The once almighty West Indies, who used to strike fear into opponents before a ball was bowled from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, have become the Waning in the sport that they used to dominate.
Their heaviest-ever Test defeat, beaten by Australia by 419 runs at the Adelaide Oval in just four days, has left serious question marks hovering over what’s gone so terribly wrong.
The huge gulf between Australia and the tourists leave Cricket West Indies (CWI) desperately searching for answers to stop the recent rot.
There’s no simple solution, like pressing the reset button, only a holistic approach can help to solve problems. Talent is not the issue where cricket is concerned in the region.
Former West Indies captain Sir Vivian Richards feels that there are many issues between the board and its players but the team should play better given the immense amount of talent it has.
“We have an enormous amount of talent in the region and I am not sure exactly why we are in this position at the moment because, to be fair, we should have gone clear in terms of where we’re at now, looking to compete at the highest level against the best teams in the world. That whole program which was started earlier to recognize individuals that can take us forward, I am not seeing that at present,” he said.
“There are a lot of issues to be sorted out, more the individuals who want to put their heart and soul into West Indies cricket, and until we get that sort of collective environment, we will continue to see some of the things we’re seeing now,” he added.
Considered to be one of the greatest batsmen to ever play the game, Sir Vivian said that even if the players are the ones who go out to play, the blame should be collective as everyone involved is responsible.
“It is just not the players alone because the board has got to be on board as well to try and find a solution, because let’s not forget it was West Indies cricket who gave these individuals an opportunity for them to be something big in the world … so the guys have got to have a little respect for that as well,” the former player said.
“The board … if there is some ill-treatment to players, they’ve got to find a way because it is not just going to take players alone, it is going to take a collective sort of environment to get that done,” he added.
Sir Vivian accepted that change will not be instant but believes it must be radical.
“The most important thing is for us to try and find the missing links and things that can maybe help to improve because it’s not going to happen overnight where these guys are going to make this drastic change. It takes a process and I guess we have to be a little patient where that is concerned, we’re going to lose before we start winning again and we’ve got to have a clear idea of exactly where we want to be and where we’d like to be in the end,” he said.
The West Indies team failed to qualify for the Super12s of the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup in October after losing to Scotland and Ireland, in the qualifiers.