The tragic fall of West Indies cricket
West Indies batsman Chris Gayle leaves the field. AP Photo/Matt Dunham
How tragic is it to see West Indies cricket languishing in the doldrums.
The days of domination in the 1980s, with the swagger of Vivian Richards, the class of Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes and the fearsome fast bowling battery that included Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding and Colin Croft seem like a distant memory.
Perhaps the single key along with the unquestionable talent was the leadership of the great Clive Lloyd. His ability to integrate different cultures and players from different islands as well as have the respect and voice of the West Indies board was a key to the longevity of success.
Their status as an almost minnow nation now, where oppositions look to bolster their stats, can be traced back to a lack of leadership at the top.
Their inabiltity to get the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ramnaresh Sarawan, Jerome Taylor and Chris Gayle to play international cricket on a regular basis is decimating the side.
The addition of these world class players would immediately make them a force against any side.
The board also asked Shivnarine Chanderpaul, now the number one batsman in the world, to retire a year ago. Thankfully for them, he had the character and heart to stand up to them.
In my opinion, there is one man who can resurrect West Indies cricket and attract the best back to Test cricket. The man with the strength, knowledge and voice to do this is ‘Whispering Death’ Michael Holding.
Let’s hope someone involved with West Indies cricket realises it sooner rather than later.