West Indies pace legend Andy Roberts has slammed batsman Shimron Hetmyer for opting out of the England tour because of health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with senior pro Darren Bravo, Hetmyer pulled out of the tour of UK and forced the Roger Harper-led selection committee to make some last-minute changes.
"They would have played an integral part of the batting. As much as we don't like the way Hetmyer has been playing, he is one of the batsmen for the future. But somebody has to get into his head and let him realise that you can't score runs sitting in the pavilion," Roberts said in an episode on Michael Holding's YouTube channel.
Holding, Roberts' equally illustrious pace bowling partner through the 1970s and 80s, had called the two batsmen's move "unfortunate". According to Roberts, the challenge for most West Indies batsmen was they "don't really train and practise enough to work the ball into gaps. We believe in boundaries." With the likes of Alzarri Joseph, Chemar Holder, Oshane Thomas and Shannon Gabriel in charge of the Windies pace attack, Roberts sees a bright future.
"I am glad to see there is a sort of a resurgence in the last couple of months, not years, just the last couple of months - there are some youngsters are coming through and I hope that we don't try and expect too much off them too soon," Roberts said.