The challenges facing West Indies Cricket at the present time has not been helped by a number of unsavoury incidents and practices.
The second cricket test against Australia may nonetheless have given us a chance to see the potential amongst our players to begin to shake off some of the baggage of the past several years.
In the recent past we have witnessed the major conflict between the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) over the matter of contract rights. This was of course precipitated by the fact that two telecommunications enterprises – Cable and Wireless and Digicel – were involved in the pursuit of sponsorship of West Indies Cricket.
Tony Cozier while covering the current test series in Australia penned a piece that draws attention to the continuation of a slew of internal problems plaguing the cricketers on the team.
Cozier seems to have raised something of a hornets nest in so far as this time he made mention of the role of the coach as the boss of almost everything that has to do with the team.
The captain now operates almost as a robot, simply following the orders given by the coach before the team goes out onto the field of play.
Some readers may recall Lara’s comments when it was announced that the new WICB policy was that the captain would no longer form part of the selection committee. Lara cautioned against this move and suggested that it was critical that the captain has a major input in discussions relating to the final team for each match.
Lara’s warning went unheeded and Chanderpaul is the man left holding the bag.
The reality is that the endless conflict between players on the team belies the image of togetherness so often given when the players huddle in the middle after a wicket is taken. This conflict is not new but it is nonetheless a burden on the team collectively and individually.
The West Indies team that goes out onto the field in Australia is really a gathering of individual players rather than a unified grouping in pursuit of excellence and the inevitable success that comes with it.
Brian Lara remains the most attractive batting genius ion the game of cricket. He has been attempting to recapture his form in the current series and seems to have had the patience required to do so from his approach to the game.
In the four innings that he has played in the test series thus far he seemed prepared to fight it out in the middle despite the aggression of the world’s best bowlers, all of whom desire nothing more than his scalp.
Unfortunately Lara has been undone by the poor umpiring.
It was a rather sarcastic Michael Holding who in the second test provided on air his own trivia for viewers and listeners.
Holding ‘s trivia is: Given that Lara has six innings to play in the current series, how many time would he have been given out when he was not really out?
Holding is no avid fan of Lara as an individual but respects him as the best batsman in the game. He seemed rather upset at the way in which Lara has been denied the opportunity to show his tremendous batsmanship during the current series by poor umpiring.
Lara’s performance in the current series is less as a result of poor form and more a reflection of the ineptitude of some of the umpires on the international panel.
Lara’s misfortunes with the bat have not helped the cause of the West Indies team in the current series.