It's All Money, Money, Money with This West Indies Squad. They Have Lost Touch with Their People. . . Fast Bowling Legend Michael Holding Tells CHRIS FOY of His Sadness at the West Indies Side's Mercenary Attitude
THE West Indies players who set out next week to become the first home team to win a World Cup have been condemned as greedy mercenaries who have lost any rapport with the people who idolise them.
While Brian Lara's young side raised expectations across the Caribbean by reaching the Champions Trophy Final last November, Michael Holding does not believe they are well prepared to mount a serious challenge for one-day cricket's top prize.
In a fierce attack, the fast bowling great claimed they are driven purely by money and suggested their veteran captain is not offering the necessary leadership.
There is a consensus in the region that the West Indies are capable of beating any country on their day but suffer from wildly fluctuating form.
Most observers talk of this inconsistency as the sum total of the problem, but Holding - part of the World Cup commentary pool on Sky Sports - dug deeper to pinpoint the malaise which has taken hold for many years.
'There is a lot of potential in the side, but I don't like the way the youngsters seem to come in looking enthusiastic, then tend to lose it after a couple of years in that squad,' he said. 'Perhaps there are some bad influences around.
'In my day, whether we won or lost, we were never very rich out of the game.
These guys today are getting rich and all they're thinking about is: "At the end of this tour, can I buy another house, can I buy another car?" or whatever.
'It is all about money, money, money and it is a distraction. You don't hear anyWest Indies cricketer complaining about anything to do with cricket. You don't hear them demanding more practice sessions or better facilities.
'You don't even hear the players' association arguing with the West Indies Cricket Board about anything to do with cricket - it's all contracts and sponsorship and money. I think their focus is in the wrong direction and I don't think this tournament will change that.' Holding is similarly incensed by what he sees as the team's arrogant attitude to the cricketing public in the Caribbean. Having been proud to be part of a team in the 1980s which united the islands in sporting triumph, he was appalled at the indifference of the modern squad. …