Hail the West Indies

The West Indies ought to be hailed on the altar of cricket for the entertainment they dished out to clinch world cricket’s biggest prize in the shortest form of the game at Colombo. Not many teams outplay Sri Lanka physically and mentally on their home turf and return home with the title. Darren Sammy’s team deserve their pot of gold.

For nearly two decades, the men from the Caribbean under-performed and failed to keep West Indies on top of the pile even though they had some highly-skilled players in the form of Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Richie Richardson and to an extent, Carl Hooper.

They failed to combine well as a team, a problem which was prevalent even in the 1960s and early 1970s until Clive Lloyd welded them together. Of course, players in the above mentioned era were of higher quality than the group which played post 2000.

Darren Sammy’s current team looks the part, capable of beating top-notch teams consistently if they don’t allow themselves to be carried away. This team seems to have the right kind of pride factor, so very vital to play for the right reasons.

World cricket needs to see West Indies hitting the high notes more often. They are natural players and that’s what the spectators love to see. They have a batting order which can out-bat the best in business. Their pace attack can be destructive and Sunil Narine is nothing short of a revelation when it comes to the spin department.

There have been several Players vs Board battles in Caribbean cricket. Players have gone astray because their priorities were not in place and the Board has got carried away at times and succumbed to prejudice. The establishment cannot rule like they used to. They must move with the times and make fair decisions to ensure the island don’t lose out on their best-known and in-demand product — the game of cricket.

No one knows whether West Indies can produce players like Sir Garry Sobers, Sir Viv Richards and Malcolm Marshall.

But Sammy’s men can do their best and hope to win more titles.  

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