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Lara says disunity will hurt West Indies's World Cup chances

December 09, 2014 12:04 IST
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- 'We have great players, but great players don't win the World Cup, great teams do'

- 'You need to have everybody contributing'

Brian Lara

Former West Indies skipper Brian Lara. Photograph: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

West Indies batting great Brian Lara expects the side to struggle at the World Cup if they are unable to forge a unified team, the former skipper insisting a split between players and administrators was just one of their problems.

Caribbean cricket was plunged into crisis when a player revolt over money led to West Indies abandoning their One-Day International tour of India in October.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) responded by demanding a crippling $42 million in compensation. The Test side are currently in South Africa, where team manager Richie Richardson said the contractual problems were behind them, while a 30-man squad for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand was announced in Antigua on Monday.

All the big name players were included in the squad, which will be cut to 15 before the tournament starts on February14, but fusing them into one team with a united purpose was going to be the key to any success, according to Lara.

"We will have problems in terms of unity, in terms of performance," the 45-year-old, who retired after the 2007 World Cup, told reporters on a recent trip to Australia.

"We have great players, but great players don't win the World Cup, great teams win the World Cup.

West Indies players celebrate

West Indies players celebrate. Photograph: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

"We have to encourage all the guys. We have Chris Gayle and (Kieron) Pollard and Dwayne Smith and Dwayne Bravo but if these guys are not performing, and that will happen, you need to have everybody contributing.

"That's where we need to improve and if we were to falter in the World Cup that's where it will happen."

Lara, who had his own problems with the West Indies board (WICB) during his playing days, said he hoped the BCCI would not pursue their compensation claim too ruthlessly and that the row would prove a "watershed" in West Indies cricket.

"The fine is one thing, there is other intricate stuff we need to sort out to get back to being a competitive nation," he said.

West Indies World Cup squad: Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Miguel Cummins, Narsingh Deonarine, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Imran Khan, Leon Johnson, Evin Lewis, Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kenroy Peters, Versammy Permaul, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Devon Smith, Jerome Taylor.

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