By M. Shamil Amit
Former West Indies skipper Sir Vivian Richards who is currently in Sri Lanka with their A team criticised the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) crack down on bowlers just months ahead of the World Cup.
“In my opinion the ICC should have done it much earlier and this is not the correct time to take these kind of actions as the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup is just around the corner,” Sir Richards said at a press conference held to announce the forthcoming series between Sri Lanka A and West Indies A at Jaic Hilton on Tuesday.
West Indies mystery spinner Sunil Narine is among those high profile spinners who had been suspended pending laboratory testing or banned from bowling because of a suspected action.
"I have had the honour of representing the Windies for a good 17 years and I am proud to mention that I’ve been involved only in one series loss which I can say that it’s not a bad record. I also had the opportunity of playing in Sri Lanka on two occasions and in one of those I scored a century"
“It’s very unfortunate. Narine is a mystery bowler like the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan. We cannot come to terms with the banning,” the legendary West Indian said.
The high profile cricketers banned are Sachithra Senanayke (Sri Lanka), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan) and Shane Shillingford (West Indies).
Former skipper also said despite the banning of Narine, West Indies has a great chance of winning the World Cup next year.
“However I think the West Indian side has a fair chance of winning the World Cup. I am a great follower of Sri Lanka cricket. With two top batsmen in Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena they too should be in the reckoning for the World title,” he added.
Speaking of his international career Sir Richards said “ I have had the honour of representing the Windies for a good 17 years and I am proud to mention that I’ve been involved only in one series loss which I can say that it’s not a bad record. I also had the opportunity of playing in Sri Lanka on two occasions and in one of those I scored a century.”
Sir Richards believes that the current series would help players of both sides to improve their game.
“This will no doubt be a stepping stone for the players of both the teams and hopefully from my side it would be fine if we could pick some good players for the future,” he added.
He is the technical director of the West Indies A side which will play three four-day matches and three ODI matches during a month long tour to the island.
The tour will begin with the first four-day match starting Saturday at the Sooriyawewa Stadium.
Sri Lanka A team which is yet to be announced will be captained by Upul Tharanga while Carlton Brathwiate will lead the West Indies A.
West Indies squad: Carlton Brathwiate (Capt), Assad Fuddin, Kriigg Brathwiate, Kirk Edwards, Sunil Ambris, Jonathan Cater, Jerommine Blackwood, Chalwick Walton, Andrew Fletcher, Nikita Miller, Devendra Bishoo, Shane Shillingford, Miguel Cummence, Sheldon Cottree, Shannon Gabriel. The Sri Lanka squad led by Upul Tharanga was yet to be ratified by the Minister of Sports.