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The cricketing bus has left West Indies behind
The decline of West Indies cricket is a given but who is to blame? Xavier Santos explores
With every failure of the West Indies team the same conversations arise.
X player shouldn’t have been picked, Y shouldn’t be coach, the players don’t have passion etc.
So why is it that after two plus decades of these criticisms the performances of the regional outfit have continued to decline?
Have we somehow managed to select incompetent captains and managers over the past 20 years?
Have we appointed misguided selection panels for two decades?
Have the multitude of players who have donned the maroon and failed to live up to expectations all lacked the pride needed to fulfil their talent?
The definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result. The fact that we continue to raise these same tired issues as the reasons for the West Indies decline can be safely considered insane and a misdiagnosis of the real issues.
Let’s face it the cricketing bus has gone ahead without the West Indies!
New passengers have positioned themselves at the correct bus stop and have hopped aboard. The West Indies are not only at the wrong bus stop but they are still waiting hoping the right bus will turn up.
West Indies cricket is built on clay – no proper foundation. It has been so for over two decades and we continue to hope for the best, but in our heart, we expect the worst.
I am no cricketer and don’t have intimate knowledge of the game, but I have been around cricket for more than 15 years. What is clear to me is that those overseeing the administration and development of cricket domestically and regionally are out of their depth.
One just has to look at the so-called programme for the development of grassroots cricket sponsored by a leading financial institution in Barbados. It was a big farce!
Similarly, the Herman Griffith Primary School tournament (Barbados) was poorly organised. It was the norm to turn up to find unprepared grounds and no one to officiate these games. The coaching in schools, except in a few cases, is abysmal. It is not much better at the club level, so what can we realistically expect?
The administration and management of cricket, like football and to some extent athletics, has been captured by individuals who lack the strategic vision and know-how to evolve the sport to the next stage.
It is time to dispense with the divisive conversation about the state of West Indies cricket that is spearheaded by “leading” commentators in our media. Once we move past this, perhaps we can finally start to address the concerns raised in the many reports on West Indies cricket, in particular the role of the territorial boards vis a vis the regional governing body, now Cricket West Indies, in the development of the sport and our cricketers.
The territorial boards simply do not do enough to ensure the development of the region’s cricketers to a level comparable with other cricketing nations, and they must put regional biases aside and collaborate for the good of West Indies cricket. Cricket West Indies can only work with the talent that is nurtured at the national level. Cricket West Indies also has a central role in working with the regional boards to chart and support the strategic direction of the region’s cricket.
Sadly, the state of West Indies cricket is a reflection of the malady that affects most of our national and regional institutions. While they may have served us well in the past, they have failed to evolve to be successful and/or competitive in the new environment they find themselves. A close and dispassionate examination of them will find most dysfunctional and unfit for purpose.
Thank you to Xavier Santos for the guest article
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