T20 commitments will ensure continued decline, says Sir Garry

first_imgCOLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC):Legendary all-rounder Sir Garry Sobers believes West Indies’ downward spiral will continue unless players begin to pledge their allegiance to the Caribbean side over the lucrative Twenty20 leagues across the globe.The 79-year-old said that many of West Indies’ best players were often unavailable due to their T20 commitments and unlike other cricketing nations, this was having a significant impact on the team’s development.”I think the Twenty20 is taking a toll. It seems to be more so on West Indies cricket than any other nation because we seem to be finding it more difficult to put good teams together,” said Sir Garry, who arrived here earlier this week as a guest of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board.”England had limited their players from going to play in the IPL (Indian Premier League). If you look at the West Indies, a lot of players are there.”West Indies players have become fixtures in the IPL in recent years, with the likes of opener Chris Gayle, all-rounders Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and AndrÈ Russell, along with mystery off-spinner Sunil Narine, all attached to franchises.In their absence from the longest format of the game, West Indies have continued to slide down the rankings, and are now ranked number eight – only above minnows Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.Once the number-one side in the world during their heyday, Sir Garry now fears for the Windies’ future, especially if some of their best players continue to opt for the T20 format.”Until we can get people who are willing to play for the West Indies in the right way, I think we are going to be struggling for a long time,” the former West Indies captain said.”Other countries are going to come and surpass us.”Sir Garry has long been regarded as the finest all-rounder to play the game. He scored 8,032 runs, snared 235 wickets and 109 catches in a 93-Test career that spanned 1954 to 1974.He perhaps became best known for his World record 365 not out against Pakistan in 1958, a mark eventually overtaken by batting prodigy Brian Lara in 1994.Referring to his time in the game, Sir Garry pointed out that his only commitment then was to West Indies cricket.”My whole obligation was to the West Indies cricket. I have never made a run for me … records meant nothing, the team was always important,” he stressed.last_img read more

José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola pass buck and fail to face the truth

first_img Manchester City celebrations after derby win ‘definitely not’ excessive, says Guardiola – video Read more José Mourinho Manchester United Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Manchester City Share on Messenger David Squires on … the Manchester and Merseyside derbies José Mourinho questions Manchester City’s education and blames them for brawl Reuse this content Topics Read morecenter_img Share on WhatsApp There has been a fair bit of aggro in that little side-room at Manchester United’s training ground – six rows of seats, desk at the front and one faulty coffee machine – over the years. It was here, back in the day, that Sir Alex Ferguson used to terrorise journalists away from the television cameras and, as some of the veterans reminisced before Mourinho’s arrival on Tuesday, where the former manager once had to apologise for one of his more empurpled outbursts after noticing a work‑experience girl trembling at the back of the room. There was the time Ferguson was so worked up he smashed the tapes on his desk against the wall. Or the countless other incidents of the “Hairdryer” treatment when its unfortunate recipients can vouch it is much worse than you probably would believe.Now, though, it was the turn of the current manager to have a fit of pique. Mourinho’s press conferences are usually held across the way in a separate part of Carrington. This one was back in the main building – Fergie’s old lair – and by the time he had wrapped it up, complaining bitterly there had not been enough questions about the next visitors to Old Trafford, it was a reminder the two men have more in common than they maybe even realise. Both qualify for greatness. They are also superb actors when the occasion demands. And, yes, both will say absolutely anything to suit their own agendas.It was certainly quite something to hear Mourinho launching into his argument – and sounding like he meant every last word – that the blame should be heaped exclusively on the players of Manchester City for that free-for-all after Sunday’s derby. His players, he said, had behaved with far more decorum and it was a wonderful look of feigned surprise on his face when the BBC’s correspondent was impudent enough to mention the Football Association might punish them. “Punish who?” Mourinho wanted to know. “Why?” At which point somebody may have pointed out it was widely accepted that both sets of players were heavily involved and that one of City’s coaches, Mikel Arteta, had apparently needed stitches to a gashed forehead after a drinks bottle was thrown by someone in a red shirt. Nobody did point that out but everyone in the room knew that was the case and Mourinho, being Mourinho, concluded that the man from the Beeb must have been sent undercover. “I think you work for another club,” he said with an impressive amount of paranoia, “and not for the press.”Unfortunately for Mourinho, it didn’t wash. Nobody was expecting him to accept that maybe, in hindsight, it was daft and small-minded of him to go to the door of City’s dressing-room and demand the music be turned down. Yet it was still something to find him being this defensive, this utterly defiant and refusing to acknowledge, for even a fraction of a second, that maybe there was a case that both sets of players, not just one, could have acted better.Maybe it was true that someone in the City dressing room had cranked up the volume and Guardiola’s players were so lost in their own euphoria they did not give a damn how much it rubbed up their opponents. But it all felt so typical of modern football, and the way managers are expected to defend their players at all costs, that neither he nor Guardiola could utter a single sentence to acknowledge that, yes, they were all to blame. Instead, it was an exercise in passing the buck, on both sides of the divide, the only difference being Guardiola did not seem interested in prolonging the argument whereas Mourinho, being Mourinho, could not resist the temptation to chuck in a few barbs, calling it a “diversity of behaviour, of opinion, of education” – a roundabout way of saying United, unlike City, had the class to win matches without rubbing the other team’s nose in it.In private, Guardiola might have found that vaguely amusing bearing in mind Mourinho’s previous. Here, though, the City manager just insisted his players were not being deliberately provocative. If they went too far, he said, he would apologise. But he could hardly have made it clearer he did not think that was really necessary and, though he delivered his version of events in a politer way, the message was still roughly the same: blame them, not us and no difficult questions, please, about what went on.The two elite teams in England and not a single moment when either manager could just say: fair enough, we all let ourselves down there a bit, didn’t we? Play Video Share via Email Share on LinkedIn 1:12 Share on Twitter features ‘Bye-bye,” José Mourinho said. His press conference had been cut short, he was out of his seat and his voice was not exactly filled with warmth. But then he stopped in the doorway and we were given a tiny glimpse of what Ederson, Manchester City’s goalkeeper, encountered in the labyrinthine corridors of Old Trafford on Sunday evening.“You don’t like Bournemouth, hey?” Mourinho wanted to know of the assembled media. “You don’t respect them? You don’t think they are a team capable of coming to Old Trafford and doing well? No respect for Eddie Howe? No respect for the players?”last_img read more