''Brian Lara would not have been appointed West Indies captain if I had been solely in charge of the decision,'' Croft told the ''BBC Sport''.
''I would have gone for one of the younger candidates despite some obvious deficiencies. The fact that Lara has been chosen for the third time is an indictment of the lack of real development in West Indies cricket over the last 10 years or so,'' he added.
He attributed the appointment to the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) over-ambitious plans of winning the next year's World Cup and said the decision lacked any long-term planning on part of the board.
''An important factor in this appointment is the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Despite the evidence of recent form, some in the Caribbean are convinced West Indies will lift the trophy - a 'Win World Cup' committee has been in existence for the past six months,'' he said.
''The thinking therefore could only have been that Lara will somehow reunite the team and the region in less than a year, with approximately 20 one-day games to play before the competition starts.'' Croft, who took 125 wickets in just 27 Tests in his five-year-long career, said Lara was again in for a tough time in the lead-up to the World Cup with a team, which was not capable enough to win the trophy for the hosts.
''Lara's cricket acumen is not in doubt. But results were poor in his two previous stints as captain and now he has to turn that into solid achievement. Unfortunately, he does not have a great team to do it with,'' Croft pointed out.
''Winning one-dayers and Tests, either individual games or series, is the first step. But winning the World Cup is a task which looks almost impossible,'' he added.