Youth development will be my top priority, says Clive Lloyd

"Let's hope the youngsters realise that we are moving into a new era and they can be part of this thinking"

“Let’s hope the youngsters realise that we are moving into a new era and they can be part of this thinking”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Newly appointed West Indies selection committee convener, Clive Lloyd, has announced that youth development will be his top priority. 

Lloyd pointed out that many talented youngsters fall off the radar since they are not properly groomed. 

“We have always had a lot of talent at the under-19 level but we lose a lot of these young cricketers. We need to harness this talent and get them up to standard that is needed,” he said. “We cannot be in the doldrums as we’ve been, for a long time. This [new] change is a structural change and let’s hope the youngsters realise that we are moving into a new era and they can be part of this thinking.

“We have got to think a lot more about our cricket and I hope that can be injected in our young players that are coming through because these Under-19 guys, they will be the future of West Indies cricket and if they can inculcate the right sort of things, we would have a very good future.”

Lloyd also noted that the High Performance Centre in Barbados would be an ideal place to help groom and develop youngsters into superstars. 

Lloyd added that the West Indies also have to concentrate more on Test cricket after they were recently beaten 2-1 by New Zealand at home.

“I know we won a T20 championship, but we need to be more consistent with our play. We need to move up the ladder, specially where the Test matches are concerned,” he said. “We have some good bowlers around the place but our batting has not been up to par. But there are some good cricketers here and it’s just a matter of getting people who want to bat for long periods. As I said before, I want to see players bat ugly. Not every day is going to be one where you can drive it around, you’ve got to be able to battle your way out of situations.

“We shouldn’t be bowled out in two sessions in a Test match. We should not be beaten in two-and-a-half days in a Test match. We have to think properly and if you notice, any time there is a close game we get beaten. So our thinking has got to be much better.”

The former West Indies captain was also pleased to have Courtney Walsh and Eldine Baptiste on the selection committee. In addition to that, Lloyd was very impressed with many of the suggestions that the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) director of cricket, Richard Pybus, made in his report. 

“They are all experienced guys – some have captained, some have managed,” he said. “Some other guys will also come into play, there are a lot of other guys who will be working in different areas of our cricket. So we are bringing in experienced people, guys who are accustomed to winning, guys who are professional and that’s what we need – a professional body not only on the field but off the field and I hope that will be the catalyst that will get us moving again.”

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