Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson said on Wednesday he looked forward to another era of Caribbean domination in world cricket, saying the journey had already begun.
“The glory days will be back soon,” Richardson told AFP ahead of his team’s crucial World Cup game against hosts Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium on Friday.
“I can never forget those days when we dominated the world. Every team has its up and downs, but I am confident we will get there because we are on the right path.”
Both the West Indies and Bangladesh are eyeing a crucial win to boost their quarter-final hopes, but Richardson, 49, who now manages the visitors, refused to put his team under pressure.
“Every World Cup game is important for us,” Richardson told reporters as the West Indies trained for three hours under the hot sun.
“We know Bangladesh have proved to be a good side in recent years, but there is no reason why we can’t match anything they have to offer.”
Richardson discounted suggestions that the West Indies will struggle to cope with unfamiliar conditions in Bangladesh, where they have not played since 2002.
The three senior pros in the current squad, Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, are the only survivors from the tour.
“A team should be able to adjust to all conditions if it wants to win the World Cup,” said Richardson. “This tournament is the pinnacle of the sport and we are quite excited to be playing in Dhaka.”
“We have two full days to adjust to the conditions and we won’t be found wanting on Friday.”
The West Indies bounced back after their seven-wicket defeat to South Africa, thrashing the Netherlands by a massive 215 runs in New Delhi on Monday.
Gayle hammered 80, big-hitting Kieron Pollard smashed 60 off 27 balls and pace spearhead Kemar Roach grabbed 6-27, including a hat-trick, to issue a stern warning to Bangladesh.
Richardson, a stylish top-order batsman, played international cricket between 1983 and 1996 when the Caribbean stars ruled the world under Clive Lloyd and then Vivian Richards.
The contrast was inevitable when the gentle and modest Richardson succeeded Richards, one of the most destructive batsmen in the game, as captain in the early 1990s, but the runs continued to flow.
Richardson scored 5,949 runs in 86 Tests at an average of 44.39 with 16 centuries and 6,248 runs in 224 one-dayers with five hundreds.
His only regret in a long career was losing the World Cup semi-final to Australia as captain in 1996, a match that turned out to be his last international appearance.
Having restricted Australia to a moderate 207-8 in Mohali, the West Indies folded for 202 in the last over after being comfortably placed at 165-2.
“That’s a game we should have won,” the former captain said. “A win there would have given the sport in the Caribbean a great fillip.”