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West Indies Cricket Board and Why is West Indian Cricket in such a terrible state?

Ned Walters
13.93K   //    11 Jan 2016, 12:34 IST
West Indies ICC World T20 2012
West Indies team celebrating the 2012 ICC World T20 win

Some time ago West Indian Cricket was something that the people in the West Indies were proud of. There was an abundance of talent and motivation present in the team, and an abundance of belief and hope in the country about their team.

The Windies had the luck to have a marvellous group of players come together in the same place and at the same historical juncture.

They had an amazing captain in Clive Lloyd and the world’s most feared batsman, Viv Richards, who together with the likes of Greenidge and Haynes, formed a team feared by all.

Another fact that ironically helped their game was the social and political oppression, something which was strongly perceived at the time towards their black stars. They felt that by playing their best game, they, as a black team, could leave their imprint in cricket history, a sport historically dominated by their oppressors. And they did.

Social and political conditions have changed for the better now, but West Indies cricket has been in marked decline ever since their glory days. The reason for this has been money, or to be more precise, lack thereof.

The West Indies are not a country, they are 16 states joined together, and all of them share the same problem – they haven’t got enough funds to inject into their favourite sport. And while countries like Australia, England, South Africa and India were investing heavily in cricket, the West Indies were happy to stay stagnant moneywise.

Unfortunately, they have now regressed. This in turn has made leagues like the BBL much more appealing to West Indies players.

The West Indies Cricket Board is unable to cope with the financial power of the other cricket loving countries. This is painfully obvious to all West Indies fans, who for years now have been left demoralized.

In fact in 2005 their beloved cricket team almost didn’t appear for a tri series in Australia because of a disagreement regarding payment. In 2009, the fielding of an eleven made up of players who normally wouldn’t come near to featuring in a West Indies cricket team was the reason for an embarrassing defeat from Bangladesh.

Financial problems were the issue in both cases. Dispirited supporters often joke in some of their game reviews that cricket board members should visit Mobile Casino Safari and win some of the bonuses available there, hoping that this will help their struggling national team.

Disunity is another problem that the nations in the West Indies have to deal with. They are a group of islands that have had their fair share of differences, and it seems that the same problems have transferred themselves onto the pitch. This is apparent from the ongoing feud between the players and the people in the board which has resulted in some undignified strikes.

However, the divergence of interests has had a much more devastating effect to the sport of cricket, and this is that cricket is losing some top-drawer young potential to other, better organized sports. It is well recorded that cricked has lost many a player to sports such as football and basketball in recent years.

So can something change in the foreseeable future? The answer is probably ‘No’. England, Australia and India have an option to help, but they will most likely decide against it. And the ICC, much like all major sports organizations, just doesn’t seem interested in anything other than making an extra buck for its greedy members.

Unfortunately, as things stand, it seems that clubs from financially stronger countries will still raid the West Indies for their most talented players in years to come.

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