When the first One Day Cricket World Cup was held in 1975, you know who lifted it, it was the team from the Caribbean. The same continued in 1979 as well, and in 1983, India put a halt on the World Cup winning streak of the Windies. They had some of the greats of the game, Sir Viv Richards, Clive Llyod and fast bowlers came one after the other.
Batsman saw dreams of Walsh and Ambrose bowling at them, and their stumps going for a toss, and who can forget the man who scored the first and only score of 400 in test cricket, Brian Charles Lara.
Windies in Need of a Rebranding
All this is enough to prove that there was a rich tradition of cricket in the Windies and the brand of cricket it played. But, off late, Windies cricket is seeing its all-time low, not being able to qualify for the World Cup in 2023 in India.
The performance of the West Indies was just dismal to say the least in the world cup qualifiers which took place in Zimbabwe, just recently. They were compressively beaten by the minos of cricket, out of which two of them does not have the test status.
Things Did Not Just Fell Apart After 1983
It was not that there was nothing to cherish for the island nation, or should we say, a group of islands playing as a one team, they lifted the world cup in the shortest format in 2016, when Carlos became the boss, and tonked Stokes for 4 consecutive sixes in the final to lift the world cup.
In the same year, the women’s team of the west Indies also lifted the cup under the leadership of Steffanie Taylor, but today, all those events are only the part of history. West Indies always had some of the most talented and flamboyant cricketers, but what seemed missing is the ability of all of them playing as one team.
A Team for Individual Bosses!
Gayle, Pollard, Bravo, Narine, Pooran, Russel are the players who are considered the big guns of the T20 cricket and has played leagues all over the world, and also being a part of the winning franchises. But the same charisma and fire is not seen when they play for West Indies. The question, that raises is that, why there is so much disparity.
Tussle Between Board and Players
The answer to this is the constant tussle between the players and the board, and the inconsistent fee structure. It is clear that if a player is not happy with the cricket board, he/ she will not be able to express himself/ herself on the field of cricket. Not just that, this tussle between the players and board had an impact on the cricketing culture.
Most recently Windies lost a home test series against India and the whole team was bundled out for just a score of 114 in a one-day international. I don’t know, what worse can unfold before Windies cricket. Maybe it is the darkest phase of night before the dawn.