Heads Must Roll Re West Indies Cricket…

This interesting article is reproduced from Dr. Malcom Grant’s Facebook Page. The frustration of a West Indian cricket fan is clearly evidentBarbados Underground

Fans of the West Indies cricket team celebrate their win over England at Lord's cricket ground, London (Getty Image)

How many more?

How many more defeats are West Indian fans expected to swallow? I am absolutely fed up with those who asks us to “be patient”, those who say “the boys need your support more than ever now”, or for that matter those who pontificate and state, “it can only get better from here”. I am exasperated, my patience is worn thin, I am fuming and I desperately want heads to roll.

We the loyal fans of West Indies cricket have had enough. In our respective careers all of us are expected to be fully accountable for our actions or lack thereof and our West Indies cricket team and its cricketers are no exception to this rule. Who is accountable or for that matter where is the accountability?

With the declining performance of West Indies cricket we can realistically:

  • Alienate its fair weather supporters: With less than 6 million people living in the Anglophone Caribbean the number of people who are die-hard supporters of West Indies cricket are relatively few, so few that I do not believe that they are capable by themselves of single handedly financially supporting West Indies cricket. The fact of the matter is that West Indies needs its fair weather friends to help make West Indies cricket financially viable. And may I add that even with such support West Indies cricket, as an entity, has a difficult time making ends meet.
  • Kill advertising interest: No one backs a looser. And the traditional corporate supporters of West Indies cricket, Cable and Wireless, Scotia Bank, Carib Beer, etc. are no longer going to see West Indies cricket as a way of reaching the West Indian audience; with this in mind don’t be surprised that even if West Indies cricket were still able to attract sponsorship they, West Indies cricket, would no longer be able to command the premium, re advertising dollars, that they were capable of demanding in the not so distant past.
  • Kill television coverage: Without sponsorship, it becomes more difficult for local television stations, in the respective territories, to offer live cricket to their viewing audience. Without life cricket there will inevitably be a further fall-off in the interest in West Indies cricket.
  • Kill the businesses of  seasonal businessmen/ businesswomen: A number of vendors make up to 20% of their annual income from stalls that they set up around the grounds whenever there is international cricket. Additionally the presence of these vendors adds to the bustling and colourful atmosphere that has come to be associated with West Indies cricket. With the average test match failing to go beyond the 4th day it is becoming increasingly challenging for the vendors to continue offering their appropriate services.
  • Dry up our recruitment drive: In order for West Indies cricket to survive it needs to continue to attract the youth of the region to game. Unfortunately no West Indian youth under the age of 17 is capable of recalling a single West Indies team that is capable of knocking over any top class competition. The recent performances of the West Indies cricket team is likely to undermine the self-belief of any youngster who is aspiring to a place on the senior West Indies team. The consequence of such can be catastrophic to the future of West Indies cricket.
  • Reduced revenues from overseas tours: With the West Indies team at last rung, relative to the established teams, in world cricket we can no longer the attraction that we once used to be. Consequentially other international cricket boards are only offering us truncated tests itineraries, a situation that was certainly unheard of up to 5 years ago.
  • Increased financial pressure on the respective local and regional cricket boards: With all of the above West Indian cricket boards, inclusive of all the territorial boards and the WICB, are going to come under increasing financial pressure when it come to meeting their recurrent and capital expenditure.

No one should be beyond reproach, all the those who have stepped up to the plate re West Indies cricket MUST accept responsibility for the sad state of affairs of West Indies cricket.

Unfortunately far too many of our cricket fans have a groupie mentality and are incapable of one iota of objectivity when it comes to “their boy(s)”. Hence, they often scream and shout from their respective bully pulpits whenever someone may call for head of their “favorite son(s) of the soil”. Some of these fanatics must bear some of the responsibility for bringing to bear their influence, in one form or fashion, on the movers and shakers within the corridors of West Indies cricket who have maintained the status quo..

It certainly goes against the grain of a sound business or for that matter administrative principle to keep a team in place whose productivity is way below par.

33 thoughts on “Heads Must Roll Re West Indies Cricket…

  1. What cricket what?! Those jokers go out and play bat n ball. I have seen better from boys playing with a coconut limb batt and a small breadfruit ball. Waste of time.

  2. How many times have I seen that phrase when reading about cricket in the Caribbean? We’ve rolled so many heads that the Cricketing organisations must be run by zombies.

    Let’s face it we no longer have the desire, the commitment the perseverance, the tenacity or the skill to compete at the higher level. The bugle in the distance is the funeral horn.

    All together now “Abide with me…..’

    Last man standing turn off the lights.

    • We are listening to the Barbados vs CCC match at UWI, Cave Hill and on the second day just after lunch, Barbados is batting in their second innings and the score is currently 103/3.

      The system in place in Barbados has always ensured we supplied West Indies with good cricketers. What is apparent is that something has gone terribly wrong with cricket development in Barbados and the WI.

      Bear in mind the region spent hundreds of millions in preparing for world cup 2007 with a view it would have provided an impetus for WI cricket.

  3. Having sounded the death knell for Caribbean cricket ( though it may be true no one takes me seriously). I have to pass on some jokes about WI cricket and in my library I have a book by Gordon Brooks “ Caught in Action” it’s mainly a photo journal and two photos of placards stood out. One was taken in Australia from the 1996-1997 tour and it read “Ten little Windians playing in the sun- Kaspa,Pistol,Warne, McGrath…. Then they were none!”

    The other was from South Africa from the 198-1999 tour this placard states” West Indies Stop playing the Fool……Try Cricket”

    Any one remembers Uton Dowe? He was a fast bowler from Jamaica who was supposed to strike terror into the hearts of batsmen from the opposing teams. Uton sprung up and quickly faded into the sunset but before he went he was part of one of the famous lines delivered from a heckler in the stands.

    In his final test against Australia in the 1972-73 tour Dowe’s bowling was beaten like a rented mule by Keith Stackpole early in the day. When Kanhai ( who was captain) brought him back for a late afternoon spell a loud voice from the stands was heard
    “Hey Kanhai, you not heard de eleventh commandment. Dowe shall not bowl.”

  4. Flogging a dead horse and trying to make it run. Cricket is like the Sugar Industry……um dead! Stop throwing away millions of $$$ trying to squeeze blood outta stone. Wunna aint get yet?



    Too many administrators doing crap only to make themselves look -bigup- and confusing the cricket with asinine decision making.

  6. @ALL.

    We have been flogging the boys for nearly 2 decades (and it will continue). We have to face facts, and the fact is: West Indies cricket is NOT WORLD STANDARD. The cricketers (most of them) are not world class athletes, and that is the reason they are being beaten. They are being beaten by world class teams, while the only teams they can muster a win against are part-timers (non world class players) like Ireland, Kenya, Canada, Bangladash.

    The only way the West Indies can regain any semblance of former glory is if they train, train, train – as world class athletes are supposed to. There is no magic to this. They need “eat,sleep and breathe cricket; there is no other way out for them. They may win the occasional fluke match against a biggie, but that will be few and far in between. I hope the stakeholders understand this, for no amount of musical chairs or resurrections of the dead will help. THE BOYS MUST TRAIN LIKE WORLD CLASS ATHLETES; SOFT, PART TIME TRAINING WILL NOT DO IT.

    • @The Solution -Simple!

      How will they train train when Tino Best and the management of the Barbados got in a tiff recently because he believed the training regime was too onerous.

  7. Dem getting too much money fuh nutting! Pay dem on performance! Gone are the days for pay without working. Fire dem unions fire de board, fire somma dem players too.

    @Simple Simon

    True dem gotta think world class before dem call demselves world class. Right now dem ent got nuh class wid de type of behaviour somma dem exhibiting.

  8. @ David

    I would like to draw your attention to my earlier post when I declared it dead; all we are waiting for is a suitable tombstone and an appropriate epitaph.

    To help you understand here is one more line:

    Stick a fork in it its done

    But hope springs eternal

  9. @Sargeant

    Many hope you are wrong especially given the millions being spent by Sir Hillary at Cave Hill and government, not to forget the extraordinary expenditure item for CWC2007.

    On another note was it Sir Garry who said cricket is 80% mental? The lack of cricketing intelligence we are witnessing begs the question if it really is a reflection of the society. Perhaps a dumb question.

  10. The missing link is psychological.That cannot be taught or trained. It comes for the inside that means loving the game more than loving the money. Cricket is not a 9-5 job . it is continuous training within the mind. It is what a person always want to do. Finding such a person is like finding a needle in a haystack. Unfortunately the drive to succeed has been taken over by the drive to becoming rich!

  11. @David,
    Not sure if you are being tongue-in-cheek, but that is exactly the point. They need to train; if they don’t understand that being a world class athlete means world class training, they will remain where there are – laughing stock and fodder for to the rest of the cricketing world!

    I suspect indiscipline is also etched into the culture of WI cricket as well. They need to find out from the greats of yesteryear(before they pass away) how they used to train. Being a former athlete myself, I can tell you, it is no bed of roses maintaining fitness. As “ac” said above it is a mind thing; but beyond mind motivation comes the reality and actuality – RIGOROUS UNBRIDLED TRAINING! (Check how the Austrailians do it; they even train with the army!)

    • Yes it was a tongue and cheek comment. How can we forget the glory years of Lloyd when Denis Waite (trainer) was an integral part of the team.

      It is interesting to note that the successful Australian team has modelled itself after the Lloyd era.

  12. In the yesteryear the great like Everton , Worrell , Weekes and others with no lack of respect on my part to mention others had the self determination and aspiration to be the best of the best puting away self pride and being motivated by Pride of Country and a desire to make their citizens proud of them. It must have been an emotional high that only themselves could have experienced , which also transferred itself to the feelings of the public and the great love which is still shown for them. No amount of physical training could have given them that in so much that that the love of country and game supersede all else. Today cricketers have lost that and the money they earned is a superficial replacement which has not brought the WestIndies Team any dividends.
    My litmus Test to them would be Which comes first the “Money or the Game. Yes i know that we all need money for livelihood but unfortunately in this game the money is not the winning motivator. THe training in an intricate part of the whole but in conclusion it is the mentality which is the driving force behind any great cricketer.

  13. I heard Sammy give his piece after they lost the last game. He was hurt; very hurt. I’m sure the rest of the team feel the same way; for you cannot constantly be beaten and not have some bit of pride left. Who can feel comfortable being constantly stepped on? For the WI to improve, it will take more than wishful thinking, pride and desire to succeed (although these are good and necessary motivators); they will have to do what top-flight athletes of any sport do: rigorous, systematic, planned training. There is no other way. Like any other sport/business venture, we need to copy those who were, and those who currently are at the top. Copy their modus operandi; their way of doing things – No magic needed.
    Firing-changing-blaming, will not make the team better. They must do what is necessary.

  14. There is a difference between feeling Embarrassed” and having “self Pride. Because one is feeling embarrassed does not truly determines one “Self pride” they are many mitigating factors which can trigger embarrassment as in the loss of the game. Having self Pride propels a person to be good at what they do. It is evident that loss after loss with many differing changes in the West Indies Team that having Self PRIDE for the game is missing.That can’t not be taught. Ask any of the greats era how many of them really focus on money as is now with the new generation of players.

  15. @DAvid
    Well what ask can they do!They are more questions than answers. Nobody have a solution .therefore they game plan is to stick with what they have. It is not an easy task

  16. @David “Tino Best and the management of the Barbados got in a tiff recently because he believed the training regime was too onerous.”

    Tino was probably right.

    Cricketers do not need to train like Usain Bolt.What is the point of being able to run around the Garrison 10 times but can’t play a forward defensive shot with the correct technique.

    These current cricketers need to be coached on the fundamentals and learn to execute them.

    New name for 20/20 cricket. Swiping fuh dollars.

  17. Hants you know very little about cricket. Unless you are very fit after spending 2 hours in the sun batting and running you get fatigued. When you are tired the first things to suffer are your balance agility and posture and mental quickness the ability to think on your feet. So if you do not train like a world class athlete you will not be able to play that forward defensive shot with the correct technique the 50 or 60 times it may be necessary to make a hundred or you may not have the mental agility to recognise the balls that you should be playing that shot to.

    A story in the recent world cup which tells you all you need to know about the West Indies and how they think and how they are viewed.
    One of the WI cricketers was asked about Devon Thomas. he replied to the commentator ” oh yes Devon takes his cricket very seriously. he works extremely hard on his game. he practices and trains so hard that we had to tell him slow down a little you can’t train so hard all the time.”

    Obviously the commentator was aghast and when he recounted his story on TV there was a comment of Only the Windies and that the attitude was wrong; that they should have been pushing him to continue training as hard as he could and to encourage others to join him.

    the WI cricketers from the glory years worked and trained very very hard. they were talented and very athletic but they outworked most other teams. People only see the brilliance of a Jordan or a Tiger in his prime. They don’t see the workout regime . Jordan worked out every morning before breakfast in the off season. shot one thousand jumpers each day. Tom Brady is the first one into Practice and the last one to leave. That’s what it takes to be a champion, to be the best in the world. Our boys don’t have that desire or discipline. For many it is a huge achievement just to make the Windies team so the will and drive to go beyond that to be a world champion is simply not there. It is partially a result of our consumerism and instant gratification type society. An average Windies cricketer can make $500,000 Bds in a year comfortably. he doesn’t have the professional responsibility of a lawyer , doctor, engineer entrepreneur etc he can’t be sued for non performance or negligent performance. He doesn’t have the creative or quality output burden of an artist, musician singer designer etc it doesn’t matter to the cricketer if what he produces delights his audience. His pay does not relate to that.

    It will not change unless we get a group of ruthless young cricketers who decide that along with the money they want a place in history. Not just an individual place but a team spot as Champions , to be mentioned among the greatest. Barcelona, Manchester United, the Yankees several teams are able to inculcate this dream into their new recruits and signings. They draw on their storied history to show how it was and how it should be.

  18. I think the main problem with West Indies cricket today is that the players see themselves as entertainers rather than professional athletes, and are more interested in how many girls they can get and how much money they can make with the least effort (hence their great love for the 20/20 format). I say pay them based on performance and if some of them come home with only $100 Guyana or Jamaican dollars that should encourage them to pull their socks up.

  19. @Bad Man,
    I’m glad you made those comments. You obviously have been very close to some type of sport (Cricket?).

    Many West Indians believe that all the boys need is pride; as long as they have pride, then, we’ll get back on top. What they don’t understand is that a cricketer’s/athlete’s body has to be strong – very strong! This comes through proper diet, ample rest and world class training (beyond the average). Training will also include practicing cricketing fundamentals.

    There is no easy way out; unless they adapt to rigid training sessions; aiming to be the best – super sportsmen – they will continue to loose.

    A parting comment. Joel Garner was feared by all when he was in this prime. He was naturally talented, with height to his advantage.. But do you know that outside of his regular training with the camp, he had his own, personal fitness sessions? Garner used to run, very early in the morning (3am) when most people would be asleep. And this is what I know; there might have been other things he did.

    No way out – acquire world class fitness – or perish!

  20. The hole in Bad man’s comment is that US athletes for example can hone their skills in a professional league environment. The Lloyd team of the past benefited from the Packer environment. As soon as the players from Packer era retired/faded so too our dominance. Our administrators did not try to replicate that professional support structure whether in the Caribbean or by exporting players.

  21. David,
    I think there are “holes” in your submission:
    1. WI cricket was dominant before Packer came along.
    2. WI cricket started to wane when offers to play English
    county cricket were deliberately and tactfully withdrawn.
    There is no correlation with Packer’s money and the ability
    of our boys.

    I think you may be correct in your analysis of lack of foresight. I believe that we were so invincible that management did not see the need to speedily mould “new blood” until it was too late. I don’t want to say this, because we all are looking forward to a return to the “glory days”; but you know something – this may be a pipe dream (but I hope I am wrong).

    By the way, there is a possibility that Australia may not be that dominant in cricket in the near future. Look at what has just happened.

    • @Solution simple

      Still not convinced by your argument although a good one.

      WI was dominmant pre-Packer but not as dominat post-packer.

      The issue which you have to consider is pre-Packer cricket was played with an amateur approach, post-Packer this is when we saw the arrival of the business approach.

  22. Is it not becoming a bore to read and listen to sports journalists calling for the head of Sammy? Can’t they focus on the problems.

  23. David,
    I agree with you. He is no worse or better than the others. What I have noticed about him is that he seems to be leadership material. He carries a strong command of the English language; something noticeable lacking with former captains of late (exception – Brian Lara).

    Re.: Packer matter above – I’ll get back to you and let the facts speak.

Leave a comment, join the discussion.