The State of West Indies Cricket

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jimmy-adams-01Thank God for the Ashes at the moment. The series is proving to be seriously entertaining, but it is also a very handy attention-grabber for cricket enthusiasts. Who knows what kind of spotlight would be shone upon West Indies cricket if this series weren’t happening.

That said; let me shine a little light…

The West Indies has just lost the first test in Kingston against Bangladesh. Now, this is probably a story in itself. Banladeshi test wins aren’t a regular occurrence. But their historic win isn’t the real story here.

Before the test no fewer than 30 potential West Indian players stood down from possible selection due to ongoing disagreements with the West Indian Cricket Board. Former captain Jimmy Adams is now the honorary secretary of the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), and is standing up for the players. For years the players have been embroiled in a seemingly endless stream of disagreements with the board about sponsorship and contracts. The recent test series against England almost didn’t happen, and the same can be said about a range of series over the last ten years.

The situation is an indictment on the current West Indian board. For a test nation that is trying to recapture its former glory, this kind of situation is just not acceptable. Now, if this was an isolated event, and the Board was otherwise faultless I may take a more balanced approach. However, their track record is simply a disgrace. From building useless cricket grounds, to over-charging their supporters and thus turning people away from the game, to selling out to a corrupt Texan billionaire, this Board just doesn’t seem to get ANYTHING right.

I believe that one of the main problems for the West Indies is that many of their past greats have not been involved in the game in recent times. In that sense it pays to commend Jimmy Adams for standing up for the players. Adams was a fine batsman, and has proven to be a wise commentator on the game. The players will do well to stick by Adams, and stand up for their rights. The situation in the West Indies must change. It is just depressing to see empty stadiums, and a team made up of strikebreakers.

World cricket needs a healthy and vibrant West Indies team. Players such as Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo put bums on seats, and get people talking about the game. The fact that a team with such an amazing past can now be in this situation is not only a disgrace for the current Board, but is also an indictment on the ICC. They simply must step in and get the situation there right. Listening to wise heads such as Tony Cozier and Ian Bishop, all the problems start with the Board, and I’m willing to take their word. Let’s all hope that the situation can change, and the Windies can be a force again in the not too distant future.

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