Michael Holding lashes out at Ottis Gibson, WICB

Michael Holding (C) accused WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire of arrogance and head coach Ottis Gibson of being unable to properly manage senior players Getty Images

Bridgetown (Barbados): May 25, 2012

Legendary former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding has yet again slammed the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) management of the sport in the region and said its treatment of senior players leaves a lot to be desired.

In an interview with British tabloid, the Daily Mail, Holding accused WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire of arrogance and head coach Ottis Gibson of being unable to properly manage players.

Holding also stated that the reason behind the absence of key senior players in the current England tour was the poor treatment meted out to them by the WICB.

“We have a chief executive, Ernest Hilaire, who thinks he owns West Indies cricket. He has the wrong attitude. He’s very arrogant. He thinks he is always right and he doesn’t listen to anyone,” Holding said.

“Ottis Gibson needs to understand that the West Indies cricket team is not a boot camp. He needs to learn how to man-manage.”

“A lot of senior players who should be playing in England have a very bad relationship with the board. They are unhappy with the treatment that has been meted out to them,” Holding observed.

“It’s about time the board realised that the people it is dealing with are human beings — they are not commodities. They need respect, they need to be treated properly.”

Holding pointed to the widely publicised fallout between the board and marquee batsman Chris Gayle that has led to the player’s exclusion from the regional side for over a year now.

Gayle criticised Hilaire and Gibson in a highly charged interview following the World Cup last year, and the board subsequently demanded an apology from the Jamaican before he could be considered for selection.

Though Holding acknowledged that Gayle should have been prepared for the fallout from his actions, he chastised the board for acting like “schoolboys”.

“Chris Gayle has to know there will be repercussions if you’re critical of the board in public,” said Holding, who took 249 wickets from 60 Tests.

“But the board has behaved like schoolboys. Instead of sitting down with him and trying to sort things out, they keep condemning the man and asking him to apologise.”

He also took the WICB to task over their treatment of fast bowler Jerome Taylor, contending the board had discouraged the player with their fitness demands.

The injury-prone Taylor has played 29 Tests and 66 One-Day Internationals but has not suited up in two years for the regional side.

Holding also lashed out at the board’s persistence with Darren Sammy as captain, saying the move was damaging to the regional side.

“They want Sammy as captain, irrespective of whether it’s good for the team balance or not,” Holding observed.

“West Indies cannot afford to carry anyone while they are struggling in Test matches.” (IANS)