There’s a good chance West Indies will win five Test matches in a row when they take on Zimbabwe in March next year. This streak would better the four in a row they won in 1993, albeit against much stronger opponents.

This West Indies team has defeated New Zealand at home and Bangladesh away, but it would nonetheless be an achievement for the players, who have turned a corner this year.

As the team manager, Richie Richardson, who captained West Indies during their 1993 streak against Australia and Pakistan, will be watching from the dressing room when Zimbabwe come to Barbados. He is one of the lesser-mentioned cogs of the West Indies machine under Darren Sammy…

“Since I have been here, there is certain improvement, in terms of commitment,” Richardson said. “Players are buying into what the coach has to offer. It is paying off. [They are] working harder and with more commitment…”

“I like the idea of working with younger players, paying attention to them. I make sure they do the right thing.

“I hope we can really rise again. I believe we can. We have dominated world cricket for a long time and we had a lull. I think it is about time we came back.”

Richardson said working with Sammy is easy. “He often asks me questions, and I feel free to discuss bowling, batting and captaincy. It is very important for captain, coach, manager and senior players to have a good relationship. Sammy works well with anybody, always smiling and open, approachable.”

Richardson says it’s nice for captains to have a large support staff at their disposal, a luxury he didn’t enjoy during his captaincy years. “Captaincy is always tough but if you want to compare between my time and now, I was a player, captain, father, counsellor, coach, everything. It is easier for players with the support staff these days. Everything is more controlled, [we have] several coaches, we have everything available now, but back then we had nothing. We had to do everything based on memory. Things are better. That’s how it should be, because the game is becoming more and more professional and you have to do these things to [keep up] with the rest of the world… “


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