Cricket: West Indies: Mission Marooned – Commentary

Cricket West Indies

By November 10, 2021

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The former two-time defending champions, along with Sri Lanka, have now been sadly relegated to joining the ranks of the qualifiers, ICC Associates, countries where cricket is not a major priority, hoping to gain entry to the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. Who would’ve thought ten years ago that the likes of Afghanistan would be an automatic qualifier while the West Indies would be struggling for a place in the Super 12?

Most of the West Indies fans had long abandoned any hope of their team advancing to the semi-finals, following the Dubai debacle in the opening match, (SN Editorial, Dubai Meltdown, 27/10/21), when they surrendered to England after scraping together a paltry score of 55 runs in 14.2 overs. Their performance after that can be best described as embarrassing, to say the least. Next, South Africa made light work of the 143-run chase, losing only two wickets, and having ten balls to spare.

In a desperate do-or-die encounter with Bangladesh, the West Indies eked out a three-run victory after posting another moderate total of 142 for seven wickets. Mathematically still in with a slim chance of advancing to the semi-finals, they were only flattering to deceive no one but themselves. With only two batsmen reaching double figures, their last hope crumpled against Sri Lanka, as the lacklustre batting lineup failed by 20 runs to overtake an imposing total of 190 compiled at a rate of 9.5 runs per over against the toothless West Indian attack. The Australians relieved the last handful of West Indian fans of their anguish, by ruthlessly hammering the final nail in the coffin. In disposing of the hapless Caribbean tourists by eight wickets, they overhauled an average score of 157 with 22 balls to spare. It was actually more humiliating as the victors only lost their second wicket with the scores level.

The tale of the tape of the worst performance by a West Indian team is as painful as a doctor informing his best friend that he has a terminal illness. Whenever one thinks that the West Indies have hit rock bottom, they find a way to burrow further into the core of doom and gloom. The West Indies had the most dot balls in the first round, more than Scotland and Namibia, cricketing minnows. They managed to capture just 14 wickets in their matches. Their standard of fielding leaves a lot to be desired. This format of the game has changed significantly since the last World Cup, and the West Indies appear to be hopelessly out of their depth.

What will Cricket West Indies do about this disaster? Nothing. Absolutely nothing will be done. There will be no inquest, no report, no investigation. Nothing. Why expect otherwise? CWI’s inertia towards making constructive decisions and subsequent action has multiplied over the past two decades. The culture of consistently losing and nonchalant acceptance has become the standard way of life.

The selection panel, whose term in office expired recently, has reportedly been given an extension to the end of the year. West Indies cricket fans would have expected the selectors to perform the honourable act of swiftly tendering their resignations following this ignominious display. Unfortunately, the attribute of honour has long since departed from the shores of Caribbean society. India’s coach, Ravi Shastri, immediately submitted his resignation after his team failed to advance to the semi-finals. India has risen to the top of the cricketing world during his four-and-a-half-year tenure, yet he stepped aside as soon as India exited the competition. West Indians should not bother to hold their collective breaths in expectation of Phil Simmons emulating Shastri’s act.

It should come as no surprise that the players have not shown any remorse whatsoever for their lustreless performances. On the contrary, Captain Kieron Pollard’s statements following the team’s exit after the fourth match can only be described as belligerent to say the least. “Unless you are part of the decision that is going to get rid of me or fire me or retire me as I stand right now, I have no intentions of not playing international cricket,” Pollard was quoted to have said at a press conference. In plain language: ‘Who the hell are you to question my place in the side?’ Pollard has made it abundantly clear to all and sundry, “One tournament or a couple bad games don’t make a summer and for me personally there is a lot of mileage in my legs,” and that he intends to remain as the West Indies T20 Captain.

To add further insult to injury, Pollard defended the selection of the over-the-hill gang and their inept showings. “We can look at all sorts [of reasons]. We can look at age, we can look at mobility, we can look at everything in a negative light or whatever. But my question would have been, you know, what if it didn’t happen,” Pollard was quoted as saying, moments after the West Indies’ defeat. Pollard fails to recognise that he lives in the real world and it was a disaster on his watch. He should step aside.

Speaking of the ageing stars, the Golden Child of West Indies cricket was recently in the news again. Prior to the start of the T20 World Cup, Sir Curtly Ambrose suggested that Chris Gayle should not be in the starting XI and following a public exchange of words, the CWI got involved and quieted things down. (One wonders where they were when Gayle was abusing former West Indian Captain and teammate Ronnie Sarwan on YouTube?) Gayle has stated that he has not announced his retirement as yet and he wants to play a farewell game in front of his home crowd in Jamaica. Well seeing that no games are scheduled there in the near future, CWI can perhaps organize the Gayle Farewell Tour throughout the Caribbean this coming season. They should include him in the five T20 matches versus England scheduled for Barbados in January. Further, how about letting him open the batting in the three Test Matches, also against England, scheduled for March in Antigua, Barbados and Grenada? Or better yet, CWI should grant his Lordship’s wishes and switch one of the Tests to Jamaica and make him captain. Let’s hope he does better than the 45 runs in five innings in the World Cup. Anyway, it won’t matter, no one would notice, or even care, as long as the Golden Child gets his wishes.

As the plane bringing this team home to the Caribbean begins its descent into Piarco Inter-national Airport, Dwayne Bravo, who surprisingly announced his retirement from international cricket following this fiasco, can break into song. A good old Trinidadian calypso should fit the bill. How about Gypsy’s 1986 Classic, “The Sinking Ship” (The Trinidad)? The other seven Trinidadian members of the World Cup squad, along with Coach Simmons, can join in the chorus. The words are provided since one knows how short their memories are:

  • “Captain, this ship is sinking!
  • Captain, these seas are rough, oh yes
  • We gas tank almost empty,
  • No electricity, we oil pressure reading low!
  • Shall we abandon ship
  • Or shall we stay on it?
  • And perish slow,
  • We doh know, we doh know,
  • Captain, you tell we what to do?”

   Calypso: Gypsy – The sinking ship (1986)

 

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • wally n  On 11/11/2021 at 10:15 am

    GUYANA!!!!GUYANA!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES..TIME IS NOW GET YOUR OWN TEAM…LEAVE THE KIDS TO PLAY ALONE.

  • theonly  On 11/12/2021 at 6:42 pm

    Nonsense.

  • Ron Saywack.  On 11/14/2021 at 8:12 am

    It is often said that cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. This 2021 version of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 version has made that abundantly clear.

    In the leadup to the competition in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, the press had all but coronated England as champions with India right up there in the mix. Not many gave New Zealand or Australia a mention to be anywhere near the final. Yet, it’s the two teams from down under that will compete for the coveted trophy mere moments from this writing.

    The game is being played at the fabulous Dubai International Cricket Stadium starting at 1400 GMT or 9:00 a.m. Guyana time.

    Sadly, the West Indies were one of the weakest of the 16 teams. Even Namibia, a small southwestern African nation of 2.5 million people, outperformed them. Incredibly, there are only 5 cricket pitches in all of that country.

    Chris Gayle and Ravi Rampaul should never have been selected to represent the West Indies. They are way past their prime. Gayle, in particular, is like a guest at a house party who overstays his welcome. But the host doesn’t want to tell him so.

    The winners of today’s grand finale will largely depend on the team winning the toss. Since it’s an evening game, dew will be a major factor for the team bowling second. The two teams are evenly matched and either can emerge victorious. May the best team win!

    RS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: