Viv Richards pays tribute to commitment of West Indian players

The ODI series has highlighted areas of improvement for both sides (©GettyImages)

West Indies legend Viv Richards has hailed the current crop of players for their handling of the ongoing dispute over pay.

The Windies are currently on tour of India, and remain focused despite threats of a strike looming dangerously overhead.

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“If for some reason things didn’t work out the way they would have liked with WIPA’s (West Indies Players’ Association) president Wavell Hinds, they have gone about it in the best way possible”, Richards told Sports NDTV.

Marvellous performance

Dwayne Bravo’s men were reportedly set to refuse to play because of threats that their pay was going to be slashed by as much as three quarters.

However, even though negotiations are still taking place off the field, the Windies have not let it affect them, winning the first one-day in Kochi by 124 runs.

“With all this stuff going on, I think it was just a marvellous performance. That was the perfect way to reply, beating the defending champions on their home soil in such a convincing manner”, Richards added.

Useful warm-up

So far, the India series has proved an excellent warm-up ahead of next year’s ICC World Cup, but there was some uncertainty as to whether it would go ahead at all.

India have since levelled the series, largely thanks to Mohammed Shami, whose four wickets helped them to a 48-run win in the second ODI.

There will be some disappointment at the way the West Indies collapsed during that match, and after restricting India to 263, it looked to be their day.

Evidently, their resilience still requires some work, but the fact that they are choosing to go ahead with the series at all says much about the character of the squad.

If anything, it is India who will be placed under the spotlight once this series is over, as they will have gone in as clear favourites, yet have looked fairly unimpressive.

Difficult year

They have endured a tough couple of months, having lost head coach Ottis Gibson, who had been in charge of the Caribbean outfit for the past four years.

During his reign, though, they won just nine out of thirty-six Tests, and his contract was eventually terminated by mutual consent.

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