West Indies cricket legend Deryck Murray believes the current generation of cricketers has, to some extent, lost the meaning of what it means to represent the regional team.
The 76-year-old former wicketkeeper played 88 matches in 10 years for what is generally referred to as the ‘all-conquering’ West Indies squad. The team proved themselves to be the best in the world after capturing back-to-back ICC World Cup titles with wins over Australia and England at the 1975 and 1979 editions.
For the current crop, however, those glory days have long faded. The team has captured two world titles of its own in the freshly minted T20 format, but when it comes to the traditional ODI and Test formats, they have for the most part lost far more often than they have won.
Murray believes a part of the team’s recent failures is down to losing the significance of what it means to be on the pitch for the West Indies and the passion required to succeed.
“I’d love to give them an understanding of what it really means to represent the West Indies. I think that is something that would be difficult to assimilate without the kind of mentorship that I had and I’m sure a number of youngsters coming into the team in my era had,” Murray told Barbados radio show, Mason and Guest, recently.
“I think now people talk about cricket as a job, you have to be professional. You have to do this you have to do that. You have to hit a 100 balls in practice. That’s not what international cricket is about. International cricket is about the desire to play a Test match, to win a Test match, to win a Test series,” he added.
“It has nothing to do with how much you get paid or how much the coach gets paid or whatever. It’s about wanting to do something, and you want to do it and go out and train. Because you train for 35 minutes a day you recognize you really could train 40 minutes and it won’t hurt me. When you do 40 minutes you think I can do an hour and you keep going.”
“…You need to get into the passion for what it is that you are doing and how you are doing it. You need to believe that there is a meritocracy and feel that if you are the best the coaches and selectors will pick you…it’s as much as about the psychological game as much as the actual technique of batting and bowling.” (Sportsmax)