On Target
June 30, 2023

Is it a big deal?

Is it a big deal should the West Indies not qualify for the International Cricket Council’s World Cup?

Apparently, whether or not they do, it seems here nor there to Caribbean people, as they have become accustomed to the underachievers.

This as many are immune to the regular defeats, oblivious to what is taking place with the region’s respective teams; whilst others do not even care to care.

How sad the sport has degenerated in the region. Year after year, the invincibility of the West Indies has been ruined by a multiplicity of factors, leaving the sport and the psyche of Caribbean people in tatters.

However, for the minority who still follow international Cricket involving the West Indies, the once mighty is facing another of its embarrassing episodes.

The latest in the documentary entitled: “Fall from Grace”, the West Indies indeed, having to go through the qualifying phase for a global Cricket competition, tells almost the whole tale. Therefore, the scenes that are being played out in Zimbabwe, may have been predicated.

Jolt our memories back to 2018, when the West Indies had to go through the round of the qualifiers for the 2019 edition.

Yes, the team made it to the main event in England.

So, the script has been written again, with more or less a few of the same actors, with Shai Hope, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul and Jason Holder, survivors of that unit, still in the setup in Zimbabwe.

The West Indies first defeated the USA and Nepal, but was brushed aside by host, Zimbabwe, and lost to the Netherlands, as they failed to defend 374, as the match ended in a tie.

The super over proved even more disastrous, as Jason Holder went for 30 runs. The rest is history, as West Indies responded with 8.

That defeat, according to newly appointed coach, Darren Sammy, exemplified and summed up the state of West Indies Cricket.

Similarly, Dr Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, responding to the loss to the Netherlands, took to social media, calling it the worst cricket match he had ever seen.

Again, are Rowley’s comments a big deal?

Lest we forget that in 1996, when the West Indies was still regarded as a superpower in world cricket, they were beaten by Kenya.

In that team were the likes of Richie Richardson, Courtney Walsh, Ian Bishop, Brian Lara, Jimmy Adams, Curtley Ambrose and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

It was just a few months ago, the West Indies, winners of the 2012 and 2016 T/20 World Cup, was booted out of the 2022 edition at the preliminary stage.

Likewise, the West Indies has failed to earn a ODI title since back to back wins in 1975 and 1979.

Therefore, there is nothing to suggest either that the current regional team has that pedigree to become champions anytime soon.

But getting back to the present chapter, West Indies goes into tomorrow’s (July 1) Super Sixes match versus Scotland, without a point.

The best bet is for the West Indies to win all three matches versus Sri Lanka, Scotland and Oman.

But should the West Indies falter, the permutations relative to the other teams come into play. And even if the West Indies nicks a win, heading to the World Cup is still up in the air.

Whilst the debate is the qualification tournament for the World Cup, should that really define West Indies’ cricket?

No, as the ICC rankings have already placed the West Indies among the minnows of world cricket.

As it stands now, the West Indies sits tenth on the ODI list, eighth in Test and seventh on the Twenty/20 chart.

One though does not have to go that far to assess where we are, as the regional game is poor, weak, feeble and uninspiring.

The administrators, in an attempt to mask the realities, have sought to use some hifalutin labels and marketing jargon, to band aid the sores that exist.

Whatever is revealed over the next few days in Zimbabwe, the die has been cast; West Indies cricket is no way close to acceptable standards, deserving of a place in the ICC World Cup.