West Indies Glory, FINALLY!

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    Oct 15, 2012
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West Indies Glory, FINALLY!

The West Indies, a well known cricket team comprised of members from not only one country but fifteen mainly English speaking Caribbean countries, British and non-British dependencies have finally won again.

After years upon years of no trophy, the West Indians finally rallied together to win the ICC World Twenty 20 Tournament. Was this a surprise? Certainly not. The potential has been there all along.

Many years ago, the West Indies dominated both Test and One Day International Cricket. They have produced a number of cricketers that have become household names, have had cricket stands at stadiums named after them and have been inducted into the ICC Hall of fame.  West Indies cricketers such as Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh, Sir Viv Richards, Michael Holding, George Headley and Sir Garfield Sobers are some of the best cricketers in the world.

Courtney Walsh in particular has continued the tradition of helping us to glue our eyes to the television to not only keep up with cricket but sports in general. He is the owner of Cuddy’z Sports Bar located on 30 Dominica Drive, New Kingston. The atmosphere there is certainly a fun filled one surrounded by televisions, sports memorabilia and the added incentive of ordering a wide range of tasty food and drinks. The atmosphere at Cuddy’z certainly reminds us of the good old days of West Indian cricket.

West Indies won the ICC World Cup twice in the 70s and our last triumph was the ICC Champions trophy in 2004, almost a decade ago. Over the years, our main rival has been Australia. You can therefore imagine the joy of defeating them in style in the semifinals of the ICC World Twenty 20 Tournament. Surely we will also remember face-offs between the great, Curtley Ambrose and the Waugh brothers or Brian Lara versus Shane Warne and Glen McGrath. Certainly, a cohesive team used to exist. The names Jimmy Adams, Phil Simmons, Carl Hooper, Richie Richardson, Ridley Jacobs and Shivnarine Chanderpaul should ring a bell.

The great memories of that cohesive team have been smeared by players that followed their legacy with inconsistent finishes in major tournaments from the 90s till the present, namely the World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and ICC World Twenty 20. West Indies have failed to rise as champions in any of the previously mentioned more than twice.

Our ‘good times’ were undoubtedly in the mid-70s to mid-80s. After that, gone were the days of discipline that past cricketers and great contributors to the sport, such as Basil Williams and others tried to instill in the team.  Controversies with past captains such as Brian Lara and Chris Gayle have created major turning points, doing more harm than good to the team. Low team spirit and politics within the cricket board have also had a negative impact.

So now, do we finally have the cohesiveness that it takes to keep winning? A smiling coach (who was not known to be a pleasant one in his days of playing), good team spirit, no segregated heroes, more rounded players, the drive to play and win just for the love of cricket and not fame or money and the thirst for future dominance! These were all displayed on the world’s stage for us to see in our current West Indies team. Good signs for the days ahead.

Times are now different with greater opportunities for the cricketers to play in clubs as athletes can in the soccer world. This should be an even greater motivation for our cricketers to succeed and dominate and have cricket be the sport that a large number of people want to watch again.

West Indies fans are harsh and unforgiving at times, but no matter how much we fuss and argue, ‘WI ALL IN!’ To the West Indies team, continue to be inspired, use this win as motivation to keep winning. Learn how to change your strategy according to the type of cricket being played, whether it be one day, twenty 20 or a test series. Avoid distractions at all costs. Convert the joyful old memories of the West Indies to new, successful memories. Rally together and win, and ‘stop mek wi bite wi finganail dem!…sometimes :)’

- By Gabrielle Williams

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