Sarwan is  the latest to criticize the WICB. Photo: Stabroek News

Sarwan is the latest to criticize the WICB. Photo: Stabroek News

GEORGETOWN—Former captain Ramnaresh Sarwan has blamed the regional board for the decline of West Indies cricket and believes CARICOM’s intervention represents the best chance at ensuring the sport’s revival.

The 35-year-old Guyanese, who led West Indies in four Tests and five One-Day Internationals, said the region possessed plenty talent but administrators had failed to manage the game properly, and this had led to the team’s slump internationally.

“WICB needs to take responsibility for the fall for WI cricket,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s a situation that we are lacking of talent. It’s just that we don’t have the right people managing our cricket, and how long we don’t get that, I don’t think that we will be able to rise again.

“We cannot have so many talented players in the Caribbean and not be in the top four teams in the world [in Tests and ODIs].”

Sarwan is the latest player to wade into the debate over the WICB’s management of the game, following Twenty20 captain Darren Sammy criticism of the regional governing body, after his side’s capture of the T20 World Cup in India last Sunday.

In a post-match interview, Sammy said the players felt “disrespected” by the board, a remark that sent shockwaves through the cricketing world. The WICB quickly apologised to the international cricket community for what it labelled as an “inappropriate” comment.

Since then, former one-day captain Dwayne Bravo, leading opener Chris Gayle and legendary former captain Sir Viv Richards, has come out in support of Sammy. Sarwan, who played 87 Tests and 181 ODIs, said the board had in the past not been accountable enough.

“I think (Darren) Sammy was spot on in his interview. Over the years, the West Indies board, especially the directors and administrators, whatever you want to call them, tended to do a lot of stuff and get away with it,” he said.

“And during the period that I’ve played, we’ve struck a lot trying to highlight those areas that they have erred, and nothing seems to be changing.”

And with a CARICOM-commissioned Governance Panel recommending the “immediate dissolution” of the board and the formation of a new structure, Sarwan said the regional nation grouping held the key.

“I like the initiative that CARICOM is taking to try and resolve the problem. I think once CARICOM gets involved and they put their foot down then I think that they will find some sort of solution.”