West Indies cricket is under serious threat of continuing to exist unless the issue of players prioritising lucrative Twenty20 leagues ahead of international duties is resolved, according to a report commissioned by Cricket West Indies.
The disturbing report comes from a panel made up of former captain Brian Lara, South African coach Mickey Arthur and a senior judge Patrick Thompson, all commissioned after West Indies’ early exit from last year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
West Indies have struggled with availability issues for players who feature in the Indian Premier League and other T20 competitions globally.
“It is essential that some middle ground is arrived at. Otherwise, West Indies cricket may cease to exist as an entity,” said the report.
“This group does not indulge in doomsday predictions but no entity, sporting or otherwise, has a viable future if its talent is not harnessed and effectively managed,” the report added.
One of the issues blocking better agreement about player schedules and availability is the long-standing conflicts between players and CWI, the report said.
The report made a series of recommendations for improving the functioning of the West Indies team ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the United States.
West Indies have enjoyed success in the T20 format, winning the World Cup in 2012 and 2016, only England have also won the competition twice.
But in Australia, they finished bottom of their group, finishing behind Zimbabwe, Ireland and Scotland.