Windies legend Richards believes negotiations between all parties key to getting missing players back to WI fold

By Sports Desk September 16, 2022

Legendary Windies skipper Viv Richards believes it is important for players to remember the role representing the team played in earning big-money T20 contracts, but insists there should be plenty of room for negotiation with cricketers currently out of the team.

The absence of the likes of Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, for example, two of the team’s most explosive players, from the unit for the last year has been a sore point.  Despite the fact that they have continued to play in lucrative T20 leagues around the world, both players have been unavailable for the regional team.

Russell has not played for the team since last year’s World Cup while Narine has not appeared since 2017.  Another player, opener Evin Lewis, remains out of the team after opting out of fitness tests.  Recently West Indies coach Phil Simmons expressed frustration with the issue.  Richards believes a lot of the issues could come down to communication.

 “Guys sometimes try and make that particular decision in terms of what they want to do because they don’t feel that they are represented well enough on the left, and that’s why they will move to the right so it is pretty much troublesome knowing and hearing that from the coach, which means there are issues where these matters are concerned,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

“There has got to be a meeting of all the individuals who participate and that’s the board and all the individuals they may believe to be in that particular lane where they do not want to play,” he added.

“That’s always your first aim, for you to represent your country as a sports person and then, if you can move further up-field like representing the region, which is obviously the West Indies cricket team, and then expand elsewhere because if that’s what you’re looking for, then that’s the opportunity you’re looking for,” he said.

“Also, there are times when we should look at the lighter side of things where one has got to remember that it was the West Indies platform that obviously gave you an opportunity for you to expand yourself.”

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