by Renwick Rose
While the major West Indies cricket team fights to re-establish a place among the game’s top nations, as it takes on England in a five-match T/20 series, a harsh reminder of how the Caribbean team’s stocks have fallen dramatically was delivered right in their backyard.
The West Indies, hosting the Under-19 championship of the International Cricket Conference, a tournament which they won just five years ago, find themselves relegated to the lower rungs of the Under-19 ranks. This follows the failure to qualify for the quarterfinal stage after defeats by Australia and Sri Lanka. The West Indies team is instead engaged with the likes of Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Scotland, Ireland and Zimbabwe for determining the ninth to sixteenth places.
It emphasises dramatically that the crisis in West Indies cricket is not just at the top, it has permeated all levels. It also indicates that the problems go beyond the performances, or lack of them, on the field. Something is wrong with our cricketing culture.
The problem we seem to have is one of never looking in the mirror but finding others to blame. We have been fooling ourselves, even us as fans, spectators and cricket-lovers for too long. Time for realism and a radical overhaul.