UWI Today March 2015 - page 12

With the ICC
One Day International World Cup in
progress, the saga of the West Indies cricket team is a
source of constant daily discussion. As one of the few
remnants of Caribbean integration, West Indies cricket is
near and dear to the hearts of so many in the Caribbean
archipelago and across the diaspora. Little wonder then
that the fate of West Indies cricket generates so much
Since scaling the dizzying heights of success during
the Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richards era that saw us rule
the world, the slump inWest Indies cricket has generated
a prolonged search for answers and a plethora of
initiatives to halt the slide and “turn the corner”. Lasting
success continues to elude us and apart from glimmers
of hope with a Champions Trophy win in 2004 and 20-
Over success in 2012, the slide has continued. The recent
abandonment of the tour to India in October 2014 that
has incurred the wrath of the Board of Control for Cricket
in India (BCCI) represents a new nadir in the history of
West Indies cricket.
The steady procession of coaches and administrators,
establishment of a Cricket Academy and alterations to
the structure of regional cricket all represent attempts
to right the wrongs of West Indies cricket. This article
will address a few factors that the author considers to be
outside the normal discourse in respect of the difficulties
we currently face.
Another look
at West Indies cricket
By Ian Hypolite
The fact is that there is an expectation on the part
of the cricket-loving public that we return to the glory
days. But, are our expectations misplaced? Of all the
countries that comprise the main bloc of the ICC, we are
the smallest.We therefore have a smaller talent pool from
which to choose. Most recognized talent identification
systems acknowledge the need for a broad base of
participation from which talent, identification, selection
and development flows. Our small pool leaves us at a
distinct disadvantage. Our pool is further diminished in
comparison with that in our glory days because of the
competition fromother popular sports. In our heyday our
best athletes played cricket. Among those representing
the West Indies were athletes who held their own at
regional and international level in other sports: Michael
Holding notably still holds the record for the U-12 high
jump at Kingston College in Jamaica; Vivian Richards
represented Antigua at soccer; Charlie Davis was an
above-average soccer and table tennis player.
The increasing popularity of soccer, basketball and
track and field has lured some of our best athletes away
from cricket. It is therefore not unusual that our current
crop of cricketers cannot replicate the athletic feats of
their predecessors.
Our iconic teams of the ’70s and the ’80s were a
model of physical fitness and resilience. Today it is rare for
our players to complete a series without a spate of injuries
that suggest structural weakness. The willingness of our
current crop of players to accept personal responsibility
for their fitness is very much in question.
The small talent pool alluded to above does not
necessarily dictate that we should have an inferior end
product. What matters most when the talent pool is
small is the ability to retain talent once it is identified and
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