On Target
April 8, 2005
All’s well that ends well

Someone might say, it’s far from over. For the controversy will never be truly settled. Not when one notes the way Donovan Pagon for example has been dumped from the West Indies squad. His 35 in the first innings against South Africa was not a blistering knock by any stretch of the imagination, but for viewers glued to the exploits of the new look West Indies line up, the Jamaican debutante had perhaps done enough to relish a recall. {{more}}

Such are the vagaries of representing the West Indies at the top. And what about the surprise sprung against the South Africans, even though the over enthusiastic supporter will still be aggrieved that the homesters did not press home the apparent advantage.

But the West Indies should have been beaten soundly in perhaps three days.

With the best squad available for selection, expectations will be mixed. It is natural for supporters to expect the West Indies to do better. But the batting line up has been strengthened, when it was obvious that the bowling lacked penetration in the second innings. How woefully inadequate the attack was.

But the inefficiencies were not related to any physical adaptability, for after all, we should have been familiar with conditions at Bourda. And with homeboy Reon King in the squad and expected to shoulder the burden of the attack, it must have been sheer optimism for the West Indies to complete a victory. For a team must take 20 wickets to win a Test.

The batting proved oiled beyond expectations. When have two double centuries been scored by West Indies in the same Test?

Repeat of such rarities, or any thing remotely close would be additional boosts to the West Indies team.

Perhaps some credit ought to be given to the coaching staff, for whatever they have injected into the squad for them to produce that batting performance.

Putting runs on the tin, as the expression goes has been an aspect missing of West Indies cricket for many years. The cushion of runs on the board has long evaded the squad. And forced pressure on declining bowling stock.

So when the squad held its own against the South African, it was indeed a relief to the West Indian fan. After all, the cricket mad Caribbean following was able to focus on other spheres of endeavour without the nightmare of a defeat hindering productivity.

For there is no doubt that cricket lovers become disillusioned when West Indies lose, or do badly for that matter.

The converse is similarly relevant. And when the team wins there is feeling of euphoria.

Attention will be on the Second Test at Queens Park Oval Trinidad. The resolution to the contract dispute signals a cooling of tempers which threatened to plunge West Indies cricket into disrepute. And the signals which the international arena were gathering in full glare of television lights on the count down to the staging of the 2007 World Cup was not giving the Caribbean a polished image.

But we have the knack of overriding any obstacle. The adjustments to staging that prestigious event have been made and the region will serve as commendable hosts. The final packages are being worked out, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines can cash in. Not only with Warm up matches, but from the influx of visitors expected to swarm the region. They will have some positive effect on our economy. The scope is wide for our benefits, including agriculture. Fruit suppliers can begin planning their crops, and invest in technological advances to ensure ongoing produce to avid cricket lovers.

Spectators, players, media professionals, would also need to sample the region’s artistic and cultural areas. We have to be prepared, and we don’t have much time.