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26 Oct 09 23:50
Date Joined: 28 May 06
| Topic/replies: 3,468 | Blogger: Cuddy's blog


Personally, I don't see where the solution lies. The glory years of mid seventies to mid nineties have gone forever, I fear. I think those years saw the most exceptionally talented individuals, who had a force of personality and true patriotism, happen to have overlapping careers. It was sheer luck that they also all had the dedication and discipline required for the rarified air that is "the top".

We've had other legends come back to offer to help, but taken in years-long intervals over the last 20 years or so, they have ultimately failed. False dawns littered all over the shop. A little smidgen of a Lara 153* here, a tiny island of a record-breaking chase there... Chuck in a freak (but pretty meaningless) result in the Champions Trophy and remember things like Chanderpaul hitting the 666666 off the last ball required against Sri Lanka and have a little smile about the T&T performance in the 2020 just gone. However, ultimately, it is a slow, horrific descent into hell.

I swear, the last few years, every 6 months or I've thought, "This is it; this is the bottom. It cannot get any worse than this without desceding into farce." Then, of course, it gets farcical (stage one. I have counted c. 42 stages thus far.).

I've heard people refer to infrastructure, money, territorial divides, the board, American sports... (But never to a worrying lack of talent.) I think I probably blame the board in all of this (there has to be someone to blame, right?); but a sh1tty board never stopped India or Pakistan in their respective tracks. The lack of support and massive incompetence of the board has meant that the players have ended up spaffing all over the legacy.

The only hope is that cricket gains a higher profile again in this ever-cluttered world - 2020 is the realistic way to capture the imagination quickly; it also requires a high level of skill and having to perform under pressure... I think that would benefit test cricket, as an aside. I hope it's a shot in the arm to cricket like Kerry Packer was and that a powerful West Indies rises as a result of that shot. I hope the players see what it takes to harness the skill and make them able to actually win a game of cricket with said skills. And the former players got treated like sh1t, anyway, so there's always going to be a lingering resentment. I won't even get to the modern greed shown by all sportsmen, not just West Indian cricketers.

As things stand, I don't even want to begin to try and predict what the next calamity will be.
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Report mittheimp October 27, 2009 12:23 PM GMT
Bharat, Darren Bravo, Braithwaite, Roach - 4 players with a hell of a lot of potential - more so than perhaps anytime since mid 90's.

Its all down to organisation - but i think finally the rest of the cricket world realize they need the Windies too, and will pressure the idiots at the WICB to behave!
Report mittheimp October 27, 2009 12:31 PM GMT
Also people often ask the wrong question regarding Windies cricket - its not 'why are they no longer so good?' but 'how on earth were they so good?' Antigua - population of around 60,000 (same size as Boston in Lincolnshire) produced 3 'greats' - Richards, Roberts and Ambrose, one world class cricketer - ritchie richardson - and a few test class cricketers - Kenny benjamin, Winston benjamin, Ridley Jacobs. Antigua seems to have stopped producing cricketers for the time being! Can't remeber a cricketer of any note coming out of the whole of Lincolnshire!!
Report positively4thsteet October 28, 2009 7:09 AM GMT
mittheimp 27 Oct 13:31

Also people often ask the wrong question regarding Windies cricket - its not 'why are they no longer so good?' but 'how on earth were they so good?' Antigua - population of around 60,000 (same size as Boston in Lincolnshire) produced 3 'greats' - Richards, Roberts and Ambrose, one world class cricketer - ritchie richardson - and a few test class cricketers - Kenny benjamin, Winston benjamin, Ridley Jacobs. Antigua seems to have stopped producing cricketers for the time being! Can't remeber a cricketer of any note coming out of the whole of Lincolnshire!!

V.good point, amazing how good they were for 15 or more years. They also beat England in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. So they were pretty competitve almost from the start, unlike most other teams that have been introduced to test cricket. I wish they would get their act together though, everyone wants a competitive windies team. People say basketball is taking over out there, i don't know if this is a myth or an excuse or what. But I presume the main reason they were so good at cricket is because the whole carribbean lived and breathed it (This is far more important than population - look at NZ at rugby). I don't know if this is the case anymore.
Report positively4thsteet October 28, 2009 7:14 AM GMT
Antigua 60,000
jamaica 2.8 million
guyana 770,000
t and t 1250,000
barbados 280,000

total just over 5million. (I suppose there is asprinkling from other island groups, I haven't time to do the research)

England - 50 million
Saffers - 40 million?
Aus - 20 million ?
India - 1billion +
Pakistan - 100million +, 150m+?
Bangles - see above?
Sri Lanka - 21m
NZ - 4m
Report Cuddy November 2, 2009 6:13 PM GMT
totally agree on the thoughts about having that amazing team for 15 years. That sort of thing just does not come about by design. It just happened that an amazingly frightening, massively talented and physically and mentally tough group of cricketers all came about in the same era. You couldn't get that product out of any academy. It was a Brazil-like flair factory for about 20 years with, as mentioned above, a fraction of the population. Flair with backbone and results to back it up. I'll have to stop there and get the tissues...

Chris Gayle reappointed captain for Australia tour

Not quite sure what Narsingh Deonarine and Gavin Tonge are doing in there. Rampaul needs to deliver at the highest level and Jerome Taylor needs to get back to somewhere near his best. Heavily relying, as usual on Gayle, Chanders, Sarwan in terms of the batting. Looking forward to seeing if Adrian Barath delivers as much as his potential suggests - or whether it's going to be another tragedy like Marlon Samuels... Would be good to see more progress from Bravo, too, and Ramdin to make a few more runs. Brendan Nash needs to keep making those gritty 50s and 60s and the jury is still out, for me, on the rest of the squad.
Report BigMig November 2, 2009 6:36 PM GMT
Where Fidel?
Report Cantaro November 3, 2009 12:32 PM GMT
Fidel picked up knee injury playing for Deccan it is understood.

Glad to see Adrian Barath picked to tour Aus. Shame he didn't get the chance to 'ease' his way into test cricket against Bangladesh earlier in the year when originally selected, but nevertheless he is the most exciting thing on the field of play in Windies cricket since B C Lara. A youngster of genuine potential, who has already shown the ability to make big scores in contrast to other young batters the Windies have selected and discarded. Fingers crossed that he is given time.

Reckon its a fair squad thats been selected and suspect they wont be totally obliterated as some predict - they probably wont win a match but there are players capable of making the Aussies work hard for victory.
Report dougydougy. November 4, 2009 11:46 AM GMT
fidel a massive loss imo, wi no chance
Report Lies, DamnLies, and Statistics November 4, 2009 12:15 PM GMT
A choice beyond comprehension

CHRIS Gayle's nomination as West Indian captain for the tour down under is beyond comprehension. Far from standing firm, the West Indian Cricket Board has capitulated in the most craven manner. Never mind that its captain and senior players have let it down badly and repeatedly. Never mind that many have been inactive, almost inert. Never mind that Gayle's team was mauled in England or that a shadow side had perforce been sent to the Champions Trophy. Never mind that Gayle himself has seemed hell**on destruction. Still the board accommodated the ringleader of the rebellion.

Gayle is a busted flush. Sympathisers say he cares about West Indian cricket. If so, he has a curious way of showing it. Appointed on a wing and a prayer by authorities desperate to stop the inexorable slide in West Indian cricket, the languid Jamaican has been a profound disappointment. If nothing else, his abject performance during the Test series in England ought to have cost him his job. Given the honour of captaining the party and therefore following in the footsteps of Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Garfield Sobers and Clive Lloyd, the sunglassed opener promptly signed to play for the Kolkata Klowns (or whatever) in the IPL and arranged to join the team a week before the first Test. Then he lingered longer, played an extra match and arrived a couple of days before the series began. So much for leadership, for the great tradition of West Indian cricket, for Test cricket.

Inevitably, the West Indies were routed. By all accounts they barely put up a fight. Admittedly, it was cold in Durham but that hardly explains, let alone excuses, an abject display. If it was not the lowest point in Caribbean cricket then it was mighty close. And Gayle was the leader. Mostly he stood at slip, smothered in sweaters, watching as his team was torn apart. The West Indies were present in body but not mind, let alone spirit.

Nor is that all. Next, Gayle and chums refused to represent the region in an international tournament in South Africa, thereby letting down hosts, opponents and supporters. Talks between their association and the WICB had broken down. By all mature accounts the demands of the players were unreasonable. They demanded the overwhelming bulk of cricket revenue to be split between them. Floyd Reiffer was put in charge of a shadow team. His players did their best but lacked depth. Rejection has been their reward. Meanwhile, West Indian cricket's truest leader, Daren Ganga, a tactician with a proven record and an ability to unite his players, has not made the touring party.

Now, Gayle and co are heading for Australia. Locals are supposed to welcome a team whose past two outings have been an embarrassment and a no show. It's not going to be easy. Nothing was more certain than the top players would make themselves available for this tour. In their eyes it's the best trip in the books. Pressure was put on their representatives to reach a compromise. Never mind that issues remained unresolved Not that a lacklustre board has much to commend it. Seldom has it been harder to take sides. It was a battle between the intransigent and the inefficient.

Perhaps Gayle will set the series ablaze with brilliant batting. He has the capacity. Perhaps his players will rally to the cause, whatever that may be. For now it's hard to avoid thinking that an opportunity has been missed. Ganga has a modest record in Test cricket but he does turn up and he does create a strong team culture of the sort West Indian cricket has been missing for decades. The West Indies have a powerful batting order and some handy pacemen but it will count for nought unless the captain pulls his weight, and then some. Australia cannot be beaten by the half-baked.

Report Innocent Bystander November 4, 2009 12:47 PM GMT
Is that a Spanky Roebuck article by any chance LDLS? Hardly a man to judge on moral standards of others :0
Report Cuddy November 4, 2009 4:39 PM GMT
i reckon i have feelings of vitriol for this team that put me on the verge of a stroke at regular intervals... but that "article" was crap.
Report Innocent Bystander November 4, 2009 5:48 PM GMT
mentioning 'stroke' and 'Roebuck' in consecutive posts is a disturbing thought :0
Report RockMonkey November 5, 2009 11:22 AM GMT
Right about Gayle should have been stripped of captaincy after attitude on England tour, wrong in his interpretation of dispute with WICB.
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