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Julien hails WI Retired Players Foundation

By STEPHON NICHOLAS Friday, July 19 2013

FORMER West Indies allrounder, Bernard Julien, has welcomed the joint initiative by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and West Indies Players Association (WIPA) to establish a Retired Players Foundation.

The Foundation, announced on Wednesday, will ensure that past players will be utilised in an effective manner to assist in the development of West Indies cricket while also provide an income earning avenue for the retired players.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Julien, who played 195 First-Class matches and 24 Tests, hailed the introduction of the programme which he believes will derive many benefits.

“This is a long time coming. Former players should be used in whatever capacity they are able to perform to give back to the game. There are guys quite capable and can benefit our cricket. It is obvious that having played for West Indies they would gain a lot of knowledge and experience from their travels all over the world,” he explained.

The 63-year-old believes the WICB should have implemented this programme a long time as a lot of vital information has been lost among past Windies legends.

“This should have happened a long time ago. I always felt that we, the former players, have been left out and prevented from really making a contribution and assisting but this is a welcome thing,” he declared.

Asked how he felt the WICB/WIPA should go about structuring the initiative, Julien said, “You have players from different islands and they should be introduced in the system through the local boards.

“Our bowlers right now need help to learn how to be consistent and there are guys like (Curtly) Ambrose and (Courtney) Walsh who can help. We can introduce people to give specialist individual coaching and also collectively. There is a lot of talent and experience available among the players,” he continued.

Julien also gave kudos to the WICB and WIPA for coming together for the good of the game and putting their past differences aside.

“It’s nice to see some sort of cohesion and communication and this can augur well for the development of West Indies cricket. You cannot have two governing bodies and they are only bickering and can’t sit around a table to come up with an amicable solution. I hope their relationship continues to improve in the future,” he declared.

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