June 26, 2023 will be remembered by fans of cricket and in particular those who support the West Indies team as another dark day. It was a day orange was the new maroon. It was a day an Associate Member team humiliated a West Indies team by scoring 374 runs to tie a 50 over game in an ongoing competition and finally won it in a super over. A super over which saw Jason Holder struck for 30 runs.
On July 13, 2009 a blog titled The Darkest Day In West Indies Cricket was posted by Barbados Underground. Not many West Indian cricket fans would have envisaged the precipitous decline in our cricket thirteen years later. Baby boomers in the BU household who were fortunate to witness triumphant West Indies cricket teams of the 70s and 80s have had to stop being fans of regional cricket, including the blogmaster.
To be honest the blogmaster feels unqualified to unpack the may problems obviously affecting West Indies cricket. What cannot be refuted is that the passion with which former players from the golden era played the game has long faded. The game has been commodified and our top players from all reports are paid very well, BUT, the passion that is a prerequisite to give of ones best is gone.
To excel as a prominent figure in any field necessitates adopting the most effective management methodologies along with their comprehensive implications. Regrettably, the composition of the Board of Management (WIBC), responsible for the supervision of West Indies cricket, does not adhere to the principles that parallel the operational prowess of prosperous institutions. Astonishingly, the selection process for Directors within the WIBC revolves solely around membership in exclusive circles, driven by capricious desires and aspirations of individuals yearning for recognition and wealth.BU Blog 2009
Like sugar the blogmaster believes cricket is dead. Many of our regional institutions have started to struggle to deliver on mandates. Whether it is CARICOM, UWI, LIAT, CXC, CDB to name those top of mind. Some may insist that mismanagement of regional economies by governments have created a difficult environment in which to excel. The demise of West Indies cricket should therefore not be critiqued in a vacuum. How have our leaders in the political and NGO spheres brought us here? Has the lack of advocacy by the citizenry helped to hasten the rot in regional institutions?
A reminder what is the Mission of Cricket West Indies (CWI) – To lead, inspire and unite cricket in the West Indies from thriving grassroots to exciting West Indies teams, ensuring sustainable success.
The global media has been reveling at the indifferent performers being trotted out by the once mighty West Indies team with mocking headlines. At least one Prime Minister in the region – Rowley from Trinidad – has been quoted as saying, “Today I saw THE WORST CRICKET MATCH ever played by a West Indies team”. Should Rowley have recalled instead the question posed by late Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford when he asked – how did we get here? Everything is out of control”, “it did not happen yesterday”.
Orange is the new maroon.