West Indies Cricket on the Skids

President of CWI, Ricky Skerritt(l) and Dr Kishore Shallow(r)

The demise of West Indies cricket continues to be a topic of conversation across the Caribbean. A good observation can be drawn that Cricket West Indies (CWI) , CARICOM, University of the West Indies, Caribbean Examinations Council and a few other regional agencies combine to build greater resilience and scale, as well as enhance bargaining power on the global stage and in the case of sports, competitiveness. Certainly this was the intention of the founders?

Here are comments from two commenters on the blog reacting to West Indies recent failure to qualify for the T20 World Cup.

Another reshuffle? Heard West Indies cricket coach, Phil Simmons, resigned. Skerritt, Shallow, Jimmy Adams, Haynes and the other selectors, coaches, support staff and the team manager, should resign as well.

So wait wha bout de players dem!

You will junk the ENTIRE establishment because the 15 players could not execute their skills when called upon to do so!

I can agree with the Coach and his assistants because their role is to motivate and focus these millionaire level athletes to ensure that they EXECUTE … if they fail then the coaching team has failed …. but the selectors, Dir of Cricket, CEO, Marketing and Communications folks and all-a-dem, really!

de pedantic Dribbler

dpD, the ‘system’ always deals with players after every disastrous series. Hence the reason why so many cricketers with ‘short-lived’ careers played for WI. The selectors chose players who did not merit selection and provided supporters with ludicrous reasons for selecting them. Skerrit & Shallow made ‘big promises,’ but delivered ‘very little.’ Their record clearly indicates there hasn’t been any significant development in West Indies cricket at both the regional and international levels during their tenure. We continue to use a mediocre regional FOUR (4) DAY as the basis to select players to play test cricket, against countries such as England, Australia and India where their domestic tournaments and cricket clubs are professionally managed.


72 thoughts on “West Indies Cricket on the Skids

  1. To those who have been experiencing formatting issues posting to BU, note the theme/skin currently activated support was discontinue a while ago, this means that as time passes the blog experience will be negatively impacted. The blogmaster will allocate some time in the near future to switch out the theme/skin. Thanks for your patience.

  2. I should not comment as I have 0 interest in cricket. Even so, it is impossible to avoid hearing of a team getting beaten by any team that anyone can put together and not having an opinion.

    A reputation that was well established in the past and that we in the Caribbean/West Indies could be proud of has been thoroughly rubbished. We have moved from being one of the powerhouses in cricket to being an also ran, At this stage, it is now too late to call the team by another name.

  3. Last cricket comment
    The Team may be much better than I think it is, It may be one of those teams that rips your heart out. They win one game to make you get on board the train and then they lose even worse than before.

    “We have played two series this year – against England and Bangladesh – and won both. We have been playing good Test cricket and expect to do well against the Australians on their home turf.”

    Not getting on board.

  4. The demise of West Indies cricket continues to be a topic of conversation across the Caribbean.

    We too like Post Mortems, why don’t they give up de ghost before teams like Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Ireland show dem de exit? Wait! Dat has happened? Yuh don’t say! Dem dead they are like the Phantom…… “the ghosts who walks”

  5. @David, two quick hits…

    I like soccer … and recently I was watching online a game between two female US uni teams as it came up on my feed after watching highlights of the Premier League and the England vrs US women’s game. I was ‘shocked’ by the absolutely stunning passing game of the North Carolina team (later discovered there are #1 in their conference) … shocked because I thought ‘wow, I don’t recall our Bajan national team led by Gas Clarke or Cracker Goddard with guys like Peter Alkins or Trevor Thorpe etc putting together 10 -15 passes like that’!

    What’s that to do with cricket … well if I were to extrapolate that NC skilled performance to our national game I can surely say that I have seen a Bajan cricket team led by David Holford (RIP) or Carlisle Best perform at such outstanding levels and of course our WI team is absolutely comparable to the best of Brazil’s soccer world cup stars !

    That to say, we have the competencies and we have the skills to execute same and be world class in cricket. Next: that continued comprehensive training and desire to perform!

    I have no more precise idea why this team of very talented players faltered so badly over the last 3 or so years to first tumble into that ICC also-ran group and then so badly failed to get out of the preliminaries but as former captain Pollard said:

    It’s a “sad day”. [… I am a] bit surprised, to be honest that [West Indies] weren’t able to get over the line against the other teams, but again, that speaks volumes of where our cricket as is at the moment. I feel it. I feel it for the guys because they are the ones that are going to get the bashing. And it’s not all their fault.”

    We will do better!

  6. Cricket is a head game, always was. The fellas today with all their talent just ain’t got nuh head.
    Another next thing, how many of our so call talented players would make it pass twelve-man status in any of the top four teams?

    • I viewed a speech by the PM stating very briefly that the jobs of civil servants would be based on performance then off at an at length tangent that they should not need to ask for permission to take “lieu days”. Recent headlines about the increase in cruise ship visits.
      All easy — No dedication is a hallmark and in consequence it’s not likely that the dedication required to develop in any sphere of endeavour present in the DNA.
      People need to be self-motivated in order to make progress in anything and that is sadly lacking.

  7. And … @David, let the rhetoric be delivered

    This is always a fun topic despite the fact that it really is quite a serious one which goes to the very heart of Caribbean social and economic development no less so than CARICOM’s fit and starts of success and failure. We can scoff and laugh as much as we want but our cricket woes are all about us: Our supreme abilities writ large (punching above our weight) and too our abject failure – our corruption of ideas and execution! It is us, with all its warts.

    “No one is more painfully aware of the rapid disintegration of West Indies cricket than West Indians themselves. The proof has been before our eyes for at least a decade now, at our once-filled grounds, on our television screens, in our newspapers. Once the most powerful force in the game, it has become so weak and woeful that its Test and ODI teams languish in the nether regions of the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings. The reasons for the sorry state of affairs are myriad but easily identified. As responsible as any is the environment of constant confrontation between an inept administration, all but bankrupt both financially and intellectually, and mollycoddled players who have been allowed to become idle and indisciplined for lack of leadership. For all that, the abuse and scorn heaped on the team in the Australian press following its defeat […] was undeserving. Much of it was simply beyond the pale.”

    That is rousing rhetoric from none other than the illustrious and absolutely well studied Tony Lloyd Cozier. Of course that gent left this mortal toil some six years ago but his words of December 2009 echo today just as pertinently. Only 1 modification really – well 3 to be precise: _***Much of it simply was deserving***, add the T20I team to those languishing and it’s now 2 decades plus!

    What the hell is happening with our cricket that we can be saying basically the same thing over and over across 20 years with no real perspective that anything will change !!! Where do we go as a people, as a team of proud, talented achievers who continue to either miss ‘flights’ to greatness or squabble incessantly due to personal insularities and issues or just mystery moments!!

    A team that played before a then recently elected President Mandela but were so discombobulated by internal strife that they were ‘white-washed’ comprehensively by the SA team – yes Mandela was then President and it was his SA national team … but we also know that he surely had pride in those WI cricketers as Master Blaster Viv later noted that he (Mandela) confided to him how overjoyed he was that Viv and others of his stature had NEVER TOURED SA with any of the rebel teams!

    Simply stated many people took GREAT pride in the success of our world conquering cricket team and it’s stars. But some took great umbrage as well, like cricket editor Frith of Wisden who wrote in 1991:

    They are “the most fearsome, the most successful and the most unpopular in the world. Their game is founded on vengeance and violence and is tinged with arrogance.”

    All that to say that there is a lot to be said about the fact that there are now a number of upwardly mobile cricket families and by extension realtors, retailers and small business people who are quite more successful today because of the combined millions of dollars from English Leagues & Counties, IPL, BBL, CPL, PCL, The 100 and all the other cricket tournaments from which the many West Indian men (and now women) have pumped their earnings into our economies.

    Cricket is BIG BUSINESS and must be seen as just that (just ask those Indian magnates that are franchising teams across the globe) … so do we need to address our rhetoric seriously and purposefully, and these players need to get their professional act together.

    This is not about trite emotion and definitely not about ”mollycoddling”!

    • @Dee Word

      The blogmaster is surprise BushTea has not chimed in to link the demise of cricket to a pan Caribbean failure to achieve excellence.

  8. Oh Lordie @David, yah calling out de griot … alas, that “demise of cricket to a pan Caribbean failure to achieve excellence” is absolutely well seen!

    I gone.

  9. Long time since I was standing in line behind a cricket commentator whose name I have since forgotten and asking him if Windies cricket was even worth discussing. He looked confused.

    It is obvious that there are no solutions to this problem. I say we disband the board and the team.

    Most of our young people are not interested in cricket. That is why we will continue this slide to the bottom. The young guys see a few openings in football and prefer that sport. Therefore our pool of cricketing talent will continue to diminish. It is already very small compared to other teams. Caribbean cricket gets the leftovers, those who cannot play football.

    Unfortunately, only a few guys will be good enough to get opportunities abroad but that will not penetrate the brains of the young.

    Cricket still provides better opportunities but the young talent will ignore that and battle for the few “sexy” football spots abroad, probably never making it into the big league.

    Caribbean cricket is dying. Pull the plug and let it die with….oops.. we are already past the point of dignity!

  10. Caribbean cricket will continue to survive even if at the bottom.

    IPL T20 and other T20 leagues like Big Bash in Australia will continue to attract Caribbean lickit cricketers.

  11. @Hants,
    “Caribbean cricket will continue to survive even if at the bottom.”

    We should call them Hants Boys and our problems are solved.
    Long time no see.
    Hope all is well.

  12. @Donna, is there some evidence to support your theory that “Caribbean cricket is dying. Pull the plug and let it die.[…]??? I am confused … are you actually being serious!!!

    If Australia, where their cricket captain Hughes pathetically resigned in TEARS after being shellacked once more by the then all conquering WI team when his team was in shambles or England who at various points have been in the doldrums – despite their quite good professional county circuit – and too Pakistan who have bounced back from either criminal investigations of match fixing or other lingering issues have ALL survived and found SOLUTIONS to their “obvious” problems why in heavens name can’t we!!!!

    Yes we are poorer economically, significantly less populated and lack their infrastructure but we have progressed well for a long time and dominated all others within those same limited capacities so it’s rather perplexing (amusingly so) that now we collectively can see no “obvious […] solutions to this problem

    As far as I know, cricket has been the most significant economic earner for our professional athletes, commentators, journalists and related opportunities than any other sporting activity so why is it practical to condemn those opportunities that are still available ???

    Does ‘football’ actually even compare in a meaningful way !! We have had for years a professional regional cricket tournament from which many young men have graduated to become millionaires and some very wealthy … soccer has NEVER offered that at any scale.

    So absolutely, Cricket still provides better opportunities so why then should “the young talent {…} ignore that and battle for the few “sexy” football spots abroad [and surely] never making it into the big league.” … that’s circuitous irrational reasoning there!

    Anyhow, enough of cricket. You guys are having fun as usual! Peace Out.

  13. Based on the level of enthusiasm I’ve seen exhibited by cricketers during the various primary and secondary school tournaments, as well as in the domestic league, in addition to their dedication and commitment at practice sessions…… I do not necessarily agree that “Most of our young people are not interested in cricket.”

    We have to address what happens to our young cricketers after they leave secondary school.

    Unfortunately, similarly to cricket, Barbados football has been in the doldrums for several years as well.

    What “openings in football” are available to young guys, especially taking into consideration the national team has not won a regional tournament probably since the early 1970s?

    For example, Barbados National Football teams did not qualify for the CONCACAF Championship Gold Cup in 1977, withdrew in 1981, did not enter in 1991, and did not qualify for the tournaments held between 1993 and 2021.
    The teams’ FIFA World Cup record is even worse. Between 1978 and 2022, national teams either withdrew, did not enter, or did not qualify to play in the ‘World Cup.’ The team was disqualified in 2018.

    Barbados has never won a CFU Championship or Caribbean Cup.

    “Our senior men’s team sadly continued its downward trend by losing all of their qualifying matches in the CONCACAF Nations League and have now plummeted to number 166 in the world based on the most recent FIFA rankings.” [Barbados Today, July 1, 2022]

    However, we’ve had a few players who were offered contracts abroad, some of whom returned home after complaining of being ‘home sick.’
    Last year, Under-20 national team striker, Abiola Grant, signed a professional contract contact with Hungarian club Kolorcity Kazincbarcika Sport Club.

    The crowds at football games have been steadily decreasing since the mid to late 1980s, when there was intense rivalry between first division clubs such as Black Spurs, Weymouth Wales, Pinelands, Notre Dame, Beverley Hills, Deacons, Paradise, Pride of Gall Hill and YMCA.

    Nowadays, there are more people at ‘Bubba’s Sports Bar’ to watch ‘Liverpool vs Arsenal,’ or any match in the European League, for example, than to watch any first division match in Barbados.

  14. Another observation…Sir Hilary had plenty to do with Cricket West Indies, CARICOM (Chairman of the Caricom Reparations Commission), the University of the West Indies and the Caribbean Examinations Council.

  15. Y’all now reach here?

    WI cricket, “as we knew it”, has been dead since the early 2000’s

    When Lara left, the spirit of West Indies also left.

    Because that moment heralded the triumph incompetence and egotistical management, a common failure in Caribbean organisations, over excellence and spirit.

    Look back and you will see that all performances since have been sub standard.

    Remember the BCA leaderships internal public masturbatory struggles? Large egos of petty men, fighting as to who gets to be king.

    Bunch of jokers.

    How do you expect success from that?

    Is it any wonder that Caricom has also, effrctively failed? Again, large egos of petty men.

    Is it any wonder that CXC is failing? Right when it had built a solid reputation? Then to be sullied by recent poor decisions and yes, egos.

    As for football, do not even look at that.

    Barbados never had a quality football team. Football has always reflected the ill discipline ingrained in society.

    Fighting, guns etc were present in local football since the 80s.

    International football requires discipline beyond what local footballers can even imagine.

    Stick to wuk up.

    Harsh? Maybe, but what yuh reap, yuh sow.

    And all we sow is ill discipline and wuk up.

  16. @David, considering the changes here and how much I took for granted re the site’s presentation and ease of navigation it’s unmistakably clear how much coding and support effort went into making it work so smoothly. The difference is marked. You guys did a great job !

    @Crusoe, your post brings a different opinion from my vantage.

    First I am unclear EXACTLY how you are characterizing Brian Lara when you say that when he left _”the spirit of West Indies also left. […] Because that moment heralded the triumph incompetence and egotistical management, a common failure in Caribbean organisations, over excellence and spirit.”_

    Lara was a genius as a batsman clearly but as a WI team leader he was more associated with egotistical management than sterling leadership competence so it’s confusing why anyone would associate his departure with MORE incompetence/ego management!

    At the expense of being labelled with a ‘what-a-boutism’ it’s difficult for me to just lambaste WI or BCA cricket management as totally incept and incapable when compared to ANY other’s nations sporting orgs.

    Our cricket leaders absolutely deserve criticisms for all their _”internal public masturbatory struggles_” but this is a problem at that level of leadership wherever one goes. However, we yet see achievements made (corruptly so perhaps, but made nonetheless) … ***WE are absolutely no different*** as we have achieved at key points in the face of all the internal strife!

    When in late 90s the (late) Jamaican lawyer Pat Rousseau as President spearheaded the changes to WICBC to WICB and did the big deal for the TV rights, did all the planning with his team for the World Cup and initiated many plans towards building a better cricket structure that was perhaps the HIGH watermark of the modern day _”internal public masturbatory struggles […] of petty men, fighting […] to be king_”.

    He really shifted the ENTIRE establishment literally and figuratively and that fight to be king behavior just like all those before (Capt. Short, Stollmeyer, Rae et al) and after (Wes Hall, Ken Gordon, Skerritt etc) has continued at great pace to this day.

    So absolutely we must demand and continue to expect success… because that’s what is NEEDED and can be ACHIEVED!

  17. crusoe on November 1, 2022 at 1:15 AM #: “When Lara left, the spirit of West Indies also left.
    Because that moment heralded the triumph incompetence and egotistical management, a common failure in Caribbean organisations, over excellence and spirit.”

    @ Crusoe

    ‘Surely you jest.’

    Successive WI cricket hierarchy and team management continue to hide reports of ‘bad behaviour’ by certain cricketers from the public. And, refuse to discipline those players.

    Also, the evidence clearly indicates Brian Lara HELPED to destroy WI cricket. But, fans were urged to accept the argument they should ignore that fact to focus instead on him being a ‘genius.’

    “And male genius is romanticised, used to excuse all manner of bad behaviour.”

    Lara refused to travel on the same flights and stay at the same hotel as the team during tours. Neither did he travel on the tour bus to attend practice sessions with the team, preferring instead to travel by taxi to the venues.
    He broke one of the rules by having a girl accompany him on tours.

    I’ll remind you of team manager Wes Hall’s report on the WI 1995 tour to England, when Richie Richardson was captain.
    Lara was at the helm of the discord in the team. He walked out of a team meeting after a confrontation with Richardson, while declaring his retirement from cricket.
    Peter Short, who was WICB President at that time, convinced him to return to the team under the condition he would not be punished.

    He again ‘resigned’ from WI cricket during the 1995-96 Triangular ODI Series in Australia, after being fined 10% of his England tour fees.

    Lara’s tenure as Captain of WI wasn’t impressive either….. and a further example of “incompetence and egotistical management.”

    Brilliant batsman…… mediocre Captain.

  18. @dePedantic and Artax,

    I take both your views.

    Maybe I am confused, because it was all such a mess around the time Lara left and when he left he was head and shoulders above the rest.

    So yes, we need better from all.

    Management and players.

    What I see is that international teams demand much more. Starting with discipline.

    I do not understand why WI cannot get there.

  19. @ Crusoe

    I agree that “around the time Lara left WI cricket, he was head and shoulders above the rest.”

    In an interview on the ‘Good Morning Jojo’ sports show sometime during October 2020, Sir Viv said then WI selectors’ attempt to drop opening batsman Gordon Greenidge, wicketkeeper batsman Jeffrey Dujon and fast bowler Malcolm Marshall during the 1991 home series against Australia….. and ahead of the April 19-24 Test at Kensington Oval…… in addition to what he perceived as efforts to sabotage his Captaincy, influenced his decision to retire from WI cricket.

    On August 12, 1991, Dujon, Marshall and Richards announced their retirement from cricket, after playing their final match, the 5 Test (August 8 – 12, 1991) against England at The Oval in London

    Recall, Richards’ recommendation for Desmond Haynes to replace him as Captain was rejected by the Board and Richie Richardson was chosen instead.
    Richards was not selected for the 1992 World Cup team….. a decision supported by new Captain, Richie Richardson, who subsequently felt the wrath of Antiguans.

    Clearly, “it was all such a mess” when Lara was first selected to play for the WI, which several cricket enthusiasts believe began before and ultimately leading to (Sir) Viv Richards announcing his retirement as Captain of the team.

    Unfortunately, he contributed to the ongoing “mess.”

  20. @Crusoe, you are being humorous perhaps when you say {“I take both your views. Maybe I am confused”…} 😎… As @Artax suggested …the great Brian Lara was the one who MADE much of the mess when he left!

    Consider the very simple fact that the WI ascendency was formulated from the great talent we had but the EXCELLENCE was *produced* by the leadership of Clive Hubert Lloyd!

    He harnessed that talent with a determined, focused purpose … and by the time we had reached the era of Brian Lara there was a definitive template or play book, if you will, directing the path to success.

    And let me carefully note that by playbook I am ABSOLUTELY NOT talking of a four pace bowler policy … I refer to a regimen of concentrated FITNESS, skill enhancement through dedicated practices (also using different disciplines), sustained and well developed team cohesion and what is now the rage in sports management: analytics of the opposition.

    Alas, Lara essentially junked some of the fundamentals of that playbook.

    That, sir, was the mess of which you speak.

    I’ll take Lloyd’s wondrous list of accomplishments as the leader who harnessed that ‘band of warriors’ over Lara’s awesome personal records.

    Had Lara shown the type leadership seen from Lloyd and continued to develop the team cohesion etc things would have been quite different…. and he would STILL be the genius batsman he was!

    Our cricket is NOT doomed … it will rise again … and there will be other geniuses too!

  21. Yes, all is well. No I was not at any rum festival and absolutely no, there is no circuitous logic, just faulty reading.

    I said that the opportunities are still greater for cricket but that the young are infactuated with football and will not see that. Therefore those with balling talent will gravitate towards football. I believe this to be the nail in the coffin for our cricket.

    Nobody loves cricket more than I do. Watching this crap is painful!

    You oldsters can continue to cling to the past from your perches ABROAD. I am more realistic.

    Cricket is no longer in our blood. It is no longer in our thoughts. It is no longer “we culture”.

    A few enthusiastic primary school boys will not make it so. My son used to be one of them. He now agrees with me.

  22. The Government of Barbados has announced that November 30 will no longer be known as Independence Day.

    Instead, it will be called Barbados National Day.

    This was revealed during a media conference at Ilaro Court earlier this evening by Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams.

    The aim is to combine the Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations.

    Barbados gained independence from Britain on November 30, 1966, and so the day became known. However, last year, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced the country would henceforth be a republic.

  23. Lara is as much to blame for the demise of West Indies cricket as any old car in some gully somewhere.
    Barbados cricket is being challenged by a cultural shift toward Americanism.
    West Indies cricket needs to produce athletes. Check the sport of tennis and the picture is clear. ( Nadal, Serena, etc)
    All is not lost but it will take a Herculean effort to rise to former levels.
    Ironically cricket is growing in America. But that’s another story for another time.

  24. Donna

    RE: “A few enthusiastic primary school boys will not make it so. My son used to be one of them. He now agrees with me.”

    Please note, I also ‘said,’ “We have to address what happens to our young cricketers after they leave secondary school.”

    RE: “I said that the opportunities are still greater for cricket but that the young are infactuated with football and will not see that. Therefore those with balling talent will gravitate towards football. I believe this to be the nail in the coffin for our cricket.”

    I disagree.

    This so-called “infatuation with football” does not reflect the state of the game in Barbados.
    It’s also evidenced by the fact that, over the years, we have been only able to produce a ‘handful’ of talented players who benefited from lucrative overseas contracts, as opposed to islands such as Trinidad, Jamaica, Grenada and St. Vincent.
    Crowd attendance has been poor. So too is the BFA’s administration of the game at schools, the domestic, national and regional levels.
    And, the fact that Barbados’ team ranks 166th in the world also questions your comment.

    As I mentioned previously, I’ll agree that youngsters are infatuated with English, South American and European football.
    They know the statistics as it relates to the teams, owners, management and players.

    However, I respect your opinion.

  25. “Lara is as much to blame for the demise of West Indies cricket as any old car in some gully somewhere.”

    Mr. Skinner

    Who mentioned anything about blaming Lara for the demise of West Indies cricket?

    One of the reasons why I don’t really ‘get into cricket discussions,’ is that people often base their arguments on emotions rather than facts.

  26. @ Artax
    I have a similar view as well . That’s why I was reluctant to join this thread . Every time there is any discussion as to the root cause of the decline
    of West Indies cricket, Lara is inserted in some negative fashion.
    I don’t care very much for the talk about about who is emotional or not.


    @ David

    I will publish my reflections about my association with the NDP, when I deem it appropriate. It has been sitting for years but it’s not a priority for me at this time. Political reflections can be published at any time.

  27. @Artax and @William, emotional clap-trap flows into EVERY blog here so no need to spin away from cricket chats … let evidence based analysis win over rants of passion.

    So to that point @William no reasonable cricket analyst can examine WI cricket and refuse to acknowledge the issues caused by Brian Lara … just as none would be honestly able to speak of ‘problems’ caused by Burnham’s push to make LLoyd WI captain or ANY of the other seismic actions over these many years of WI cricket administration’s ups and downs.

    We simply need to be honest and transparent in our opinions.

    @Donna, I read carefully and your analysis still seemed improbable… being off-island does not mean one is devoid of data or does not keep abreast.

    As @Artax rightly notes soccer is and has ALWAYS been popular in Bim … Bert’s Bar was not just filled with folks watching both soccer and US ‘football’ and neither is this ole talk about youngsters turning away from cricket to other sports.

    The fact is that the general evidence does not support your contention. In the last 5-10 years Artax’s alma mater alone has produced about 10 professional sportsmen who made it to WI colours and at least 50% of them reached the contract annual retainer contracts stage. That has been replicated regionally to an even greater scale as some are regularly contracted on the booming T20/international leagues circuit.

    I am unaware of any such level of success – monetarily – in soccer whether in England’s lower divisions or in Europe. Yes, there are some Jamaicans and Trinis playing in Europe but as far as I am aware not to the scale of the cricketers.

    I would agree that as an ‘oldster’ I still have an affinity for cricket but every rational fan MUST be realistic. It’s surely ridiculous to suggest that one will “cling to the past” … time moves on … in sports particularly what was is just that: ‘what was’.

    If you perceive that the lack of success of our WI team means that –“Cricket is no longer in our blood”– then so be it … but that makes no practical sense to me.

    Cricket it’s still the best way for our talented sportsmen to make a very decent living with the booming T20 style cricket tournaments around the world .. it’s an awesome business model as the Indians have demonstrated … for us (whether as players, announcers, potential coaches, video producers etc) to step off that money train now would be tantamount to Tanti Merle leffing de Oval just when de runs and mash up start nuff, nuff!

    I gone… dis oldster too foolisly, foolishy!

    • @Dee Word

      Very interesting exchanges about the demise of west indies cricket. The admission individuals played a big role negative or positive is in itself part of the problem.

  28. Correction… I said above re Combermere (@Artax alma mater) that —‘in the last 5-10 years Artax’s alma mater alone has produced about 10 professional sportsmen who made it to WI colours’– …

    …. that should more correctly be ‘the last 10 -15 years’ as I am speaking of folks like Carlos Brathwaite, Shane Dowrich, Justin Greaves, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase etc. They would have BEEN AT school somewhere in the 2001 – 2011 years span!

  29. @DpD
    No big thing. The cricketers are just not up to scratch and the administration has been lousy for decades. It will be very interesting to see how young Chanderpaul does. His father , a prime example of a real cricketer and the qualities so lacking in the recent bunch.

  30. “Every time there is any discussion as to the root cause of the decline of West Indies cricket, Lara is inserted in some negative fashion.”

    Mr. Skinner

    Similarly, “I don’t care very much for the talk about who is emotional or not,” either.

    However, it seems as though you’ve intentionally misrepresented our comments as the basis to advance your pro Brian Lara argument.
    Because neither Crusoe, DpD nor I suggested that, according to you, Lara was responsible ‘for the demise of WI cricket,’ or that he ‘is the root cause for the game’s decline.’

    Crusoe ‘said,’ “When Lara left, the spirit of West Indies also left.” And, further suggested “it was all such a mess around the time Lara left.” I simply disagreed and gave my reasons why.
    Whether you want to accept it or not, the truth is Lara’s bad behaviour contributed to some of the ‘mess’ in WI cricket.
    Here was a man who, unknown to management, left the team during a test series and returned to Trinidad to party with his buddy Dwight Yorke at Carnival.

    Unlike some people in this forum, I don’t play favourites…… I prefer to ‘call a spade, a spade.’

  31. @ Artax
    What does Brian Lara’s behaviour all those years ago have to do with the calamity or “ mess” we now face?
    I can’t see the connection. I never said you or anybody else accused Brian Lara of anything. I merely said that he is not responsible for the demise of West Indies cricket.
    I did not misrepresent anybody’s comments – I merely gave an opinion.
    Nothing that is going on now has anything to do with Brian Lara, They ( the current crop) are below par and everybody knows that.
    And that my friend is a fact.

  32. Mr. Skinner

    On one hand, you’re ‘saying,’ “What does Brian Lara’s behaviour all those years ago have to do with the calamity or “mess” we now face? I can’t see the connection,” and “Nothing that is going on now has anything to do with Brian Lara.”

    But, on the other hand, you ‘said,’ “I never said you or anybody else accused Brian Lara of anything. I merely said that he is not responsible for the demise of West Indies cricket.”

    Mr. Skinner, your comments were VERY CLEAR in MEANING and EASILY UNDERSTOOD.

    You’ve ignored the ‘historical context’ of the initial ‘discussion,’ to imply I’m ‘saying’ Lara’s “behaviour all those YEARS AGO” is responsible for the CURRENT state of WI.

    A total misrepresentation of my comments.

    Yet, you want to INSULT my intelligence by ENGAGING in ‘VERBAL CONTORTIONS.’

    This clearly SUGGESTS you have an underlying belief that certain BU contributors are devoid of basic commonsense to understand your comments.

    I’ve noticed that you, your comrade and the person with whom you share similar ideological and philosophical beliefs, often manipulate arguments when the rationale behind your opinions are challenged.
    While the other two are bold to deem us as ‘appallingly ignorant buffoons’ suffering from the ‘Bajan Condition,’ (something you often reference) or unintelligent, uneducated and lacking commonsense…..

    ……your remarks are sparkled with a subtle, condescending blend of wit and charm.

    Wa-alaikum as-salaam.

  33. @ Artax
    Man, you need to just concentrate on the dialogue I have with you. I always get beat up when it comes to Lara.
    I will ignore your other comments because they have no relevance to a discussion on cricket.
    When you have evidence that Brian Lara is “ historically “ connected to the dismal group of Cricketer’s bastardizing the West Indies cricket team’s name, I’ll be happy to read it.
    Both you and at DpD are men of intellectual integrity and we have lively engagement.
    I am only here to defend what William Skinner writes.
    Now stop the long hops before I recommend you to open the bowling for the clowns, who are causing the Caribbean public so mush embarrassment.
    My Brother, right now they wouldn’t even make it in the BCL or a good softball cricket team.
    We going to get back there but it’s going to take some time. I see a lot of very young school boys scoring centuries band taking five wicket hauls. Once this is happening throughout the islands, we have hope.
    Cricket has been good to us and hopefully, we will become great again.

  34. @William, you are being unfair to the fellas re “… right now they wouldn’t even make it in the BCL or a good softball cricket team.”

    A lil dive into some of the analytics actually suggests that our guys are quite capable …and don’t forget fellas like Sly Clarke lit up many a BCL ground… some of those teams were dangerous!😎🤣

    Let’s accept that the team in Australia was generally a very inexperienced one but they were quite capable players who should have acquitted themselves better and reached the next round.

    Evin Lewis is one of the seasoned players with over 200 T20 matches around the globe .. he averages 30 with a strike rate (SR) of 151 in T20 internationals. He compares favorably to the mighty Aussie David Warner at 33/141 or England’s Jos Butler @34/144!

    Nicolas Pooran bats down the order and sits on an avg of 25, SR129. Glen Maxwell is 28/150 and his team mate Stonis 29/148. Again decent comparisons.

    Just trying to add some context. T20 is about EXECUTION of skills on the day …players of the caliber of Lewis can hurt even the best on his day. Our stars simply did not perform often in Australia and when you are playing against the best that’s will also result in failure.

    It absolutely does not mean that our lads are not good enough!


  35. @ DPD
    What’s a discussion about cricket without a little bit of humor.
    I don’t think we are doomed-just need athletes. The guys are not there mentally and the big bucks in T20 have generated a different mentality.
    We are dealing with a lot of things, some as Brother @Artax has pointed out.
    Cricket will be around for a long time.

  36. @William, to belabour a point above about ‘execution on the day in T20s’: the Netherlands strangled mighty South Africa as you read.

    I put it to you that I see no better athletes in that team (based on performances on the field) than our lads … yet they bested one of better (in my view) all-round athletic and skilled teams in the tournament!

    The only reason I did not have them as favorites to reach the final is because of their ‘bewitched’ history: since that moment way back when Herschel Gibbs dropped Steve Waugh in the ODI World Cup and SA then duly lost a match they were on track to win that team has simply ‘self-imploded’ or had poor luck at these world tournaments!

    Anyhow, the Aussies were also sent to the dugout for ‘also rans’ right in their own backyards in this tournament. We are HOST in 2024 and will get automatic selection to the big dance.

    So buckle-up and buckle-in for a visit to Kensington or Sabina … our lads MUST be ready to EXECUTE then!

    After all, long time ago our Bajan brethren Emerson Trotman gave the fathers and uncles and cousins of those current ‘low-country’ lads coaching on improving their cricketing skills and surely some of that was transferred to help them reach the top of their nation’s cricketing life.

    We have been there and can return … we can do this … Just saying!

  37. @ DPD
    “So buckle-up and buckle-in for a visit to Kensington or Sabina … our lads MUST be ready to EXECUTE then!”
    Let’s hope they are my Brother. I still maintain that all the skills without a good mental quality gives others with that quality the edge.
    I don’t believe our current group displays the attitude of outstanding athletes.
    When that mental fortitude returns , we would do better.
    Viv Richards instilled a mental readiness and he never lost a series.
    Great athletes combine: skills and mental readiness. I just want our boys to live up to the reputation .
    Politely, Australia, India or any other team being beaten, is not my concern at the moment.
    I just want our lads to win or at the very least really compete.
    Imagine the times when Hall and Holford stood at the wicket with Sir. Gary. That’s the gold standard of mental fortitude. Imagine the sheer energy of Boyce, Logie, Collis King. Imagine the mental toughness of Chanderpaul.

  38. Mr. Skinner

    You’ve convinced yourself that I’m ‘saying’ Lara contributed to the demise of WI cricket.

    However, one of the problems plaguing cricket is the LACK of DISCIPLINE among team members.
    And, management reports are purposely hidden from public perusal so as protect certain players.

    On Thursday, May 3, 2007, former West Indies wicketkeeper, Michael Findlay, was appointed West Indies cricket team manager for the tour to England.
    Speaking at the launch of St. Vincent’s Cable and Wireless 2007-2008 telephone directory, Michael Findlay said that there is an urgent need to arrest the situation, “Otherwise we will lose them….”

    In an interview with the media on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, at Grantley Adams International Airport ahead of the team’s departure for England, Findlay mentioned there were reports of indiscipline by members of the regional team during the 2007 World Cup.
    He said he had already held discussions with the players about their conduct. They were given a code of conduct handbook outlining “all the conditions that we are going to follow and all the rules and regulations,” and anyone breaking the rules would’ve been penalised.

    Findlay wrote about indiscipline by team members in his after tour report, which was ‘swept under the carpet’ and the names of the ‘bad behaved boys’ were withheld from the public by the WIBC, while he was subsequently relieved of his management duties.

    Chris Gayle accused former coach Ottis Gibson of placing too much emphasis.

    During the post-match press conference, Gibson criticised the team, mainly the senior players, after their 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan during the 2010 T20 World Cup quarter final.
    Gayle responded by criticising Gibson.
    After a long ‘stand-off,’ Gayle was brought back into the team, while Gibson was ‘sacked.’

    In 2016 Gayle was fined £5,000 and attacked for his “inappropriate conduct,” after he asked TV reporter Mel McLaughlin on a date in a live interview during a match.

    Mr. Skinner there are SEVERAL OTHER EXAMPLES of indiscipline by WI cricketers.

    If you don’t believe by not adhering to team rules, leaving the team in the middle of a tour to attend ‘Trini carnival,’ or, not traveling with the team on tours, to the hotel, practice matches and games, Lara has not contributed to the indiscipline plaguing WI cricket……

    …… then, as your comrade would ‘say,’ “I’m out of this discussion.”

  39. Indiscipline at all levels in West Indies cricketTony Cozier Column

    By Tony Cozier

    April 15, 2007

    Rev. Wes Hall, someone who has spent all of his adult life intimately involved in West Indies cricket, touched on a theme that has recurred time and time again during its headlong plunge into mediocrity over the past dozen years.

    The West Indies, he noted in his address to the Rotary Club last week, have some of the most talented cricketers in the game. Always have. What has led to the present mess is indiscipline at all levels and its certain derivative, a non-existent work ethic.

    As player, selector, manager and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president, Hall is well placed to appreciate where much of the responsibility lies.

    When Pat Rousseau became board president in 1996, one of his first decisions was to drop the last word of the organization’s title that had existed since its formation in 1927. So “Control” disappeared.

    It was, no doubt, simply an exercise in semantics.

    Instead, the board has, on all evidence, taken it literally, especially in relation to its attitude to the matter of discipline.

    It has appointed as captain two players, Brian Lara and Carl Hooper, WITH MORE DISCIPLINARY CHARGES AGAINST THEM THAN ANY OTHER and ALLOWED BOTH TO BE LAWS ONTO THEMSELVES.

    During his long and otherwise celebrated career, Lara has issued no fewer than seven public apologies for his own indiscretions. The eighth, last week, was on behalf of his team. Yet he has been twice persuaded to return to the leadership.

    There are countless other examples that condemn the control-less WICB.

    It turned a blind eye to the astonishing choice of four players to head for the partying Red Stripe Mound at Sabina Park immediately after the West Indies had been humiliated by an all-out total of 47 and heavy defeat by England.

    It slapped a few offenders on the wrist after the disastrous ‘A’ team tour of England in 2002 that prompted Wisden, the game’s bible, to comment on some of the younger players that “their behaviour made more of an impact than their cricket”.

    And do on, ad infinitum.

    It is no wonder that PLAYERS NOW HAVE SUCH a DISREGARD for CURFEW TIMES. It explains why they can walk off the ground in the middle of a training session, complaining it is too taxing, as has been the case in this World Cup.

    Nothing exemplifies the WICB’s compliance to such defiance than its inaction over the behaviour during the 2007 Carib Beer Challenge Final between Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados at Guaracara Park in Trinidad.

    At the televised presentation ceremony that followed the match, Deryck Murray, the former West Indies vice-captain, founder member of the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) and now, as President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TCCB), a WICB director, wasted no time in expressing his disgust.

    “I don’t think I have ever played or been a spectator at a game where the umpires’ job has been made so difficult,” he said.

    Anyone watching the live television coverage of the climax of the domestic West Indies season would not have considered it hyperbole. It was nothing short of disgraceful.

    Murray revealed that seven incidents were reported to the match referee, adding that these did not take into account the others that were not.

    “Here are the two best teams in the region, role models for our cricket in the future,” Murray noted.

    “We need in the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Players’ Association to address that issue and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”

    He was overoptimistic in believing that there would be any action from the WIPA. It didn’t, after all, involve increased money contracts.

    He would surely have expected some response from his own organization but, as a recently appointed director, he might not have appreciated just how inefficient it had become.

    It is almost two months since that contentious match and nothing has been heard from the WICB. Not a word. Zilch.

    It is not known whether match referee Clarence Shaffralli has lodged his reports. He summoned the Barbados players, captain Ryan Hinds, Floyd Reifer and Dwayne Smith, all West Indies representatives, to a meeting during the match but that’s about far as it has gone.

    There is enough blame for the state into which West Indies cricket has dipped to go around several times over. WICB weakness deserves more than an even share.

  40. @ Artax
    I think that Lara last played a test match for the West Indies in 2006. His last ODI was in 2007.
    So, pray tell what has this got to do with the underperformance and other problems, we have today and the current discussion.
    It has nothing to do with anybody who played during that period.

    • Last/last

      Mr. Skinner

      You’re being intentionally silly.

      This article began with the sentence:
      “The demise of West Indies cricket continues to be a topic of conversation across the Caribbean.”

      Any SERIOUS discussion about the state of West Indies cricket CANNOT be FOCUSED SPECIFICALLY on the CURRENT team and players.

      The WI team dominated cricket for most of the 1970s until 1996.
      Such was their ability that they won every Test series between 1980 to 1995. 

      Judging from your responses, it’s becoming obvious you are not as familiar with West Indies cricket as you want us to believe.
      If you were indeed knowledgeable about the game, you would’ve known the ‘demise or decline’ of WI cricket began in 1996 and has CONTINUED to do so in 2022…… 27 years later.

      Putting aside the other issues affecting cricket and focusing primarily on the game, an objective evaluation of successive team performances and statistics would clearly indicate that fact.

      As I have mentioned previously, ONE of the ISSUES plaguing cricket is INDISCIPLINE amongst the players…… which is an unfortunate situation that DID NOT BEGIN in 2022 with the CURRENT PLAYERS.
      And, I provided the forum with a few examples to substantiate my points.

      Additionally, you’re not prepared to engage in a rational discussion about the game, preferring instead to purposely misrepresent my comments and engage in ‘verbal contortions,’
      …… while INSISTING I’ve ‘said’ or implied Brian Lara is responsible for the demise of our cricket…… when I did not.

      Anyhow, I’m done with you and this discussion.

  41. @ Artax
    Nobody will question that we have had and continue to have disciplinary and other issues. The latest one surrounding Hetmeyer.
    I have chosen to bluntly state it is a lack of ability and I don’t see the connection with matters going back almost twenty years.
    We are simply not maintaining a level of play that is indicative of where we used to be.
    And however we slice it and dice it, that’s our current reality.We either improve on our quality or we would continue to flounder.
    I expect the West Indies to rise again but that will only be possible with a consistently high level of play that has now deserted us for a great number of years.


  42. @William, it’s about the long term indiscipline. @Artax clearly asserts that the great Lara was a part of the ‘problem’ not part of the solution as Lloyd and Richard were.

    When you reference Viv’s tenacious spirit which he gelled perfectly with his athletic/cricket skills and leadership nous to never lose a series and also invoke the desire to see that replicated in today’s stars you are EFFECTIVELY making the SAME point on the reverse as being made by @Artax: You want the stars to stand steadfast like Viv … he is showing how behaviours like Lara’s has continued to tarnish that.

    If you want Lloyd/Viv’s mantra to be in play then surely you appreciate that behaviours like Lara’s prevail. He didn’t cause today’s underperfirmance but he also didn’t set standards like Viv to destroy it either!

    Anyhow, I came on to speak to your earlier point so excuse that looong preamble. 😎😇🤣🙏🏿

    Beyond a doubt many of our lads have the mental fortitude of the best athletes.

    These guys have reached the top of their respective professional life and have been performing now for some years… the journey to get there was not easy.

    So I respectfully reject (on their behalf 😇) your argument.

    I will not prolix on that, so suffice to say … it’s IMPOSSIBLE to suggest that Jason Holder does not possess such mental fortitude … no prolix.

    Nor too Alzarri Joseph. This guy lost his mother to apparent unexpected death a few years ago DURING a cricket match for WI … he handled it beyond measure while STILL playing on the field. No further prolix.

    You can preach to me that these guys make lack situational strategic awareness or indiscipline re shot selection and such important tactics of EXECUTION particularly as it relates to the abbreviated T20 cricket but to suggest a lack of MENTAL FORTITUDE… there is no basis, good sir.

    And just as ‘politely’ I again suggest that in T20 cricket you HAVE to examine how your opponents win and lose … that’s very evident from the trove of analytical review done in this game.

    I’ll end by saying there is a reason that Mike Holding ABSOLUTELY REFUSED to get involved with T20 … it’s what Bajans of your era would call ‘SWIPING’ gone wild … and no propa cricketer every made it to WI status as a swiper … then!

    But since 2007 if you can SWIPE consistently for 30 or 40 balls at a strike rate of 150 for a few matches you likely are now a millionaire cricketer!

    That was madness in Viv’s era as a star even in ODIs … and definitely was NOT what Holford or Hall did at the wicket with Sobers. T20 is a TOTALLY different focus in every aspect .. clearly we have ALL of what it takes to win in T20s.

    But absolutely no dispute that we still need the discipline and focus Viv and Lloyd instilled but with professional athletes that is ALWAYS an ONGOING problem …and that’s what coaches and managers are there to enforce!

  43. dpD

    When we’re discussing Barbados’ current political situation, references are often made to Barrow and Independence in 1966, FIFTY-SIX (56) years ago……

    …… and Mr. Skinner himself often identifies the Tom Adams initiated Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act as progressive social policy, which was first passed FORTY-TWO (42) years ago, in 1980.

    We ‘reminisce nostalgically’ about the ‘good old days’ when comparing Barbados of yesteryear with Barbados today.

    But, somehow we can’t “see the connection with matters (relative to ongoing indiscipline among WI cricketers) going back almost twenty years.”

  44. @ Artax; @ DPD
    I understand what you both are saying. I cannot understand how we can even suggest these guys are near being good athletes and mentally tough.
    I must say that if they do , I am not seeing it.
    Their current standings in cricket clearly shows their performance says otherwise.

  45. Yes @Artax that does seem to be the case, alas. 😎🤦‍♂️

    @William, not sure what yard or meter stick you are using to measure ‘athleticism’ in modern cricketers but it’s gives some quite perplexing results!

    First, let’s clarify that I am speaking and have been here throughout about T20s. I can expand that to Test and ODIs to refute your point as well but let’s stick to the T20s!

    Do you watch the same WI teams as I do or even the West Indians in the CPL??? Brother, for all of the ‘athleticism’ of let’s say a Viv’ team there is no way that you can FACTUAL suggest that any (and all, really) of even this current team that lost so dismally are not as good or BETTER practiced ATHLETES! (I didn’t say BETTER cricketers)!!!

    Have you seen the type of contortions, leaps, diving and such which many of these fielders execute regularly in T20s … how on earth (or field to be precise 😎) is there even a debate about ‘ATHELITICSM’ in today’s T20 cricket (and too the other formats) !!!

    These days even the fast bowlers, for example, are able to gallivant around the field like a Gus Logie or even like Viv himself … so as I asked above … are you watching the SAME WI cricket as I am! How are these guys not now trained to maximize their athleticism!!!

    So please clarify your commentary on athleticism and mental toughness and establish exactly the yard stick you are using!!!

    Our current standings show we are not winning (outside the region) and therefore absolutely are lacking in key areas … but that certainly in not because of our athletic abilities (cricket skills). … Thus when we beat England’s in the T20 series here earlier in the year in the WI were we not mentally tough and our skills good enough … thus are you suggesting that having lost badly in Australia and when we tour we lose our mental strength and show poor athleticism … Is that it!!!

    Surely, alas, whenever a sports team falters on the big day the players can be accused of lacking ‘mental toughness’ or ‘choking’. That’s an easy ‘brickbat’ .. not sure it applies properly to us but if that’s what you think then so it is!

  46. @ DPD
    Great athletes go beyond jumping and running fast. Can you really say that these guys are mentally tough ? Do you really think that the results prove that.?
    Why are they not winning. Consistently ? Why are they (we) not the greatest team playing cricket.
    Cricket is a head game and I am not seeing the mind of athletes in our boys.
    I have tried to answer you . Now what do you really attribute to our dismal performances over the last several years?
    I am talking about consistently winning and why we have been in the doldrums far such a long period of time.
    Our current status does not support that they have the ability otherwise , we would not be here lamenting their inability to get back to the top or at least to be more competitive.


  47. @William, your main query truly have been answered in various books and articles by eminent former players, officials and subject matter experts, or should I say … has been discussed at length, so excuse me for not delving more into the question of — “Now what do you really attribute to our dismal performances over the last several years?” —

    Briefly to speak to your other queries:

    1) “Can you really say that these guys are mentally tough ? Do you really think that the results prove that.?”

    Mental toughness is not an ad hoc or fleeting characteristic … nervousness or anxiety under pressure circumstances is such, however, and is a different matter. I simply assert that based on or up and down T20 performances that it’s the latter and absolutely not the former!

    We have proved beyond doubt that we have what it takes to compete and win. We did in just recently in February 2022 against an English team that just made in to the semifinals!

    2) “Why are they not winning. Consistently ? Why are they (we) not the greatest team playing cricket.”

    T20 cricket is such that at the top level you will win and lose. No team has dominated world tournaments over the years. Yet WI in 2012 and 2016 were winners and – from memory – the T20 champions lists should show several of the other major teams have won that tournament since its inception. None have dominated and even in bilateral series the win-lost (home and home) is generally balanced.

    This is quite different to the ODI tournament or Test cricket where a dominance is evident.

    3) “Cricket is a head game and I am not seeing the mind of athletes in our boys.”

    Clearly it is – as is all professional team sports – and I disagree completely with you on this contention.

    We have faltered badly in recent years undoubtedly and as noted the reasons are well chronicled, but I simply do not see the top class Wi players who trot around the world making lots of money as professional T20 stars as lacking the mental strength to compete!

    I am confident we will be competitive as a collective … but that said the simple fact is that as The Netherlands and teams like Afghanistan and Ireland show other ‘developing’ cricket nations are now extremely competitive in T20s and nothing less than complete togetherness and execution by WI on any given day will suffice for success!

    I gone.

  48. @ dpD

    I have to agree with Mr. Skinner that “Great athletes go beyond jumping and running fast.”

    He also asked some very important questions.
    (1). Can you really say that these guys are mentally tough?
    (2). Do you really think that the results prove that?
    (3). Why are they not winning. Consistently?
    (4). Why are they (we) not the greatest team playing cricket.

    It goes back to one of the reasons why I placed a particular emphasis on the lack of discipline among players.
    And, I don’t mean ‘bad behaviour’ only.
    As it relates to cricketers and playing cricket, discipline involves, first and foremost, respecting the game, eating healthy…… and, most importantly, training and maintaining fitness levels.
    Players should take responsibility for their personal and mental development.

    On Sunday, April 22, 2012 while addressing the audience at the 22nd Annual Awards ceremony of the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club (RHTYSC), former WI cricket captain Clive Lloyd said:
    “Having been blessed with a measure of natural ability, a young cricketer must exercise the discipline of firstly recognising what it takes to enhance those skills and to succeed at every level of that endeavour, whether it would be batting, bowling or fielding, or indeed all of the above, as the modern-day game demands.
    The cricketer even in his or her formative years must be cognisant of the fitness preparation, for instance, that is required to attain the optimum level of performance to achieve advancement.
    The young cricketer must be disciplined enough to adopt the appropriate training regimen that would be the basis of successful pursuits in the game.”

    Although we’ve “seen the type of contortions, leaps, diving and such which many of these fielders execute regularly in T20s,” too often key players fail or decline to take fitness tests.
    For example, a CWI media release on February 3, 2020, revealed Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetymyer were dropped from the One-Day International tour of Sri Lanka after failing Cricket West Indies’ new fitness standards.
    Hetymyer failed fitness tests twice in one year.
    He was left out of the team for the 2021/22 tour of Ireland and England after failing to pass fitness drills administered in Guyana.
    Lewis was left out of the T20 team for the 2022 Bangladesh tour of the West Indies because he declined to take a fitness test.
    On Friday, October 7, 2022, it was reported that WI opening batsman, John Campbell, was given a four-year ban by a Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) three-member independent panel banned for an anti-doping violation.

    Some of the fast bowlers are prone to injury and ‘break down’ too often.
    And, our main batsmen haven’t performed consistently.
    They often fail to bat for long periods in an effort to form good partnerships.
    Or, they get a ‘good start,’ but are unable to carry on.

    I realized Mr. Skinner does not like ‘looking back’ when it comes to cricket, but, successive coaches have been talking about fitness as well.
    I remember Chris Gayle criticising former coach Ottis Gibson for focusing too much on fitness.

  49. @Artax and @William, let’s run an English comprehension exercise briefly …
    the meaning of ATHLETICISM is : “the combination of qualities (such as speed, strength, and agility) that are characteristic of an athlete”!

    That is the ONLY interpretation there is of the word: a direct examination of PHYSICAL abilities.

    There can be no DISPUTE that in order to harness that physicality and develop into a “Great athlete” you absolutely HAVE TO “go beyond jumping and running fast.”

    This therefore is not about ‘practice’ related to the DISCIPLINE of training your base cricket bat and bowling skills … it is about the practiced athleticism of the tremendous contortions, leaps, diving across boundary lines, contorted shot selection even etc. seen by so many modern cricketers!

    Thus as I noted repeatedly above 1) the issues of the failures as a team or even individually are WELL KNOWN and generally are not related to lack of athletic ability itself … and 2) the modern players are generally EXCELLENT well practiced athletes in T20s particularly to a more demanding level than those of past eras!

    Hope that CLEARS the air … the other issues of discipline and all that it takes to be a continually successful sports professional are NOT in dispute!

  50. @ DPD
    I assure you that the current group has no great athletes. Not one has demonstrated the qualities that make great athletes.
    There are a number of characteristics that make up one being deemed a good or even great athlete.
    That is the point that Clive Lloyd Re: @ Artax was making.
    @ Artax then went on to talk about discipline and that’s a part of being a great athlete.
    Hetmeyer is a perfect example of the difference. He was dropped by the West Indies but picked up over a million dollars in the IPL. Yes, he can run and jump and score runs but while he maybe athletic, he certainly is no athlete. Not even a good one.
    My position all along was if we had the mind of even good athletes , those skills would have seen better performances.
    Where is the concentration; respect for the game and indeed the spectators who come to see them play.
    My Brother with all the athleticism we have and we don’t have the mindset , we would continue to hope in vain.
    As much as I admire Lara, I have argued that with a more discipline and a better approach to his craft , he would have probably made at least another 1500 runs and he should have a far better test average.
    Chanderpaul, Haynes and Greenidge were all superior athletes. Lara was not. Roger Harper was a good athlete ; Carl Hooper was not.
    Good and great athletes go way beyond the ability to hit sixes.
    I am going to stick to my view of what we lack and we need to get all the qualities of great athletes instilled in our boys.
    Do that and with our natural skills and athleticism, we will be back on top in about 5-7years.

  51. If I may, Donna makes two excellent points.

    One, that cricket in the West Indies is practised much less than in yesteryear.

    How does a framework move from weekly local tourments, which had a heavy following, plus an annual inter island tournaments (Shell Shield), that had prestige, to neither, or not the latter and much less of the first, yet expect the same output in player quality?

    It is difficult, unless a new framework is designed for success.

    To this I blame the large corporations that have far less social responsibility than they used to.

    Yes, Cable & Wireless made money hand over fist from Barbados, but the management did put significant sponsorship money back into cricket.

    How much, relatively, is given now by large, profitable organisation.

    Too much bottom line, no social resoonsibility.

    And then, if the money became available, how can the fixtures be designed to bring a much nore seasoned West Indian cricketer to the international scene?

    Secondly, as Donna said, football has taken over as the pre dominant sport.

    To take that attention back is a challenge. Can we do both?

    I would think so, but only if the above is addressed.

    On football, ironically, football actually requires even more discipline on the field than cricket, due to the pace of the game.

    Fitness discipline is paramount, absolute, behaviour is critical in approach to training and in a game and being able and willing to follow instructions keep one on the field and off the bench.

    The level of indiscipline that seems to have gravitated to Barbados football in the past, guns at matches etc, fighting, does not give any confidence that Barbados could ever achieve much in football, when that is the opposite of what the sport requires.

    Individual players extracted by scouts and taken abroad yes, but not local collectively.

    Unless of course, a Barbados national team comes from multiple internationally placed ballers.

    Essentially, both the sport framework and as you all have posited and agreed, discipline are necessary for success.

    Along with a professional approach to management, as opposed to what happened in the 1990s, as Artax stated.

  52. I love the Bajan ability to make an understatement “WI cricket on the skids”.
    If I was on my deathbed I would ask my dear wife to ban the priest and doctor and have a WI cricket commentator give me the prognosis.

    The doctor may give me the naked truth; the priest would scare me to death with his rant about eternal fires and then try to blackmail me into accepting his pie in the sky routine; the WI commentator would convince me that there is still hope in my continuing to bat. He would encourage me to play for the draw instead of abandoning the game. Such optimists.

    Sadly, I am not a cricket commentator but a disappoint fan. Not on the skids… WI cricket is dead (to me).

    But yet, I want to thank WI cricket for the beautiful memories of the distant past. They cannot be erased.

  53. @David, are you taking any bets on Kraigg Brathwaite standing tall and taking his team to victory on day 5 against the might Aussies: he is 100+ n/o with at least 3 competent batsmen still with him!

    Can they bat another 90-overs and withstand a final swinging new ball barrage from Cummings and co … of will they fold before lunch??

    Alas … but I’ll take your 500 -1 odds of victory with a Grantley!

    And what of US beating the low-country boys of ‘Holland’!! That’s running at 330 -1 odds from what I see … I’ll just take a Prescod on the underdog there too!😎

    It’s Saturday so a moment to step off the ‘serious’ briefly!


    • Indeed, indeed!

      And as prayers go …we can extend those also to the mighty Edson Arantes do Nascimento who is reported to have been ‘moved into palliative care’ as a final stage of his life.

      We all go and will go eventually and there are many awesome people around … but for whatever reason this brother always seemed ‘larger than normal life’ to me.

      There are the Sir Garrys, Maradonas, Barrows, Dr. Kings, the ‘real’ McCoys, Malcolms etc greats of our life but Pele was still extra, extra special!


  54. Alas, it was not prayer that raised Lazarus from death.
    But I too will say a prayer.

    Heavenly Father listen to the prayer of David and return life to the WI team. Restore their sight so that they can see the ball; strengthen their fingers so that they can hold on to catches. Father build their sinews so that they can field and bowl and bat. Father if this rebuild is too great, give us a completely new team.

    Be kind to your servant David. Help him to retain his optimism even in the face of complete failure.


  55. I used to be angry at the limited athletic skills that the Good Lord gave to me. These days, I am extremely thankful for his wisdom and his blessing.

    Dear God, you have spared me participating in a 598-4 cricket game or a 20-0 soccer game. In your infinite wisdom, you knew that I could not live with such a score. I am grateful.

  56. Australia
    598/4 declared & 182/2 declared
    West Indies Fla
    283 (all out) & 333 (all out)
    Australia beat West Indies by 164 runs
    Do you realized the WI lost all of their wickets and Australia lost only 6?
    Do you realize that by the total score it was almost a 2 for 1

  57. TheO,

    There was a time when my son was all cricket all the time. He was the one at EVERY practice session. He was the one walking with cricket gear EVERY DAY coaxing the boys away from football and back into cricket.
    He was the one who forced me to take him to cricket camp when I knew the field would have been flooded. He was the driving force behind the team. Lunch time, “Leh we play cricket!” After school, “Leh we play cricket!” And when he got home either myself, his father or my brother had to toss him a few.

    We pulled out because of favouritism and spitefulness by the school’s coach (whose advances I rejected) at the primary school level. The heart and soul of the team was made to sit and watch a boy who never came to practice, play in his stead.

    My best friend’s daughter pulled out of netball because of favouritism and spitefulness at the national level. After having been congratulated for playing a pivotal role in a regional tournament, she was “somehow” dropped from the team. The current netball team was recently given a scathing report from a former stalwart just as this WI team is being ridiculed by the Australian fans.

    Long time I have been telling my son how wonderful it is not to be a part of this humiliating experience called WINDIES cricket. Money is good but it is not worth the humiliation, even if you are the one soldier left standing on fifty not out at the end. (You need a partner to make a hundred.) There is no such thing as a successful one man team.

    By the time my son reached secondary school, he only played cricket for fun. After watching him play around, the coach would call on him to show the team members how to bat. They were only interested in hitting six every ball. It was swipe free wherever the ball may be! This is not what the NSC coach, the prolific batsman Thelston Payne had taught my son. These children do not listen. My son listens. “You cannot make runs from the pavillion.” I don’t remember the source.

    And, “Four plus four equals eight. Six plus nought equals six.” This from Everton Weekes the Great.

    So…my son was never going to be a Lara, but he aspired to be a Chanderpaul.

    These young men do not listen.

    Our cricket was already on the way downhill when T20 pressed the accelerator.

    We used to have such a high standard of player that even when favouritism reared its ugly head (as it always does in these parts) and second best got the nod, we could be competitive.

    Not so any longer.

    Some of the teams chosen even recently have left pundits bamboozled.

    EVERYTHING is wrong with our cricket. The structure is wrong. The administrators are wrong. The selectors are wrong. The players are wrong.

    As for our bowlers – Ottis Gibson was making a hand of the old crop several years ago and then apparently somebody had a “problem” with him and he was gone.

    This is the way we run things – into the bloody ground. We have hit rock bottom. Will that prompt a change in mindset?

    I doubt it. This is why I have no hope for our cricket. And sometimes I have no hope for our country.

    I am grateful for unwelcome advances. They were a blessing in disguise. My son now pours his heart and soul into a one man enterprise where HE gets to pick his own team.

  58. My first of several comments
    West Indies 447/6d & 203/5d
    Zimbabwe (23.4 ov, T:272) 379/9d & 83/4

    Can you imagine the balls and gall of the Zimbabwean players to declare when still 68 runs behind?
    What was their thinking?
    Were they counting on the WI batting to collapse?
    Are cricket teams now playing a mental game with our WI players? Disrespecting them by gambling that WI batting cannot last as long as a “snow-cone”.

    I am not getting the match (on TV) in my region, but I will be waiting to hear the final outcome.
    Has Zimbabwe gamble paid off? Are teams beating us on the field and with the mental department game as well?

Leave a comment, join the discussion.