Yet another World Cup ends in disappointment for the West Indies.
The champions in the first two editions of the World Cup (1975 and 1979) have deteriorated to an extent where hope of them being a super power again diminishes with every loss.
The best thing about West Indies cricket is its past. While that may sound complementary to their cricketers of yesteryear, those legends could well be in throes of pain looking at the current scenario.
However, it must be accepted that other teams have got better and the islanders lost their quarter-final to New Zealand, one of the favourites to win the ongoing World Cup.
Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels are batsmen who can give the best bowlers in the world headaches if they get going, but the West Indies cricket bosses must invest in players who they think will achieve the same kind of quality as Gayle, Samuels and all-rounder Andre Russell.
Apart from young captain Jason Holder, the critical figure for West Indies cricket is Clive Lloyd, who is now their chief selector. Lloyd has an eye for talent and if he’s given the necessary power to get West Indies cricket back on track, he will achieve what he did when he was given the captaincy in 1974.
The exclusion of premier players Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo was a talking point before and during the World Cup. Some critics felt they were penalised for their rebel nature and that view could well have been right. If that is so, then these players have served their sentence and should be made to feel welcome again.
This is not the time for a re-match boxing bout in West Indies cricket where the Board stands in one corner opposing the players who will naturally drift to the other corner and vice versa. The fight is over and it’s time to hit the training ground again. Any exercise short of sincerity and commitment will not help West Indies cricket well. The world wants to see the men from the Caribbean back at the top.
Cricket’s answer to football’s Brazil must not be allowed to slip further and the sport cannot be poorer.
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