W.I. will rise again in two years - Wes Hall
Guyana Chronicle
February 10, 2002

IN his prime, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Wes Hall was a fearsome fast bowler who never shied away from a battle. Now, he is looking to channel that positive energy into the current regional team, declaring boldly that the Caribbean side would be back to the top of world cricket in the next few years.

Hall, who took 192 wickets in 48 Tests between 1958 and 1969, told the BBC World Service he had supreme faith in the current crop of young players. "We will rise again. It won't be next year but certainly in a year or two," Hall said.

Hall, a Barbadian preacher who took over the reins of the WICB when Pat Rousseau resigned under controversial circumstances last July, gave a thumbs-up to the selection policy of blooding youngsters at the highest level.

"Sometimes in the past we've been able to bring one or two youngsters into the side but at the moment there are 10 of them. There are some talented young men who have made runs at domestic level and now we're giving them a chance at international level," Hall said.

"Some of them are still only 22 or 23 and in a few years, when they've matured, they will still only be 24 or 25, already have 40 Tests under their belts and go on to better things."

Hall, 67, who served in the past as chairman of selectors and team manager of the West Indies senior team, said the team depended too heavily on veteran pacers Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh who retired within eight months of each other.

"We no longer have anyone who bowls at 90 miles per hour. Most bowlers are medium fast and on an innocuous wicket they just lose their line and length," he said in the interview. He suggested that fast bowlers should be scouted based on their physical appearance and then taught the skills of fast bowling.

"Sometimes players are over-bowled at 13 or 14. Coaches are exuberant and often bowl fast men longer than they should. "Sometimes it's best if they haven't bowled at all until they are 18, like I did. "If they're fit, strong, injury free and have to learn how to bowl then they can do that," the WICB president declared. (Caribbeancricket.com)