Western Grandstand : WI cricket dying a slow and painful death
Normally, I would consider a person who submits himself to unnecessary punishment as either stupid or mentally unstable. However, in the case of the fans of West Indies cricket, I guess I will have to make an exception and add the phrase blind loyalty.
Given the shoddy state of West Indies cricket, especially in leadership, it is difficult to explain why I still continue to watch the team play, knowing that at the end of the game I will be left fuming and disappointed at yet another lacklustre performance.
While I still continue to watch, I stand convinced that unless some radical changes are made quickly to our cricket, which has been a treasured pastime for many generations of West Indians, the game will eventually fall off the radar.
In looking at the current ranking of the West Indies in all three formats of the game, except for the Twenty20 version, we are at the bottom of the pile among the established nations and not showing any signs that we are poised to rebound.
CRITICISING THE STRUCTURE
Where players are concerned, I am not able to identify a single one who I believe could have made a West Indies President XI team, on merit, in the era when our cricket had global respect. It is no wonder that legends such as Sir Vivian Richards and Michael Holding have decided to bypass diplomacy when criticising the current structure.
While I would, under normal circumstances, hail Jimmy Adams' selection as the director of West Indies cricket as a good thing, especially when his knowledge of the game, his vast experience and passion for the region's cricket are taken into consideration, under the existing situation, I doubt his presence will make a difference.
As Sir Viv rightly pointed out in a recent interview, the leaders of the region's cricket, are undermining the development of the game by seemingly trying to advertise themselves as being more important than the players.
While India, Australia, England and New Zealand are always seeking to create the climate needed to ensure that their best players are always available, because of the antagonistic approach of our administrators, our best players are rarely on show for the region.
It must be an insult to all well-thinking West Indies to have our best players down in India playing Twenty20 Cricket, leaving the 'what lefts' here to insult our intelligence with the kind of mindless and spineless display which is of no higher standard to some 'curry goat matches' of former times.
Many long-suffering fans now watching the current edition of the West Indies team are loyal on account of the pleasure they got from the likes of Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Jeff Dujon, Curtly Ambrose, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding and Andy Roberts in the glory days.
With no stars to inspire the current generation to develop loyalty towards the team, in another decade or so, there will probably be nobody watching cricket in the West Indies, which is rather sad. After watching the recent series between India and Australia, which churned out such fantastic cricket, the slow death of our cricket is even more painful.