The Demise of West Indian Cricket?

The following Advocate Editorial is reproduced for the benefit of the few loyal cricket fans to be found lurking on Barbados Underground.

west_indies_cricketMaybe to those of a certain age, popularly referred to as the millennial generation, sometimes as millennials, or frequently as the quizzically titled Generation Y, it may merely be classed as the stuff of legend, but there was indeed a time when our regional team stood at the apex of the cricketing world; when most fans in the region stayed awake all night to follow the commentary when we played in Australia; when people walked with transistor radios glued to their ears, inevitably requested time and again to provide some inquiring stranger with the latest score; when schools were granted an entire day off during local Test matches and when it seemed that all was right with the region and, indeed, the world.

Alas, these times have changed significantly and what was once our passion has now become enveloped in a pall of disinterest consistent with much else in the region besides; a disinterest that even our two successive triumphs in the lottery of World T20 cricket competitions have been unable to diffuse.

And this lack of accomplishment appears moreover to pervade the entire cricket administration – from the CARICOM sub-committee on cricket whose chairman, Gr Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, resigned this position earlier this week because he felt that his colleagues had undermined his chairmanship by reneging on earlier agreed positions to the players themselves.

Given the degree of Dr. Mitchell’s avidity to replace the current management of West Indian cricket with an alternative administration, it is scarcely surprising that this enthusiasm is not wholly shared by some of his regional colleagues who might see their own electoral fates reflected in that of the West Indies Cricket Board [WICB] through an identical loss of popular support.

The current morass does not stop there. The WICB itself, no model administrator, has managed to alienate many of the fans of the regional game over the years with its apparently dictatorial approach and its crass adoption of an attitude of master and servant to its relationship with its employees and the players.

Nor, as earlier suggested, are these last any less culpable, even though there are more than a few fans who, as Pontius Pilate did, can find no fault in any of them. Nevertheless an alarming and unarguable lack of performance, together with a regrettable sense of entitlement, has managed to estrange a significant number of former cricket aficionados over the last two decades.

Of course, there is the view that all this disenchantment may be put down to our relatively disappointing record and there may be some validity in such a thesis. After all, we are a people that revel in victory and are highly intolerant of defeat, especially those of the humiliating kind.

We have clearly reached a critical point in our cricketing culture, one that requires us to consider whether the game is so embedded in our psyches and that we have invested so much in it financially and emotionally that any contemplation of its abandonment as a regional outfit is out of the question, or whether we may yet continue as individual units or whether, despite the historical significance of the game, the time has come for us to bid it farewell and to concentrate our energies elsewhere.

This, we accept, may be viewed as an extreme circumstance. It may be pure coincidence however, that as we are preparing this, the West Indies has just succumbed to Pakistan in Dubai by another large margin of defeat in a T20 match, the version of the game in which it has reaped most global success.

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19 Comments on “The Demise of West Indian Cricket?”

  1. Pachamama September 25, 2016 at 8:49 PM #

    It is not only a demise of WI cricket.

    There is a wider cultural demise

    Cricket can only be strong when other areas are relatively strong

    It can never do well in isolation from everything else


  2. David September 25, 2016 at 8:53 PM #

    The resignation of Keith Mitchell as Chair of the Caricom cricket committee for the reasons advanced support your point.




  3. chad99999 September 26, 2016 at 1:11 AM #

    I haven’t seen a detailed, comprehensive technical analysis of the reasons for the collapse of West Indian cricket. We need public discussion of exactly what the deficiencies are, and we need technical experts and coaches to explain whether these problems are fixable, and how they would try to fix them.
    Not enough is written down about the problems facing West Indian cricket. If knowledge of the game is narrowly held, the situation may be hopeless.


  4. Bush Tea September 26, 2016 at 7:31 AM #

    West Indian Cricket was created by the English colonials as a mechanism to demonstrate their superiority over the poor, second-rate natives in ways other than as slave masters.

    After Sir Frank Worrell and a collection of talented ‘natives’ demonstrated the fallacy of their beliefs about superiority…. and then geniuses like Sir Gary, Malcolm Marshall, Haynes and Lara reinforced this, the whole basis of ‘West Indian cricket’ needed to be redefined.

    The English ‘dun wid dat shiite’ and stopped inviting prospective talents to their professional league, and at the same time, professionalized their own game with business-like management and technical expertise to raise the level of performance. Most other cricket nations did likewise.

    Meanwhile, we continued to operate exactly like a bunch of cavalier wild boys who were just focused on promoting hometown players, hoping for good luck, and to making a few dollars.

    No professional league.
    No world class academy
    No long term strategies
    No professional management
    No clear policies for the Board,for selection, for retirement …nothing!!

    …worst of all, there is NO SUCH THING IN EXISTENCE AS A WEST INDIES…..which was just a convenient mechanism for the English who actually thought that they could whip our collective asses back then.

    West Indies cricket died back in the days of Richardson and Lara.
    It died of idiocy and brass bowlery …. and plain incompetent leadership.

    …same reasons our economies are on their collective deathbeds too.
    Cricket was just a foretaste…. What happened was exactly like appointing Chris Stinkliar as MoF and not expecting to go broke….


  5. Bush Tea September 26, 2016 at 7:31 AM #

    Need any more analysis Chad99999 ?


  6. Artax September 26, 2016 at 9:46 AM #

    Bush Tea September 26, 2016 at 7:31 AM #

    “Meanwhile, we continued to operate exactly like a bunch of cavalier wild boys who were just focused on promoting hometown players, hoping for good luck, and to making a few dollars.”

    @ Bushie

    Excellent analysis, Bushie, and I endorse your comments 1,000%.

    Your friend “chad00000” always seem to be attempting to “intellectualize” every argument. Whether the “discussion” is about tourism, cricket, politics or frying fish cakes, he always refers to some thesis he read or how many people did research on “X” subject, without taking into consideration as to within what particular context the research was undertaken.

    Bushie, your contribution has proven that one does not have to read a doctoral thesis or possess a PhD to make an accurate assessment of the state of West indies cricket.


  7. Hants September 26, 2016 at 1:16 PM #

    And it continues………”IN SPITE of repeated batting and bowling failures in the recent home Test series against India that the regional side lost 2-0, the West Indies selectors have kept faith with the same squad for the upcoming three-match series against Pakistan. ”


  8. Bush Tea September 26, 2016 at 2:30 PM #

    @ Hants
    ….and in spite of repeated downgrades, project failures, hiccups, and embarrassments in the last eight years that saw Barbados slide down the developmental ladder, the political leaders have kept faith with the same squad…hoping to revel in the upcoming 50th anniversary largess….

    Same shiite … different sport.

    @ Artax
    Thanks bro…. always a good feeling when you see no need to cuss the bushman… 🙂


  9. Georgie Porgie September 26, 2016 at 2:40 PM #

    Hants September 26, 2016 at 1:16 PM #

    who else do they have to pick? who would you pick? what would your team be like?

    do you have any players like those from 58-68 or 74 -95 to pick or any like the alternatives then who never played?


  10. Hants September 26, 2016 at 3:47 PM #

    @ Georgie Porgie,

    I accept that there may be no other players available.

    I will not waste my time watching this series.

    I wish them good luck.


  11. Bush Tea September 26, 2016 at 3:51 PM #

    @ GP
    Is it that we do not have such talents? …or has that talent been frustrated to hell – such that any such bright spark is quickly extinguished by the abundance of useless shiite that parades around as leadership…?

    What has been failing us is not lack of talent per se, but the exploding growth of shiite ‘leaders’ that has overwhelmed all the potential.
    Same thing in politics, in the church, in education and in other sports.
    Once these JAs get a toe hold, they spread like weeds …and choke all the good plants.

    Can you imaging the environment of working around Froon for a truly talented young person who has excellent potential to make outstanding contributions to Barbados in 20 years time?
    Shiite man …. the fellow would quickly catch a plane and rest up in Miami or some shiite… for sanity sake alone…

    Cricket wasted too much time installing useless expired cricketers into vital management positions, and we have wasted too much time looking to jackass lawyers and other shiitehounds with mock degrees from Cave hill who cannot even maintain a family – far less a country.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. de pedantic Dribbler September 26, 2016 at 4:20 PM #

    Despite the bad management and limited quality of selection is it not also true that this Indian team is actually quite good with their top players coming into their stride !

    They just also beat a solid NZ side by the proverbial country mile…as they did our boys.

    Yes things are dred with our cricket but India is actually a formidable opponent at the moment. They have won about 60% of their last roughly 10 matches; losing none.

    Pakistan also performing very well so we will surely be out-played.

    There is no end in sight to the management woes so we might as well tek these licks and plan for a new dawn…whenever that will be.


  13. David September 26, 2016 at 5:59 PM #

    What’s up with our 20/20 squad in Pakistan?


  14. Georgie Porgie September 26, 2016 at 6:30 PM #

    only i Bajan in the side
    its a trinidadian side
    team full of idiots who dont seem to understand the basics of batting


  15. Georgie Porgie September 26, 2016 at 6:43 PM #

    I read an article in Cricinfo earlier this year.
    The author commented that on the 81 england tour that he observed that holding croft garner and roberts bowled in the nets to our four top batsmen

    he observed further that these were replaced by the following net bowlers……..marshall daniel clarke mosely

    need one say more?


  16. Georgie Porgie September 26, 2016 at 8:01 PM #

    not only cricket gone to the dogs

    i notice that very few anglican churches have evensong again

    also i understand that it is a thing of the passt for boys to sing in the church choir

    in when i boarded at UTC in jamaica one of the anglican trainees from antigua there was so impressed with the all male choir he had heard at the cathedral


  17. David September 28, 2016 at 5:06 AM #

    T20 champs whitewashed!


  18. Hants September 28, 2016 at 8:17 AM #

    Florida delivers US $11.2 million.

    “The last minute decision to stage two T20 matches against India in Florida turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the West Indies.

    Sources say the matches were financial successes with some US $11.2 million being generated from media rights and gate receipts.”


  19. Anonymouse - The Gazer September 28, 2016 at 4:23 PM #

    We have to fix our cricket. Thought we were masters of the T20…..


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