Paul Wright | What's happening in the hallowed halls of Windies cricket?
Last week had the Jamaican sport fans experiencing the highs and the lows of supporting a team, any team. I stayed up on Saturday night to watch the second Test against India in Hyderabad, India. I didn't expect the Windies Test team to win. Very few Test teams have gone to India and won a series. So I wasn't being unrealistic. However, after posting over 300 runs in their first Innings and after listening to the words of Captain Holder, I (foolishly) thought that I would see "good" cricket. The Windies bowlers did reasonably well in dismissing the Indian team for 367, a mere 56 runs ahead of our first Innings total. Not bad when at one stage it seemed that India would pile up at least 450 to 500 runs, before attempting to bat once, as is now customary when playing against so called minnows. Then, as usual, a devastatingly spineless display of batting from men who had promised so much after being humiliated in the first Test.
We were dismissed for 127, giving the Indians a very easy task of cancelling the deficit without losing a wicket. Defeated in three days! Does anyone in the "hallowed" halls of West Indies cricket hierarchy care? The present members of the board of Cricket West Indies led by the ever smiling Dave Cameron who has reminded us that he had numerous other job offers before deciding to take up the helm of West Indies cricket need to have a sincere look at their tenure.
It must now be obvious to everyone how happy are those whose job offers the President turned down. At least some of us are celebrating! The bald truth is that our best players are not representing us. Pettiness and bad-mind on one side and a callus determination not to be dictated to by the other side has left us, the few remaining fans of the sport, in despair. Earlier this year we had no hope, as there was no sign that the Board had any intention of changing its ways. But with humiliation after humiliation and a stark realisation that after cricket, there may not be any lucrative job offers, there was a kind of softening of previously strongly held views. The promise of "forget the oldsters" went through the window as the reality of failing to qualify for the World Cup loomed larger and larger.
Now we see that even the extremely talented Darren Bravo is once again a "pardie" of the President. Apparently all is forgiven when the pit of being 10th ranked looms. The resignation of the disaster that was Stuart Law is welcomed. Can you imagine how welcomed a few more important resignations would be? But I really doubt that there would be any more resignations from the disaster that is West Indies cricket. Stuart Law is a decent man and has honour. He left when he realised that things will only get worse. The present crop of administrators and players who are at the root cause of our demise have no such obvious qualities. Sigh.
Our fourth ranked Sunshine Girls have won the Test series against the second ranked England Roses. Not even a wholesale change of personnel by the Roses for the second game on Saturday night could halt the superiority of our ladies. Former Sunshine Girls captain Simone Forbes has publicly stated that she thinks that this team of ours is the best in the world! Led by a coach and assistant coach of local credentials, I do agree with Simone. However with a hierarchy that seems to manufacture crisis after crisis with resignations after every positive showing, all we can do is pray that these ladies and technical staff are given a chance. Together.
Our Reggae Girlz are in with a chance of qualifying for the World Cup. Having been brought down to earth by the shellacking that we got form the mighty USA, we face Panama tomorrow. I still think that we can make it. Qualifying would give us months to continue to build and fine-tune our Reggae Girlz for the "big show" (2019 FIFA Women's World Cup). As we cheer on our ladies on Wednesday afternoon, let us never forget what we owe to our quiet sponsor and motivator, Cedella Marley. She came forward when the girls needed her most, and she stayed! Thanks Ms. Marley. Go Girlz!