West Indies Cricket Fans Forum

Font size: +
6 minutes reading time (1107 words)

Are we witnessing the death of West Indies cricket?


The West Indies team just reached the ripe age of 21. The achievement of the number 21 is special as it marks the coming of age of a person, male or female. Our West Indies team reached 21, the same number of test matches played between India and the West Indies where the West Indies have not registered a victory.

For the past 20 years, the West Indies have been making the record books for the wrong reasons. We have changed boards, administrators, moved the board’s headquarters, changed coaches and coaching personnel, changed players with distressing frequency. We have not found the fix to correct what may now be called the terminal decline in performance of this once proud team that made opponents sick with fear when playing us.

Cricket was once considered a religion in this region. Young boys became men playing this game. It tested your reflexes, your eyesight, fitness, patience and most importantly, your courage when facing a ball bowled at you in excess of 90 miles per hour. In short, this game tested one’s character.  So what has happened over the last 25 years that led to the steady decline at first and now the rapid decline in the West Indies team performance?

The late C. L. R. James captured the true essence of what the game of cricket means to the people of the region in his book Beyond a Boundary. As part of the British Empire, the British West Indies people observed and accepted much of the British culture, and part of this culture were the games that imperial Britain transferred to the region. Cricket became very popular amongst the masses, who saw it as a means of proving their equality with those seen as better off in society and finally with the British overlords.

This became particularly true during the rise of West Indies nationalism during the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, our cricket team triumphed in England, and we became world champions for the first time when we defeated Australia in 1965. The region produced world class players at an astonishing rate; for a region so small, we produced cricketers of such quality that they were highly sought after by the English counties. This fact, I believe, helped to transform the West Indies cricket team from one of talented individuals, to a team whose core consisted of hardened professionals that went on to dominate world cricket.

What happened thereafter? Well, from about the mid-1980s, English county teams stopped contracting our players, particularly our batsmen. Our fast bowlers were consistently contracted but even this stopped, eventually.  The English realized that they were turning our talented cricketers into tough professionals, who then turned around and defeated them with alarming regularity as, at one stage, England had not won a series against us for 35 years of cricket from the mid ‘70s to the early 2000s.

More importantly though, the business of cricket changed. The advent of World Series Cricket from 1977 changed the game from that of the preserve of sporting associations to that where private individuals could make money, and lots of it; cricket is now a global game televised via ESPN, the US sports network. As a result, countries decided that it was best that they developed their own talented players as opposed to other players from other test playing countries. The West Indies administrators who may have been of the view that we would continue to produce outstanding players apparently failed to take notice of these changes.

In addition, social changes were occurring domestically. Most males in my age range would have grown up playing village cricket in the public road or on playing fields in their villages. I noted the absence of this activity as I matured. One hardly sees young boys doing this these days. This is where most West Indies batsmen and bowlers learned the game. There was no real formal coaching. Most learnt just by watching, and regular constant practice, during school holidays, before school, during lunch and after school. This loss resulted from the growth of the middle class and the loss of young adults from the villages to the developments, an unintended consequence of economic growth.

At the same time, England, Australia, South Africa and the Indian sub-continent appeared to have increased their investment in player development. These aforementioned areas also have well developed first-class cricket systems to further hone the skill sets of cricketers.

This intense coaching, practice and playing in a professional league structure can transform average players into good players and good players into very good or even great players. More importantly, it transforms players into hardened professionals. Most of the players who make it into the test teams in these areas have played a significant amount of cricket at a relatively high standard. As a result, when they make their test debut, they are basically ready to perform at the higher level.

West Indies, on the other hand, having lost England as the base for further player development, find our players with a significant gulf between our standard of first class cricket and that at the test level. Our first class cricket structure is weak and does not properly prepare our players for the test arena.

We do not see the economic benefits of investing in sports and hence lack the finances to create a sustainable professional league system. This would prepare our players for the next level of competitiveness at test level, in addition to employment for support staff. The lack of a professional league results in our inconsistent performances at test level where the demands are greater, where poor batting techniques are cruelly exposed, and where poor bowling is similarly punished by good teams.

Unless the policymakers of our beloved game take a long hard examination of the challenges facing the game in the Caribbean, come up with a set of strategies to rescue its future, one can only see the continued under performance of our teams at test level.

Edward Hunte, an attorney-at-law, is the holder of an MBA with concentrations in Economics & Finance. He was also an economist with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

CPL 2019: Tallawahs stun Tridents in thriller
Sri Lanka to go Ahead with Pakistan Tour Despite T...

Guyana Diaspora Forum

We have a large database of Guyanese worldwide.  Most of our readers are in the USA, Canada, and the UK.  Our Blog and Newsletter  would not only carry  articles and videos on Guyana, but also other articles on a wide range of subjects that may be of interest to our readers in over 200 countries, many of them non-Guyanese  We hope that you like our selections.

It is estimated that over one million Guyanese, when counting their dependents, live outside of Guyana.  This exceeds the population of Guyana, which is now about 750,000.  Many left early in the 50’s and 60’s while others went with the next wave in the 70’s and 80’s.  The latest wave left over the last 20 years. This outflow of Guyanese, therefore, covers some three generations. This outflow still continues today, where over 80 % of U.G. graduates now leave after graduating.  We hope this changes, and soon.

Guyanese, like most others, try to keep their culture and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.  The problem has been that many Guyanese have not looked back, or if they did it was only fleetingly.  This means that the younger generations and those who left at an early age know very little about Guyana since many have not visited the country.  Also, if they do get information about Guyana, it is usually negative and thus the cycle of non-interest is cultivated.

This Guyana Diaspora Online Forum , along with its monthly newsletter, aims at bringing Guyanese together to support positive news, increase travel and tourism in Guyana and, in general, foster the birth of a new Guyana, which has already begun notwithstanding the negative news that grabs the headlines.  As the editor and manager of the publication, I am committed to delivering Blog entries and Newsletters that are politically balanced, and focused on the positive ideas we wish to share and foster among Guyanese.

chJustin Verlander and the New York Mets are in agreement on a contract, sources(05.12.2022, 13:26)(13:26)0
chNo surprise here: Joe Flacco will be the QB2 again this week, per Saleh. Zach Wilson will be inactive again(02.12.2022, 12:39)(12:39)0
ketchimEngland arrived in Pakistan for the first time in 17 years(28.11.2022, 12:57)(12:57)0
ketchimhttps://www.cricketwindies.com/forum/the-pitch/46544-from-majid-khan-to-waqar-younis(28.11.2022, 12:56)(12:56)0
chPakistan fans - who makes your XI for the first Test against England?(28.11.2022, 12:43)(12:43)0
ketchimDavid Murray 1950 - 2022 Gloveman Rest in peace ~(26.11.2022, 10:41)(10:41)0
RayCristiano Ronaldo to leave Man Utd with immediate effect(22.11.2022, 13:41)(13:41)0
chThere were 56K tickets sold in less than 48 hours to Sunday’s Cleveland-Buffalo game in Detroit — mostly, of course, to Bills’ fans.(19.11.2022, 17:51)(17:51)0
chShould the Toronto Maple Leafs Trade for Rumored Defensemen?(17.11.2022, 13:57)(13:57)0
ketchimBishop pulling a Trini PICONG lol(15.11.2022, 14:40)(14:40)0
RemingtonFormer West Indies fast bowler and current commentator Ian Bishop says all-rounder Hardik Pandya is fit to be the next captain of India’s T20 team.

In the 2022 IPL, Hardik led the Gujarat Titans to their maiden title win in their very first season. Titans led by Pandya won the match against Rajasthan Royal by seven wickets.
(15.11.2022, 13:09)(13:09)0
ketchimShiv presented the MoM and MoS awards !(13.11.2022, 16:01)(16:01)0
ketchimShiv part of presentation party of T20 WC champs England after accepting his Hall of Fame award in Australia !(13.11.2022, 12:34)(12:34)0
ketchimEngland Win WC T20i(13.11.2022, 11:13)(11:13)0
CyrusEngland crucify India to play FINAL T20i versus(10.11.2022, 10:14)(10:14)0
ketchimPakistan thump Kiwis and advances to WC T20iFINAL(09.11.2022, 12:19)(12:19)0
ketchimShiv inducted into Hall of Fame !(08.11.2022, 09:03)(09:03)0
ketchimJinx the chap caught on 94(06.11.2022, 15:27)(15:27)0
ketchimDevon Thomas will clock a Ton as well !(06.11.2022, 15:03)(15:03)0
ketchimDutch Motherland knocks the Dutch Afrikaan outta the T20i World Cup !(06.11.2022, 13:52)(13:52)0
chairmanGood morning(05.11.2022, 08:33)(08:33)0
ketchimCricket Legend Imran Khan shot in leg !(03.11.2022, 10:36)(10:36)0
chairmanShepherd hear what stop bowling, play as a batsman - you can safely make WI team in front Brooks & Rovman. When you settle in you will bowl between overs 7-14.(02.11.2022, 22:24)(22:24)0
ketchimTage need another match before leaving for Australia(02.11.2022, 13:41)(13:41)0
ketchimKacy Carthy 103*(02.11.2022, 13:40)(13:40)0
chSecond successive century for Windward Islands opener Alick Athanaze in Super 50 action today as he reaches his century off 97 balls

Will he get a call up for West Indies in 2023 if this form continues?
(02.11.2022, 12:09)(12:09)0
ZendayaAlick Athanaze 140
Kaveem Hodge 105*

Amari Goodridge 2/57
(02.11.2022, 12:02)(12:02)0
chPowerball jackpot hits $1 billion, its second-highest total ever(01.11.2022, 13:09)(13:09)0
chairmanAllick Alick Athanaze Congratulations on your maiden LIst A Century.(31.10.2022, 17:10)(17:10)0
chairmanOne person called in and said ...dig up all the cricket pitches in the Caribbean and just plant marijuana ??(27.10.2022, 13:59)(13:59)0
chairmanRussian court rejects Griner appeal of her 9-year sentence(25.10.2022, 11:48)(11:48)0
chairmanPhil Simmons has resigned.(24.10.2022, 16:56)(16:56)0
chairmanHappy Diwali(24.10.2022, 16:50)(16:50)0
ketchimHappy DIWALI !(24.10.2022, 14:25)(14:25)0
ketchimSaffies No Result vs Zimbabwe ( neighbours)(24.10.2022, 14:24)(14:24)0
ketchimOooooppps....Bangla?Netherlands !(24.10.2022, 14:23)(14:23)0
JaydenBangladesh thump Ireland ..(24.10.2022, 14:21)(14:21)0
chairmanSri Lanka crush Ireland by nine wickets(24.10.2022, 11:38)(11:38)0
chairmanConsidering the continuous decline in West Indies Cricket over the past two decades.

Do you think Guyana should severed ties from the West Indies Cricket ? Board ?
(22.10.2022, 17:16)(17:16)0
chairmanT20 World Cup: Ireland and Zimbabwe through, West Indies and Scotland out(21.10.2022, 09:50)(09:50)0
ketchimFinal chance for Super 12 OR ~pack up yuh bags and leh we go ~(20.10.2022, 20:57)(20:57)0
ketchimW.I. vs Ireland at Midnight(20.10.2022, 20:56)(20:56)0
VillageBelleAm I missing the obvious???(20.10.2022, 15:09)(15:09)0
VillageBelleHey Krishna.....how do I see the name of person making post on the SB? I have no idea who responded to my posts.(20.10.2022, 15:09)(15:09)0
chairmanCongratulations to Berbice and the other teams that participated in the return of Inter County Cricket to Guyana after many years. Kudos to President Bissoondyal Singh Snr and team.(19.10.2022, 14:23)(14:23)0
chairmanA win is a win(19.10.2022, 14:08)(14:08)0
ketchimWest Indies WIN(19.10.2022, 07:43)(07:43)0
ketchimScotland LOST(19.10.2022, 07:42)(07:42)0
chairmanA win would make Scotland firm favourites to qualify into the Super 12s(18.10.2022, 23:42)(23:42)0
chairmanScotland bat first in Ireland's must-win game(18.10.2022, 23:40)(23:40)0
Go to top