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One Day Cricket the Windies way

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Interest in cricket has revived with the West Indies’ capture of the ICC Champions Trophy. The victory is a tonic for the cricket-crazed Caribbean.

Activities resume on the regional front with a shortened version of the West Indies One-Day tournament. {{more}}

The camaraderie built up by the West Indies squad during the ICC Champions Trophy will be forgotten as each nation outdoes the other for the championship.

Winning the West Indies One-Day title is a boost. The West Indies’ place in cricket has been documented. Many fans throughout the world grieved at the West Indies losses. Cricket connoisseurs were alarmed at the Windies’ dismal performances especially in Tests.

The potential at the One-Day level was evident, if only we could have shown more brainpower to match natural talents. The West Indies style is ideal for One-Day cricket. In fact, we play Test cricket as if it were a One-Day affair.

If you have bowlers to rout a batting lineup, winning Tests in three days would not be difficult, as the West Indies did with regularity in their heyday. Now the table has turned, and the West Indies had to fight to stave off defeats, many humiliating over times.

The ICC Champions Trophy showed a depth of character that appeared to have gone out of the West Indian psyche.

This One-Day tournament is bound to keep the interest in cricket to some intensity.

This tournament will be the basis of selection for the West Indies contingent to Australia for the Triangular Series scheduled for January. Tours by South Africa and Pakistan next year will keep players occupied for the first half of the year.

Many players are anxious to maintain or regain a place in the team. Some with those ambitions are in the Windwards party for this One-Day series.

There are, however, issues which the Windwards Board have to clarify.

Earlier this year, Junior Murray opted out of a four-day match owing to injury. Breaking down or encountering any damage in life is commonplace.

One hopes that Junior Murray has recovered. But it is a slap in the face and a potential show of disrespect for Vincentian wicketkeeper Lynden James.

The former Windwards Under-19 wicketkeeper batsman James had been around some time. It was when former West Indies Under-19 wicketkeeper Uzzah Pope called it quits that James got the chance behind the stumps for his country.

And he grabbed it with both gloves. For he was drafted into the Windwards party. His performance was adequate, enough to merit continuation, only to be forced out. And that turned out to be a premature decision, for Murray did not maintain his fitness. One hopes that everything is well with him and that he serves the Windwards with some aplomb during this tournament.

The Windwards keep players for a perennial period. Making the adjustment to physical and natural developments appears to be difficult for Windwards’ selectors. That is perhaps their reasons for persisting with John Eugene and Captain Rawle Lewis.

These players have served the Windwards admirably, with Lewis reaching up to the West Indies level. Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties.

Sometimes players respond to cricticism in the most dramatic fashion. Let’s hope that Lewis, Murray and Eugene relive their moments of exuberance, silence the critics and justify the selectors’ confidence.