Caribbean great Richie Richardson Tuesday urged the maligned West Indian team to back themselves and take on Australia in the coming three-Test series.
The Windies are a pale imitation of their glory days a quarter of a century ago and have been largely written off by the pundits as they embark on their tour of Australia.
The West Indies, who have a four-day warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI starting in Brisbane on Wednesday, last won a Test in Australia in 1997 and last won a series Down Under in 1992-93.
But Richardson, the Windies team manager, called on his young and inexperienced touring team to believe they can upset Steve Smith's Australians on their own pitches.
The second-ranked Australians are expected to be too strong for the eighth-rated West Indies in the three-Test series, starting in Hobart on December 10.
“I really don't see question marks and I hope the players aren't thinking that way either because that is negative,” Richardson told reporters. “We have to back ourselves and look to win. We have a young team we are moulding. Our players will be looking to establish themselves and gain as much experience as possible.”
Richardson said he has been trying to instil some self-belief in the West Indies team, skippered by young paceman Jason Holder.
“When I played the game I never underestimated anyone,” he said. “On any given day you can get the better of somebody, but you have to back yourselves. That's how I played the game and that's how I talk to the players. You have to believe you can conquer. If you do that you start to gain respect, you start to find yourself being on the same level as them and probably going past them.”
Richardson, 53, was one of the West Indies' greatest batsmen, scoring 16 centuries in 86 Tests at 44.39 before his retirement in 1995.