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Sunday, 7 July, 2002, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Joel Garner Q&A
Joel Garner
Garner is manager of the West Indies A team

Q. The decline of West Indies cricket since the halcyon days of your era is well-documented. What are your views on the subject?

A. There are a lot of players with the talent and ability to make it at the highest level for the West Indies.

But the discipline is missing, not enough of the players take their cricket seriously enough and it is in this area where I feel we have to improve.

We need to become more professional in our approach to the game before we can hope to become one of the best sides in the world again.

I don't see that there is much difference between the natural ability of the players playing now for West Indies and the team that I played in.

The difference is that we had the right mix of enjoyment and application to the task. It was the right recipe for success.

Q. Is the West Indies Cricket Board doing enough?

A. The Board has to do more in my opinion.

It must adopt the role of developing players and getting them ready to play international cricket.

Joel Garner and Gus Logie
Garner and Gus Logie, coach of the A team

If you look at a competition like the Busta Cup, the emphasis is too much on simply winning and not developing talent for the world stage.

In Australia, if the word goes out that a fast bowler is needed or a middle-order batsman, then the ACB does all it can to unearth those players and create competition for that place.

Q. Do you see any of the A team pushing for a place in the World Cup squad? And how do you see West Indies faring in South Africa?

A. This team is a mix of young players and some who have played Test cricket before.

There is a lot of talent here and I would say any one of them has a chance of going to the World Cup. I wouldn't like to single one out.

Joel Garner
Garner took 5-38 against England in the '79 World Cup final

The important thing is that they all believe they have a chance of making it and want to fight and compete for a place in the team.

I think we have a good chance of doing well in the World Cup. As I have said, the talent is there in the West Indies.

It is just a matter of being professional and being mature about your cricket.

Q. Are you enjoying your role as manager of the A team?

A. I'm just trying to put across my two cents and hope that what I have to offer the players can take away with them.

I want to get the players to enjoy their cricket and not view it as a chore.

It is a special thing to play for your country and, hey, what better way to live your life than to get paid for what you love doing?

I see my role with the A team as getting them into good practices. All bad habits do is breed more bad habits.

Q. You have just completed a stint as a selector for the national team. Was it a worthwhile exercise for you?

A. Well it's a difficult job but somebody's got to do it!

Sir Viv Richards
Richards is the new chief of selectors for West Indies

It had its ups and downs like anything else. You have all the different areas that make up the West Indies and appeasing each of them is not an easy thing to do.

Our main focus was to build on what we had at our disposal, to give players a chance and let them know that we had confidence in them.

Looking back I don't think we did a bad job.

Q. Do you harbour ambitions to one day coach the senior West Indies team?

A. I wouldn't like to say at this stage.

The role of the coach is a very special one and one that is very challenging.

It is something that I would naturally consider if it became an issue some time down the track, but that is for the future and not for now.

West Indies second string tours England

First-class matches

One-day matches

See also:

26 May 02 | West Indies v India
22 Jul 02 | Cricket
09 Jun 01 | Cricket
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