Clive Lloyd, the famous West Indian captain, would surely not be pleased with the present state of affairs, pertaining to cricket in the Caribbean. A team that once flexed it’s arms against the best of the best in the business, is currently struggling against minnows like Ireland. We have tried and put pen to paper, regarding his thoughts about this dark time in the Caribbean.
“It is really disheartening to see how the West Indies are struggling against teams, particularly after being a captain of the team that steam-rolled every opponents, once upon a time. As I add this “once upon a time” tag, it feels really frustrating to think why the Island nation can’t produced impact players who could rule the opposition team in any conditions.
The main problem that our nation is facing is consistency. In big competitions like world cups, what matters is to be consistent and we are nowhere near it. Winning some games by a big margin allows players to get carried away but the main thing is to keep on concentrating each and every game till you win the tournament.
During my 1st world cup, there was a match against Pakistan which if we had lost; the qualification to the semis would have become difficult. But some miraculous batting performances from the last wicket pair, not only won us the game, but also made us a more compact team. We became a more galvanised team and started thinking that we can win the world cup. We did win it and the legacy continued for 8 years. Coming back to the present situation, West Indies did excellently to batter the Pakistani side and hopefully they will take this win as one of the many victories to come.
The Carribean Cricket is currently struggling in producing some fresh crop of genuine fast bowlers. By Genuine, I mean somebody like a Morne Morkel or a Mitchell Johnson. If we had Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Colin Croft, why can’t we have such bowlers after 3 decades? It’s really a question to which nobody hasn’t yet found an answer. Nowadays every critic compares today’s bowlers with the bowlers that we had. Spinners like Sunil Narine and Suleimann Benn are coming to the fore but according to me, West Indies team looks much more imposing when a bunch of fast bowlers make the batsman’s life difficult in the middle. These days seldom come now.
Coming back to the world cup, West Indies took Ireland lightly and paid the price. Now, when we faced Sri Lanka in 1975, we had the belief that if we played to our ability we can win as our side was more professional than theirs. But we never took teams lightly. Against Ireland, it looked as if the fielding side was relieved after scoring some 300 runs on the board. Now how foolishly you can play a game of cricket, the above thing is just an example for it.
So we are still alive in the competition but if West Indies do not follow the rule of Consistency, the journey could well end for them in the quarters or even in the group stages.
It”s a dark time for Cricket lovers in the Caribbean now. But let’s hope the sun shines on us soon!”