West Indies could split by 2025, says former WICB director

Sydney, Dec 7 (IANS) Former West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) director Baldath Mahabir fears the once great national team could disband within the next 10 years as a result of their continued failure on the international stage.

Mahabir, who served on the Trinidad and Tobago board in the 1980s before becoming a board member in 2009, slammed the WICB as “unprofessional, tardy or lax in many instances”.

After quitting the board last month, he is worried things will get so bad the West Indies will split into the 16 individual nations which make up the regional side.

Mahabir has also put the heat on the management team run by WICB chief executive Michael Muirhead, saying it had “serious management issues”.

“We have a passion for West Indies cricket, we have this emotional attachment to the West Indies brand,” Mahabir was quoted as saying by Australia’s Fairfax Media on Monday.

“I really don’t know where that will go with the younger people, whether they will see West Indies as a force or if they would want to see the individual countries play. That is something that could change dramatically with the younger people coming into the game,” he said.

The team is ranked eighth among 10 Test playing nations and a lowly ninth in One-Day Internationals, which resulted in their missing qualification for the Champions Trophy. However, they are second in the Twenty20 arena.

“Anybody who is under 20 years of age would not have the same emotive connect with West Indies cricket that we had because we knew we were beating the world. These people would have no idea of Greendige, Richards, Lloyd and how good they were,” he said.

“They would know a team that has taken a battering the last two decades. Let us move 10 years from now – do you think you would want to be associated with a brand like that? And branding is becoming much more important in the world of marketing and sport. I would not like to see it happen but there is a possibility,” Mahabir said.

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