Clive Lloyd laments loss of values
DUBAI // Clive Lloyd, the celebrated former West Indies captain, yesterday voiced fears that the vast salaries commanded by modern cricketers are contributing to an erosion of the values of the sport. Lloyd led his West Indies side, widely regarded as the greatest in the history of international cricket, to global domination from the start of the 1970s.
Despite their success, he and his colleagues never earned anything like the huge wealth created by the lucrative new Twenty20 leagues. Yet Lloyd said money was not their driving force, and warned the financial rewards on offer in the modern game are "destroying" young players. "Cricket has always been the bridesmaid to soccer and other games, and we do play longer than those games," Lloyd said. "We play our career at a time when we could be studying, so it is a very integral part of your life. If you are being paid well, that is fine.
"[But] it seems to be destroying the young cricketer. Pride and passion seem to be a thing of the past, and I want to bring that back. "Money should not spoil you, but I am seeing a lot of problems because of it in our cricket. "We have a lot of problems with the people running our cricket. They are finding themselves in very invidious positions. "I don't want that. Money should be a subsidiary of success. If he is doing well, fine, it will come."
Lloyd is also concerned about the ongoing risk of corruption in the game. Earlier this week, an anonymous county cricketer admitted to an English newspaper that he had been approached about fixing a game, and that he could name his price. The plague is not confined to English domestic cricket. Tim May, the international players' union chief, recently warned that the boom in T20 cricket on the subcontinent makes the game "ripe for corruption".
Next year, with the Indian Premier League welcoming two extra franchises, there will be an even greater surfeit of matches, many with nothing riding on them. "They will have to look into that if they are going to play that many games," said Lloyd, who hosted a dinner in Dubai last night as part of the Legends of Cricket series. "I don't know the situation with betting, but it seems as if it hasn't stopped. This game is about honesty, integrity and fair play, and that still holds dear.
"You don't hear people say, 'It's not hockey, it's not golf, it's not football.' They say, 'It's not cricket.' I hold that dear, because our cricket is important. We must protect it at all levels. Anybody that tries to destroy the fabric of our game, I will come down on them like a ton of bricks. That is because I respect what cricket is and what it has given me. It has given me upward mobility. I am known for what I did on the field."
Published: May 28, 2010 04:00 AM