Updated January 12th, 2024 at 19:54 IST

BCCI to blame for it? West Indies great Clive Lloyd highlights huge problem with Team India

West Indies great Clive Lloyd advocated for the inclusion of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in India's T20I World Cup squad, saying the duo's experience is indispensable and filling the team with just youngsters is not prudent.

Jay Shah greets Virat Kohli | Image:X/Jay Shah
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West Indies great Clive Lloyd on Friday advocated for the inclusion of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in India's T20I World Cup squad, saying the duo's experience is indispensable and filling the team with just youngsters is not prudent.

The selectors recently picked the veteran duo for the ongoing T20I series against Afghanistan, indicating that they're still in the scheme of things for the shortest format. Kohli missed the lung-opener in Mohali due to personal reasons.

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There is a raging debate on whether the duo should play or make way for youngsters considering India's ICC trophy drought. The latest setback was the final loss to Australia in the ODI World Cup in November last year.

"You want to pick your best team, you can't just fill the team with youthful players. You need experience," the two-time World Cup winning captain said in a media interaction here.

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The 79-year-old was the chief guest at the 75th foundation day ceremony of the Satgachia High School, about three hours from Kolkata.

"Kohli is still one of the best players around. Rohit is quite good as captain. So you pick your best team. You will have some young players too, because you have so many cricketers here, and they are pushing the older players..., "...and that's how it should be. But I'm sure that you will have a very formidable side." Talking about his favourite Team India batters, Lloyd picked Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer.

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"I liked this fellow Gill, he looks a good cricketer, and (Shreyas) Iyer," he said.

"India have a lot of good cricketers at the moment, I must say. And I think what I like about it is they have a much more balanced side," he added.

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The legendary West Indian, however, is of the view that the Indians are playing too much cricket that may make the sport itself "stale".

"Yes, I think they're a very good side, and they will do well for quite a while if they continue in this manner." 

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"But my problem is that they might be playing too much cricket, and then, you know, you can get stale," he said, voicing a general concern in the cricket community about tight international schedules.

Losing players to T20s disturbing

Blaming the advent of T20 franchise leagues for decline of West Indies cricket, Lloyd said Test cricketers should be "paid well".

West Indies failed to qualify for the ODI World Cup last year, while in the 2022 T20 World Cup, they failed to reach the tournament proper, crashing out of the group stage.

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Lloyd was bitter with his country's players for putting T20 above other formats.

"I don't mind T20. It's excellent. It's good entertainment. But I think too much of it might be hampering cricket throughout the world. It's hampered us in the West Indies. We only have five million people, 14 islands...," he pointed out.

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"And we are losing a lot of our players to the shorter formats, and they're refusing to play for their country, I find that very disturbing." Lloyd said countries like India don't face this situation because of their huge talent pools.

"Other countries like India, Pakistan, England and Australia have a lot of people. So they can afford to lose one or two players because they can replenish those people," he said.

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"If you're saying that Test cricket is the highest cricket, then they should be paid much better. You're paying the guys who are playing the shorter game, so it doesn't make sense," he said. PTI TAP PM PM PM

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Published January 12th, 2024 at 19:54 IST