Tue | Aug 22, 2017

The Wright View | Not too late to save WI cricket

Published:Tuesday | October 4, 2016 | 10:00 AM
West Indies players (from left) Chadwick Walton, Jerome Taylor, Rovman Powell and Carlos Brathwaite stretch during a training session at the ICC Academy in Dubai recently.

The Courtney Brown-selected group of West Indians now playing against Pakistan in the middle East, have so far lost the T20 series a 3-0 margin and are in the process of losing the One Day Internationals (ODI) by a similar scoreline.

That loss will effectively rule us out of automatic qualification for the Champions League next year where the eight top teams in the world vie for supremacy. This is a tough call for West Indian fans who were quite recently celebrating the (temporary) resurgence of West Indian cricket after the teams from this region were crowned world champions in three different competitions.

To move seamlessly from first to last, in any world sport is not an easy achievement. The uncertainty around the Champions League has been achieved by a series of events that were easily predicted to result in disaster. And yet we the West Indian cricket fans made only muted token protests and did not support the Caricom Committee on cricket while a group of "administrators" systematically removed from the team, any player of note who dared to question tactics, remuneration or selection criteria.

Teams in the lower half of the world ranking in Tests, ODIs and T20s cannot wait to compete against us as it is obvious that they have a very good chance of moving up the rankings by defeating us.

Where will it end?

 

Selecting yes-men

 

Maybe when Afghanistan and Ireland are ranked above us fans will realise what their prime ministers and cricket legends were saying for years, that the present West Indies Cricket Board and their surrogates are only interested in selecting yes-men to represent us and have consistently suppressed individualism, the very trait that made us unbeatable world champions for years!

When the history of West Indies cricket and its demise comes to be written, these men will never be forgotten.

The passage of Category 4 hurricane Matthew through the Caribbean en route to the islands of the Greater Antilles has caused several local sporting competitions to be postponed.

That meant that sport fans could spend more time watching live television of different sports from around the world. Cricket was being played in South Africa, India and in Sharja.

To watch the approach of world-class cricketers in ODI's and Tests made us, quickly realise that cricket greats not only have natural talent, but they are able to think while playing, making critical adjustments during matches in an effort to win. The captaincy on display in these matches reveal that experience is the only attribute that can make a captain assess a pitch before deciding to bat or field when the toss is won, and experience is the only attribute when deciding what bowling change to make when pitches or bowler technique is unhelpful when facing prolonged batting partnerships.

The West Indian Way of placing young, inexperienced captains (who have trouble commanding a place on the team based on merit) cannot work, will not work, and will instead embarrass the youngster and the group of nations that he represents.

When will the West Indian cricket fan get a chance to celebrate a good cricket again? It doesn't look like that will happen in the lifetime of this generation, unless we the fans insist on change in the structure of the group managing West Indian cricket. It is not too late!