Former West Indies captain Carl Hooper has said top players like Chris Gayle and Sunil Narine who are currently not contracted, will always be tempted by lucrative offers from the Indian Premier League (IPL), unless the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) can figure out a solution to ward off this threat.
He urged cricket authorities in the Caribbean to urgently address the issue of central contracts if it is to truly reap the benefits of the resurgence that Darren Sammy's men have sparked by winning the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Hooper, who played more than 100 tests and was part of the West Indies' last golden age 25 years ago, said: "The spectators want to see the best players. If I looked up and saw no Gayle or key players named to play I would just say forget about it, stay home."
"They have to figure out a way to get our key players contracted," Hooper told The Advertiser.
Opener Gayle, spinner Sunil Narine and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo were all unavailable for the Tests against Australia in April and England in May/June due to IPL duties.
The West Indies lost both the series, with Narine declining to debut earlier in favour of an inaugural 700,000 dollars from Kolkata Knight-Riders frachise.
The situation could have been averted if the Board had realised what was at stake, according to Hooper, The Dawn reports.
"If Narine has a central contract that would mean he would have to play for the West Indies," Hooper added. One of the biggest threats facing cricket is the IPL," he said. (ANI)