the WICB cannot compete, says Windies chief selector Clive Lloyd.

Players like Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo are earning top dollar at the IPL and Big Bash League, while the Test players who are not picked for that are earning a relative pittance.

Lloyd says the huge gap in salaries, even compared to other Test nations, is not enticing players to want to play for the Windies Test side, and that the money on offer for six weeks' play is far more compelling.

With the Windies in severe decline in 2015, losing eight out of 10 Tests in 2015 and winning just one, Lloyd said star players had little to no incentive to play for them.

He said: "I think that if you're a young person, that's your dream to play Test cricket for your country – money is a subsidiary of success.

"The point is if you do well you're going to be offered certain things and we have to have contracts so we can keep our players.

"Other countries' players are still playing for their country, they still want to play for their country. That is the problem that we have.

"Our guys are moving away from playing for their country, so we've got to fill that gap. I think this T20 competition has probably decimated our cricket as such."

Lloyd felt that the ICC could help by giving financial help to the Caribbean side: "Well they can give us some more money for starters. To run cricket you have to have quite a lot of money.

"People must realise where West Indies is concerned, we have a plethora of islands… We can't drive anywhere, we have to fly everywhere. To fly from Guyana to Jamaica takes four to five hours. And each island has different cultures.

"So we need to have more money to help us because, don't forget, when we play our cricket it is high season and hotel rates are very exorbitant. We're not as wealthy as the other countries.

"We did well in the '70s and '80s because we were coming as champions and if you're coming as champions you can demand something. So now if you're not champions you don't get things thrown at you, and unfortunately we need things thrown our way so we're able to compete with the bigger countries.

"The money should be equally distributed because we're all playing Test cricket… The money you will get will see you through really, so I feel that is the way we should go. You can't have three countries doing extremely well and then the rest not getting a fair whack."