EDITORIAL: Continue to elevate our West Indies cricket team

WHILE we do not wish to take anything away from France and its supporters – some of them here – following that country’s triumph in yesterday’s World Cup final against Croatia, we must still spare a moment for the West Indies (Windies) cricket team.

While football fans are celebrating the glory of France, which won the 2018 FIFA Football World Cup in Russia, those who still follow the West Indies cricket will equally have as much to rejoice the Caribbean team’s thumping of Bangladesh in the two-match cricket series. The Windies, admirably led by our own Jason Holder, won the series in convincing style. Holder played a pivotal role in that victory taking 11 wickets in the match, which ended inside the five days on Saturday at Sabina Park in Jamaica.

It was refreshing to see how the Windies disposed Bangladesh. They were outplayed by the Caribbean team and seemingly unable to come to terms with the pace of the wickets in Antigua (venue for the first test match) and Jamaica. While one swallow does not make a summer, we have to be elated that the victory against Bangladesh following the 1-1 series draw earlier against Sri Lanka is going to ease the worries displayed by several Caribbean cricket fans. These days not much had been happening for West Indies cricket with a string of losses, and many fans bothered about whether our cricket could come back and reclaim the glory it did between the 1980s and mid 1990s. We had lost series to India and New Zealand and were forced to play among the weaker teams in order to qualify for the next ICC Cricket World Cup. Windies did qualify. However, it shows the depth to which our cricket had fallen when the Windies was not an automatic choice for the forthcoming World Cup, even in spite of the fact that the Caribbean team had won the Cricket World Cup twice in succession, and being a losing finalist. Currently, there are teams which have never won the Cup, yet this fact is something that somehow has escaped the attention of the International Cricket Council (ICC) who are the organisers of the competitions.

The point that must be considered from all of this and the performances of the team in the two test series (involving the Windies versus Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) is that there is still hope for our cricket to emerge once again. West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are rated down the order in international cricket. Had the Windies won the series against Sria Lanka, it would have given them a higher ranking, especially when the win against Bangladesh was factored in.

Our present crop of players have the ability to compete against the best. The problem seems to be a lack of concentration on their part for lengthy spells and a lack of recognition that cricket is a mind game. These are issues that the coach, the manager, the captain and other senior members must try to work out.

There is still a long way to push Caribbean cricket higher up the ladder. No effort should be spared by those in control to keep working at our game so that one day the Windies cricket will bounce back.

Barbados Advocate

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