West Indies cricket team
Windies players acknowledge crowd after beating England on Saturday (AFP Photo)

West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) chief executive Johnny Grave has described the criticism from former England cricketers against their players as unfair.

In his column for The Telegraph, Geoffrey Boycott had written, “Nobody should take any pleasure from it but West Indies are a shadow of their past. So much so that even the locals don’t come out to watch and support their team in big numbers.”

Former allrounder Andrew Flintoff wrote on Twitter “worlds gone mad” after England were bowled out for 77 and then Jason Holder scored a maiden double-century.

West Indies, who are ranked only above Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in the ICC rankings for Test teams, went on to crush England by 381 runs on Saturday to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

“Criticism of our players and suggestions that they’re not world class is unfair,” Grave told BBC Sport. “They are so dedicated. We’ve got 11 cricketers here and many more in the region who want to play Test cricket.”

Flintoff had further tweeted “the odds for an England win in the test @BetStars? If Holder can score 200 @englandcricket can chase 600 plus”

 


Grave continued, “I saw Andrew Flintoff say he can’t believe Jason Holder got a double hundred, yet I think Jason Holder is a fantastic cricketer and has been performing so fantastically over the last 18 months – a brilliant captain.”

Grave revealed England had turned down the chance to play a first-class match with the tourists instead opting for two two-day practice matches instead.

“We wanted to play a first-class game and asked England to do so. We had to pull our best 12 players outside of this team out of our championship to see how our A team would perform against this England side,” he said.