West Indian cricketers need to start putting their country first, says Sir Richie Richardson

"West Indies cricket has to be number one"

“West Indies cricket has to be number one”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

West Indies team manager Sir Richie Richardson has announced that West Indian cricketers have to start putting their international commitments ahead of domestic Twenty20 tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Big Bash League (BBL).

Richardson noted that he had no problem with players participating in these types of tournaments, but added that they should only do so when the West Indies are not scheduled to play any cricket.

“I understand players wanting the opportunity to go and play cricket elsewhere and I support that,” the Jamaican Gleaner quoted Richardson as saying. “I want players to be comfortable and make as much money as possible.

“But for me, personally, West Indies cricket has to be number one. What happens if all the players decide that they are going to play cricket all over the world and ignore West Indies cricket? Our cricket would die.”

Richardson’s comments come after spinner Sunil Narine opted to represent the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL final on June 1 instead of playing for the West Indies in the first Test against New Zealand on June 8 in Jamaica.

“Rules and regulations are there,” he said. “The players signed a retainer contract with the West Indies Cricket Board, making a commitment to West Indies cricket.

“At the end of the day, if it was not for West Indies cricket none of us would have been here.”

Richardson believes that this dilemma can be solved if a window is created for domestic Twenty20 tournaments.

“It’s unfortunate that there is a clash (with the IPL),” he said. “I think what perhaps should be done is all the countries around the world should get together and make sure that there is a clear window for IPL.¬†This would ensure that there are no conflicts where the players are concerned.”

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