One of the mightiest teams of the past has somehow faded into the shadows in the past few years. The West Indies Cricket Team was known to have players like Brian Lara, Viv Richards amazing many others. Yet, in the past few years, the cricket board has been facing too many problems with their own players, which has further affected the performance of the cricket team as a whole. With World Cup around the corner and IPL 2019 going on, one can only wonder how the West Indian players are solving their issues with the board.
Jumping straight to 2019, it has been quite evident that the performance of the West Indian players in the IPL 2019 has been more exception. The West Indies have come with their guns blazing and showed the world what they are capable of. IPL 2019 has truly shown the brilliance of these players and is a strong signal, that no board or no tournament can stop these players from firing away. IPL 2019 has helped these players to find a base and showcasing why the problems with the cricket board of West Indies need to be sorted.
Origin of the problem
The problem arises when The West Indies Cricket Board came up with policies which were severely restrictive to their players. This created a huge rift between the players and the boards, causing many to walk out. At one point, the West Indies Cricket Board even decided not to fund the players anymore. One of the major points of contention was when the West Indies players were considered ineligible to even partake in the national squad if they don’t participate in full in the West Indian regional leagues. This backward policy was extremely demeaning for the players.
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The problem had reached to such level that extreme Minister of Jamaica, PJ Patterson, a die-hard cricket fan and supporter headed a committee of former cricket officials and journalists, and presented an extensive and inclusive report in which 65 recommendations were made. Yet most of the recommendations were ignored barring one- which involved the name of the board to be changed to simply Cricket West Indies.
The Role Of IPL
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IPL 2019 has proved to be a field for the West Indian flare. While in previous IPLs also West Indian crickets like Dwayne Bravo or Darren Sammy had made their mark, this IPL cricket game of 2019 is a further step ahead.
From Andre Russell- with a strike rate of 212.40, to Chris Gayle (223 runs from 6 innings coming at a strike-rate of 158.16), from Keiron Pollard (179 runs at 44.75 runs apiece coming at a strike-rate of 194.57) to Alzarri Joseph (debuting with the best IPL bowling figures ever of 6 wickets for 12 runs to secure a win for Mumbai), every single player has proved his mantle.
Both Russell and Pollard have been instrumental in securing victories for their respective teams in IPL 2019. This stellar performance by the players from the Caribbean in welcome news ahead of their World Cup campaign.
This is especially great since West Indies Cricket Board’s current chairman Ricky Skerritt has assured that they will mend relations with the players and select a formidable squad. Whether the IPL 2019 performance by the West Indians has helped change the chairman’s mind or not is a different question, but there seems to be an effort to wake up the sleepy West Indian Cricket Team which has been resting for too long.
While the Board might have been trying to come to a solution for far too long, but one cannot deny the role of IPL 2019, which really gave these players the exposure. The IPL has made everyone including the Board to sit up and understand that with such a spirited and in form team, there world cup chances are very high. It is now up to the Board and the players as to what their next plan of action will be to revive the fallen lion. Till then, all we can do us enjoy the Caribbean storm in IPL 2019.
Also published on Medium.