Skerritt defends team against accusations of indiscipline

Guyana Chronicle
April 30, 2003

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WEST Indies manager Ricky Skerritt has defended his team against accusations of indiscipline and rude behaviour during the recent World Cup campaign.

But he admitted there are some members of the team who have to “wake up to the higher level of discipline required” to reach the pinnacle of international cricket.

Skerritt was responding to a SUNDAY SUN article of April 27, headlined Rude Boys, which reported there were incidents of disrespect towards coach Roger Harper and other unsavoury happenings.

“The story was a gross misrepresentation and exaggeration of minor incidents which occurred at the end of the tour,” Skerritt said on Monday, as West Indies had their first net session in Barbados in preparation for the third Test against Australia at Kensington Oval.

“My biggest concern is that it gives a misleading impression that the reason the team did not qualify for the Super Six was because of indiscipline. If you ask any of the cricket experts, any of the people who were close to this team, ask any officials from the United Cricket Board of South Africa, the hotel people, the sponsors, the catering people at the grounds, they would tell you this was one of the most disciplined teams.”

Without going into details, Skerritt added: “Whatever incidents occurred were one or two internal situations within the dressing room which any cricket team in the world experiences from time to time, especially following the disappointment of failing to qualify.

“None of those incidents merited or resulted in any disciplinary reports and, unfortunately, they have developed into rumours and have been significantly exaggerated.

“The fact is that this team was one of the most disciplined that I have been involved with since coming to this level because when I first came here it certainly was not disciplined.

“We certainly have come a long way; we have one or two individuals who still have to wake up to the higher level of discipline required but it certainly is not a crisis situation.”

Skerritt said during the South African experience the team worked hard during practice and did everything asked of them by coach Harper.

“Yes, there were one or two players who seemed, towards the end of the tour, happy to see him (Harper) go, and this disappointed me,” the manager said.

“But I didn’t see any incidents which breached the code of conduct. I think Harper worked very hard with this team, and he deserves praise for what he went through to mould a team that can go on to higher things.” (Barbados Nation)

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