Drakes requests BCCI to be benevolent

"If the Indian cricket board decided not to squeeze us and give us 43 million dollars back then we can put ourselves in a situation where we can develop the game of cricket," said Drakes.

Former West Indian pacer Vasbert Drakes was optimistic about India touring the West Indies later this year.   -  V. Ganesan

Former West Indian pacer Vasbert Drakes, who is in the city as coach of the women’s team, urged the Indian board to help improve the state of cricket in West Indies.

In October 2014, the West Indies team left the India tour abruptly after a disagreement between the players and its board over pay issues. The BCCI had sought a compensation of 42 million dollars for the lost revenue and decided to call off bilateral tours before ties between the two boards were restored late last year.

At a time when West Indies is facing a financial crunch, Drakes requested the BCCI to be more benevolent. He said, “If the Indian cricket board decided not to squeeze us and give us 43 million dollars back then we can put ourselves in a situation where we can develop the game of cricket.”

He added, “We always had excellent relationship with BCCI and playing India always tend to be a highlight as West Indians.”

“The game has evolved and you have a country like India which has tremendous wealth and some of the best players in the world are coming out of India. We have lot our guys playing in IPL and learning so much and growing as cricketers. The relationship between India and West Indies has always been healthy and India coming to West Indies this year is a sign of relief. We are excited about where cricket is going.”

Speaking about the 2014 tour fiasco and the effect it had on players and the board, Drakes said, “Without going too much into the details because I wasn’t there, it was unfortunate. We had and still have a pretty good relationship with India and still rely on India for the bilateral tours in terms of generating revenue into our cricket. It was very unfortunate.”

“Certainly the public wasn’t pleased with the stands that everyone took. It definitely would have affected the morale of the supporters of the cricketers in the Caribbean knowing for the last 15 to 20 years we haven't played the cricket the public and the world wanted to see from us.”

Elaborating on the success of the under-19 side, Drakes said, “I seriously think we are making some strides. We did well in under-19 and I was involved with their preparations till December and also involved with the emerging squad.”

“I still believe with our brand our cricket and the flair we have, can bring a different dimension to the viewership of the game. If we can find a way very soon, where we are playing consistent cricket, I think the game will be in a better place.”