Time to split up the West Indies?

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Time to split up the West Indies?

Postby mikesiva » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:20 am

Every now and then, there is a groundswell of opinion in countries like Jamaica and Trinidad, to "go it alone", and break away from the West Indies. This is usually as a result of some perceived slight done to their national cricketers. However, for serious go it alone fans, it is about progress and stopping a movement that has outdone its time. There is very little if any relevance. Cricket is the only thing that is still West Indies and it is hard to justify it when every other sport and cultural event doesn't operate under that banner.

I mean, what is the point of West Indies as a cricketing institution?

I remember the days when cricket ranked alongside football as one of the two most popular sports in Jamaica, and ahead of athletics. Now, cricket is a distant third, behind football and athletics in Jamaica. A lot of Jamaicans feel that they would be more likely to support a Jamaican cricket team than a West Indies one:

The WICB is dominated by a group of people who are not respected by the cricket fans throughout the region. The perception is that West Indies are on the decline under recent administrations, and that this is unlikely to change any time soon. It probably won't change if the team broke up into Jamaica, Trinidad, etc, but at least the sport has a chance of becoming relevant once again to a younger generation for whom West Indies means little, and national allegiances mean a lot more.

So, the West Indies team is no longer working. Our ODI side has declined until it is now eighth in the world, so there's no chance of us ever reaching a World Cup final any time soon, like we did in the 1970s and 1980s. Our Test team is forever stuck in the bottom half of the table, and there's no chance of us every being a contender for the number one spot in the years to come.

Our only joy is the T20 team, but, to be fair, if Trinidad and Tobago went it alone, they would be in with a good chance of winning this title, since they fielded six of the 11 players in that final - and Darren Bravo didn't play!

Maybe Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados should field separate teams in international cricket, because at least then they would have better control over the governance of the sport in their national structures. Jamaica, for example, have had success with their athletics programme, and could transfer that system to their cricketing structure, and every other country could feel free to implement a structure that works best for them.

But as long as the WICB remains stuck in its antiquated ways, there's nothing that Caribbean governments can do to reform it, because the WICB cannot be affected by any legislation in any specific country. Say what you want about the rights or wrongs about the Guyanese court's rulings on the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), the fact remains that the GCB was operating unconstitutionally, and that the WICB defended an unconstitutionally created body. The fact that the WICB has resisted attempts by the Guyanese government shows how reluctant they are to implement any changes to their governance.

So, we're either stuck with the mediocrity that West Indies cricket has become, or we forge a new destiny in a situation where we have more control...I know what I would prefer.
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Re: Time to split up the West Indies?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:00 pm

How much of it would have Test match status Mike?

Probably not Guyana, so Shiv would play for an associate members side. Maybe Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad could be Test teams, but like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, they might struggle to attract tours. Could you play a three Test series in Barbados? Unlike other countries, they don't seem to have the facilities or populations to allow a tour. Maybe Jamaica does.

Seems sticking or twisting is equally problematic. But the best chance for cricket in the Caribbean is if the team is successful. As we saw with the interest in the T20 win. Surely they have a better chance of achieving that as a 'united' team.
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Re: Time to split up the West Indies?

Postby Making_Splinters » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:00 pm

While it may seem like a solid idea to decentralise West Indies cricket, it is to me at least a completely unfeasible idea: There is simply not the level of funding or cricket infrastructure on any of the Islands to support an international team at Test, ODI or T20 level which would ultimately condemn West Indies cricket to the league levels and kill off West Indies cricket in the process.

To get the Windies out of the doldrums the team needs to start producing performances on the field and the ego culture which has developed over the last few years with the board attempting to stamp their power onto the players has to be completely removed; as anyone who has had children will know, if you tell them not to do something they will try to do it any way they can do.
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