Where Are The ‘Wind’ies?

Man I miss the calypso cricket! Where are the Brian Laras and Courtney Walsh’s and Curtly Ambroses? Heck, I’d even settle for the Carl Hoopers right now! By that, I don’t mean Hooper was any less a player than the gentlemen mentioned before, but just that he wasn’t exactly the flamboyant, outrageously talented and athletic West Indian you’d normally expect.

The current team is an apology of a team. They can’t bat (bar a couple of them), they can’t bowl (bar none) and they can’t field (bar maybe the gully team from Mahim West). So what happened? I suppose somewhere around the early nineties, when a new team needed to be formed, not much emphasis was laid on planning on the future. I remember a lanky Anderson Cummins who could bowl somewhat fast and accurate but he was one who never seemed like he could last a Test match.

There were some others as well like Franklin Rose (of the “I destroyed India” fame) who promised much and delivered very very little. In fact, even in the current team, there are a few players like Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards who can play a bit but they are just not getting the guidance they should when on tour. And for god’s sake, what is it with Shiv Chanderpaul and his stance? Stand straight, man!

Back home, I don’t know how much they former greats guide them but by the looks of things, very little! Michael Holding seems happy just criticising them as do Viv Richards and some others. With the next World Cup scheduled to be held in the Caribbean, a below par performance by the hosts could be devastating in the context of the crowd turnout.

Their first real test in that regard would happen when India goes there later this summer, but one can’t help but feel that India could well make a mess of it again. For all the money in the world (and on current form), India should win that series, but stranger things have happened (remember India could not chase down 120 some years ago).

The current ODI series the Windies are playing in New Zealand could well turn out to be a 5-0 drubbing, further plunging them into the depths of humiliation, and newer questions being thrown at them and the ICC. For one, should they be allowed direct entry to major tournaments? The cut-off formula introduced for this year’s Champions Trophy could well be extended in the future and a virtual IInd division of International cricket be formed. Why not?

This could enable teams like Kenya, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, West Indies and even Scotland or the USA play for the rights to compete with the big boys. To be honest, just putting the West Indies name in that list pains a lot… but that is the fact.

There are times (no, not right now) when one would rather that India were also placed in such a group, but that’s when being the financial hub of world cricket helps.

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