Should the West Indies play as individual countries?

Should the West Indies play as individual countries?

Cricket is fast dying in West Indies and there is hardly anything which is being done on this front. It won’t be wrong to say that Test cricket has lost its seen in the Caribbean while ODIs are fast moving towards the unknown future. It is only the T20 format which is blooming this group of countries because of the T20 leagues across the globe. If we take into account the recent performances of West Indies in Test format, there is nothing to write about. They were up against Australia in a Test series which was played to better the records of the home team as West Indies was hardly interested in leveling any sort of challenge. They came to the ground to fill the formalities otherwise going out for a shopping would have been a better option. When Jason Holder was appointed their captain, it was thought that a superstar has arrived and now West Indies will improve in all departments under his guidance.


However, the situation has become worst and is heading towards disaster. The body language of the players clearly suggests that they are no more interested in turning out for their nation. Marlon Samuels, the most experienced of all was dismissed in a comic fashion as if he was trolling on a beach rather than on a cricket ground. He is not the sole offender as bowler like Kemar Roach was bowling without any purpose and target. There are rumors that couple of West Indies pacers refused to bowl against the wind. If we leave out Darren Bravo, Jason Holder and Kraigg Brathwaite, there is hardly any player in the present line-up, who deserves to be in the squad. It is the same team which was full of legends at one time. Clive Lloyd, Vivian Richards, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and numerous others were the undisputed leaders of world cricket and there was no way of stopping them from winning. The rival teams were afraid of taking on West Indies because of the fire power they possessed at that point of time. They knew what it takes to be the best and invested their time in doing so.


However, with passage of time, the progress has turned into downward of movement. As a human being we know that situation and condition are bound to improve once we move forward in any field but this is not true for the cricket in the Caribbean. The politics with in the administrative department has undone cricket in Windies while players too are not willing to play five day game. With commercialization of the game, the value of money is the most important factor and this is where West Indies has drifted apart. Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell and many more are aware that to live a luxurious life, they need to earn more which is only possible by playing T20 leagues across the globe. The West Indies players are the most sort out players in the famous slam bang competitions and franchises are ready to shell out any sort of amount for their services. But this has become a curse for the national team. There was a time when players from this group of Islands used to work on their technique and skills by playing in the English County, which is still considered as the toughest domestic competition across the world. This helped them in winning matches against big opponents on regular basis. The cricket in England is still the same and they do offer handsome amount but it is not equivalent to what is being paid by the T20 leagues.


The West Indies played 10 Test matches in 2010 and were comprehensively beaten in 8 while winning just one. This shows their poor status in a format which they once ruled. The situation is so bad that this team is easily getting hammered by even the state sides easily on their foreign tours. It is difficult to see any sort of change in the future. The matter of the fact is that cricket around the world has changed but not in West Indies. Perhaps it now makes more sense for the regions to go alone in international cricket. They are participating as individual countries in other sports and are doing reasonably well so why can’t it be extended to cricket. I know the omission of big players from Test team has done the real damage but let’s accept the fact that it will continue in the near future as well so it’s better to finish it off for once and all. Cricket as a sport might benefit if Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Guyana play as different countries. This might improve financial resources and will end politics as well. The players from these countries will like to play in English country in order to improve their game.


Moreover, they could even turn out against each other when different teams are formed and this will surely raise the bar of cricket in the Caribbean region. First class cricket has to be given priority and then a look out at pitches needs to be done. There was a time when tracks in West Indies were lively and suited the style of players but now they are dead and are only good for the teams which have strong batting line-up. The Caribbean Premier League should continue in its original avatar as it serves the commercial aspect of the players. The only difference could be made is to restructure the teams completely on the basis of different countries. It is wrong to criticize West Indies players for milking dollars from elsewhere rather than their own country as earning more is everyone’s birth right. Let’s hope something of this sort is done in the future as nations in West Indies are very important for cricket to survive as sport. Cricket won’t be the same if Caribbean flavor is omitted from it.

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