CRICKETING GREAT Brian Lara is calling on his former teammate Jimmy Adams to adopt an aggressive approach, as he takes up the mantle of West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Director of Cricket.
The 49-year-old Adams, who replaced Englishman Richard Pybus a month ago, resigned as coach of English county team Kent last October.
Now the ex-WI captain, who served as deputy to Lara from 1999-2000, is tasked with the role of helping to resurrect the fortunes of the game regionally.
Asked if Adams can help spark a turnaround in WI cricket, Lara, speaking during the launch of his island-wide Cricket Tour at the Barataria Oval on Thursday, jokingly replied, “as long as he doesn’t take it like his batting, very defensive.” Lara stressed, “I think Jimmy’s got to be very authoritative in terms of his approach and get what he needs if he thinks he’s going to make a difference in West Indies cricket. I’m banking on him.
“I know Jimmy since youth days and he’s very knowledgeable, but a bit reserved. I’m hoping that (he sees) his job as something that he has to really pioneer a move for change in West Indies cricket.” As far as the regional game is concerned, Lara made it clear that “talent in the Caribbean has never been an issue.” He said, “what it is, is bridging that gap between being a talented teenager and what the West Indies have created in terms of a support. We don’t have that professionalism in West Indies where you can take the talent and make sure that when they can get to the international level, that it’s ready to go. We see people in Australia and England, and they take mediocre talent and all of a sudden they’re on the world stage and doing very well. I say it all the time, we take great talent and make it mediocre.” About his expectations for the forthcoming home series against England (three One Day Internationals) and Pakistan (two T20 Internationals, three ODIs and three Tests), Lara noted, “I really don’t focus on results in terms of West Indies cricket, even when I played, I’ve struggled a bit to get a lot of victories. So it (was) all about identifying that moment when I feel we’ve made that turn around the corner.” He added, “a win here or there is not important to me. I want to see a lot more consistency in our cricket.
So that is what I’ll be looking for.” The batting legend also touched on the infamous Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba. “It’s been 10 years,” he said.
“Work stopped on it for the past five or so years. I know the present Government made a statement that this has to finish. Presently, what I see, it looks amazing. But facilities around Trinidad and Tobago always start off looking very good.
“What I’m more concerned is how self-sufficient it’s going to be. How dependent in Government it would be and that’s my main focus. The actual structure is one thing but bringing life to it is another,” Lara ended.