New Delhi: Legendary fast bowler Michael Holding has chosen to empathise with the West Indies players for deciding to return home abruptly over a pay dispute while slamming the Caribbean cricket board for the sport's constant downfall in the region.
Holding said lack of proper administration is the sole cause for the current crisis and the reason behind the West Indies cricket's struggle for many years now.
"All will be fine in West Indies cricket when we get proper administration. We have the talent, we just need proper administration, something we don't have at the moment," Holding said when asked whether the players would be able to recover from the latest setback and help the team regain its lost glory.
Later in his column, Holding feared "fierce repercussions" for the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for deciding to call off the India tour over pay issues with its players and upsetting the powerful BCCI.
The 60-year-old, who still looks as fit as a fiddle, said Marlon Samuels' second hundred in the series showed the West Indies are high on talent and have enough players who are capable of turning a match around.
"He played great. It just shows that the team has many players who can do the job at the highest level and he is one of them. We just need proper administration," said Holding referring to the batting all-rounder's 112 on Friday, even though West Indies slumped to a 59-run defeat against India in fourth ODI to lose the series 1-2.
The players had threatened to go back home even before the first one-dayer on October 8. They finally called off the series after the fourth ODI at Dharamsala on Friday.
Considering the challenging circumstances, they gained a lot of respect after winning the first ODI but thereafter failed to keep up the momentum.
Did Holding expect the West Indies players to keep the turbulent issue aside and put up a good show? "To be honest, I don't know what to expect from any team in this format of the game. Anything is possible on a particular day. The fact they played well in the first ODI shows they can do it more frequently."
In the pre-match presser, Virat Kohli had mentioned that the West Indies have become more competitive off late and one of the reasons is their players' presence in the IPL.
Holding, however, strongly disagreed with Kohli.
"What do I say about this? Before the IPL started the West Indies came here and won. They had it in them to win. It has nothing to do with the IPL. IPL can't improve anyone's cricket," said the cricketing great.
The cricketer-turned commentator was on his maiden visit to the scenic Dharamsala and arrived two days before the game to explore the hill station.
Asked about his opinion on cricket being hosted here, Holding replied: "I think it is good if you can spread the game, spread the gospel as they say and take the game as far as possible. As long as the facilities are good and the players are not inconvenienced, I think it is good.
"I have been here since Wednesday, stay has been good.
The internet at the hotel was not working for the first two days, apart from that it has been fine. The weather has been great, we went to see the temple, had a good long drive up there (to McleodGanj), had a good time. That was interesting."