West Indies Cricket Got Problems

Different year same story

Different coach same story

Different captain same story

Different management same story

What´s the hell wrong with West Indies cricket? This is the question that is foremost on the minds of the many long-suffering Windies fans who are hungry and desperate to see West Indies win a trophy of any kind.

The once dominant cricket team in the world now appears to be a shadow of its former self of years ago.

The team now no longer seems to be able to compete and when they eventually do; it´s against the bottom tiered team such as New Zealand, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe.

From the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, the West Indies cricket team was unstoppable in both Test and One day International cricket. They are known to have produced some of the best cricketers in the world and have many trophies to show for it.

However, today the team struggles to regain its former glory and the fans are becoming more and more frustrated.

Since Otis Gibson has taken over as head coach over the past three years, the team has remained fruitless and now the cry from fans is, “coach Gibson must pack his bags and go.”

This seems justified as part of the role of a coach is to get his or her team to win. Ultimately, therefore, part of a coach´s performance evaluation is the number of silverwares on the shelves to prove his worth.

So far, Gibson is a “win nothing” coach since he assumed responsibility for coaching the team. The fact is his rocky and tumultuous start after the 2011 World Cup where he berated and chopped senior players from the team has not helped his cause. There is very little improvement to show in terms of individual or team performance.

That said, the record shows that the West Indies have changed over seven coaches in a very short period of time without much to also show in the win column.

It therefore stands to reason that West Indies problem may be far more deep seated than  the changing of coaches. Consequently, fans may very well be looking at the symptoms rather than the cause.

A rather poignant question one might ask is, “What accounts for the litany of star players in the early to middle period of West indies history, compared to now?”

Some commentators and bloggers have argued that today´s West Indies cricketers lack self discipline, do not take their craft seriously, and are more “moneylicious” than anything else, where as former cricketers played for pride and country.

Tony Becca, former sports editor of the Jamaica Gleaner has posited the view in a column that part of the problem has to  do with the unprofessional behavior of players, ” Some of the players have behaved in a way not befitting West Indian representatives, some of them show disrespect to their captains, some of them shy away from training, and some of them
commit all kinds of things, and do all sorts of things contrary to behavior in professional sports,” said Becca.

He further added, “… as the head of West Indies cricket, it (the West Indies Cricket Board) must take the blame for whatever, happens to West Indies cricket.”

Also, in the past, former West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts has called for the complete overhaul of the West Indies Cricket  Board if the region´s cricket is to improve. He also said then, “Today´s players spend too much time in the gym and not enough time in the nets.”

Many stakeholders have also noted that the problem with  West Indies cricket is systematic and the implementation of the Patterson Report on the whole would address some of the current inadequacies and problems existing in the system.

However, in a 2009 report, according to former President of the WICB Dr. Julian Hunte, “approximately 47 of the 65 recommendations” have either been or are being implemented.  The question that comes readily to one´s mind, “What has happened to the remaining 18?”

The fact of the matter is West Indies cricket is declining fast in terms of winning, production of quality players, and spectators support. Unless something is done quickly our once proud tradition may become only a distant memory of the past.

Go it alone, some will cry but to what end?

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow