Two-time World Twenty20 champions West Indies lost by 9 wickets to Ireland and the champions returned home in the very first round to the surprise and shock of many fans around the world and West Indies fans.
West Indies’ World Cup ended in the first round in Hobart, a far cry from winning the title in 2012 and 2016 and the latest disappointment for the once-mighty Caribbean side. They also won only one match in last year’s World Cup.
Sir Andy Roberts, who represented the West Indies in 47 Tests from 1974 to 1983 and 56 ODIs from 1975 to 1983, spoke at a Media on how to solve West Indies’ cricket problems.
Sir Andy then said that he was ready to stand against bold decisions if he was employed by the West Indies Cricket board.
“I would have to have a job where whatever decision I make, I will take the blame for it. Nobody must stand in your way to tell you ‘No, you can’t go that way because that way is too harsh.’ Nobody must tell me that I have to be a marathon runner in order to play cricket.” Sir Andy said during the Good Morning JoJo sports show on Antigua-based Radio.
Also, he spoke about fitness training where he said that cricket is all about strength and conditioning and it needs separate fitness and current West Indies players are not given cricket-specific fitness exercises.
“Cricket fitness is different to any other sporting fitness. You’re training yourself to be on a field for six hours but today they train themselves to be on a field for two hours. It’s a different type of fitness that is required for cricket — cricket is strength and condition. Even though you’re bowling four overs, because of the anxiety at crease end when you’re bowling you have to be on a field for four or five hours. Your legs suddenly become tired; you’re blowing deep breaths because everything just comes down on you at the same time.”
“Also, the fitness training that these guys do is totally different from the fitness training that we used to do. If you go to a West Indies cricket training today, you don’t see much running going on. And what is cricket? A running sport.”
Further Sir Andy Roberts spoke about fitness and he turned to Jamaican fast bowler Odean Smith in particular. There he discussed his fitness issues.
“I watched Odean Smith — after two balls you could see him [hyperventilating]. He maybe fit to run five miles. He may pass the YoYo test [running aerobic fitness test during which a player is required to ‘shuttle’ between two cones that are placed 20m apart] but is he fit to run in and bowl for an over? It’s a different type of fitness required.”