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'From awesome to awful' - Beckles concerned about 'collapsing' WI cricket

Published:Wednesday | August 2, 2017 | 12:00 AMRachid Parchment
University of the West Indies (UWI) Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles (centre), West Indies cricketer Rovman Powell (left), and Dr Akshai Mansingh, dean of the Faculty of Sport, at the recent launch of the faculty at the UWI Regional Headquarters.

University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles, in speaking of the role the institution's new Faculty of Sport will play, has criticised the state of Test cricket in the region, saying it has collapsed.

Speaking recently at the launch of the faculty, Beckles said that cricket is suffering because enough has not been done to maintain the standards of the game in the region.

"We must make sure that when we achieve excellence, we must not lose it. We are here on the cusp of a predicament," he said.

"For 20 years, we were the best Test cricket team in the world. We were invincible. No one could have imagined 20 years ago that our Test culture would collapse from awesome to awful. No one could have imagined it, but it happened."

Beckles said that it should not be accepted that the West Indies cricket team had its era and now that it is over, it should be accepted that it was just a phase of dominance.

"I'm not a believer in the notion that what goes up must come down," he said. "The Swiss have been making the best watches for 500 years. They are determined for the next 1,000 years to always be making the best watches - because their communities are committed to maintaining the excellence they have achieved. Every time you achieve excellence and you lose it, someone has to take account of that."

Beckles will also soon be launching a book titled Cricket without a cause - The rise and fall of West Indian cricket.