Former West Indies captain Sir Clive Lloyd was spotted enjoying the colorful Ashes Test match at Lord’s on Saturday. Lloyd was watching the England-Australia match; But at the same time, their focus will be on the West Indies’ clash with Scotland, a few thousand kilometers away in Harare. On the one hand, Lloyd will have fond memories of lifting the World Cup twice at this same Lord’s; But at the same time, they also had to digest the shame of not qualifying for the first time in the history of the West Indies World Cup by losing to Scotland in Harare. The defeat of West Indies in Harara was not only on the cricket field but it was a defeat of the identity of West Indies cricket. From the famous 3W’s of West Indies (Worrell, Wickes, Walcott) to Sobers, Lloyd, Richards at the top, all of them would be shedding tears watching this atmosphere of pure bully cricket on the cricket field for decades; But why should West Indies cricket be affected? West Indies, who have won two fifty-over and two-time Twenty20 World Cups, can’t even qualify for this year’s World Cup? (ICC ODI WC 2023)
The defeat in the Zimbabwe Qualifiers was not the beginning of the decline of West Indies cricket, but the end of a process of decline that had been going on for the past few years. This is not the first time that the ICC has not qualified for the tournament. They did not qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy; So even for the 2022 Twenty20 World Cup, they had to come from the qualifying round to the main draw. West Indies cricket was stumbling; But somehow they were reaching the main tournament. But, this year they won against weak teams like Nepal and USA; But they capitulated miserably against one-time World Cup-winning teams like the Netherlands, Zimbabwe and Scotland. The defeats against Netherlands and Scotland in it were a blow for West Indies cricket. (ICC ODI WC 2023)
The main reason behind the downfall of West Indies cricket is the economy. Cricketers have a playing life of about thirty five to thirty eight years. A cricketer has to retire at an age when others are peaking their careers. Having a budget to spend the rest of your life in a certain lifestyle after retirement is very important. During the golden age of West Indies cricket, cricket was about being happy to play for the country and not for money. Let alone West Indies, cricket did not contribute much to the economic status of cricketers in all countries. Today’s Garganj BCCI had no money to reward its winning team of 1983; But now times have changed. It would be wrong to say that quality has run out in the West Indies. Then the main reasons for the decline of West Indies cricket have to be presented. So she’s like-
Relationship between West Indies Board and Players: There is no country called West Indies on the back of the world. Whereas the West Indies Board is made up of five different countries. The board, which has a rumbling coffers, today does not have enough funds even for grounds and practice facilities. The player contract mess continues unabated. He left the one-day tour of India in 2014 halfway due to money issues. Even after their 2016 Twenty20 World Cup victory, the players did not get their money. Board politics and corruption are rampant and players are falling victim to it (ICC ODI WC 2023)
Failure to retain good players: Two-time World Cup-winning captain Sir Clive Lloyd resigned as chairman of the board in 2012 in frustration, again citing money. Due to not being able to pay the best players, important players like Pollard, Sammy, Russell or Sunil Narine started to prefer franchise cricket instead of playing for the country. At the same time, neighboring America is trying to steal the best players from the West Indies. Well-built Caribbean athletes are extremely useful in American football, basketball and track and field. America is ready to take these players cheaply who are looking for financial shelter somewhere.
Criteria for Team Selection: Today, West Indies have failed to tie the players. They have to compete with what they have. Those who are major players, if they want, they play for the country. The selection of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine during the 2022 World Twenty20 World Cup was a similar mess. Russell wanted to play but head of selectors Henslato did not; Narayan had no desire to play for the country. Although the team is always a mix of veterans and newcomers, new players are automatically ready to lead the team. The current team also has good players like Jayden Seals, Alec Athanez. There is Nicholas Puran, bought for 16 crores in the IPL, Alzari Joseph or captain Shai Hope; But as all these players come together for some time, team results cannot be achieved.
Emphasis on individual performance: Today, West Indies players are still in great demand to play in various leagues around the world. All these players perform at an individual level while playing with that franchise, again the main reason is money. When they show the availability for the country, they do not show their effect. It is a day of great disappointment for West Indies cricket. To come out of this pit of despair, West Indies will have to do Shri Ganesha again. One is that today they are so abysmal that from now on they will only have a direction to improve performance. But, to do this West Indies will need a goal. It may not even be pure money. In 1882, when English cricket lost to Australia, the Ashes was born and English cricket was revived. In 1976, when Tony Greig called them the Black Community, they showed England what a fire in Babylon was. One such burning ember is needed today for the rebirth of West Indies cricket.
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