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.

AbrahamSouth Korea showcases missiles, drones and tanks in rare military parade(26.09.2023, 06:33)(06:33)0
AbrahamPresident Dr Kishore Shallow congratulates Guyana Amazon Warriors on being CPL Champions(25.09.2023, 20:27)(20:27)0
AbrahamFirst thing first big congrats to the Guyana Amazon Warriors and their long suffering fans.

Second thing second only 4 out of 34 CPL games went into the final over this year.

I'm not here to be a cheerleader I'm here to talk the inconvenient truth.

Quality was LOW
(25.09.2023, 20:16)(20:16)0
Yareli62 for 6(24.09.2023, 20:07)(20:07)0
ketchimGoooo Amazon !(24.09.2023, 14:29)(14:29)0
ketchimAmazon Warriors vs Knight Riders !(24.09.2023, 14:22)(14:22)0
ketchimCPL FINAL 7 pm, tonight !(24.09.2023, 14:22)(14:22)0
YareliPresident Irfaan Ali and Guyana Amazon Warriors captain Imran Tahir joined other worshippers at Friday prayers at the Queenstown Masjid.

The Warriors are down to play defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs in Qualifier Two on Friday night from 19:00h at the National Stadium, Providence.

The winner will face four-time champions Trinbago Knight Riders in Sunday's final at the same venue, from 19:00h.

(Photo: Shaz Ally)
(22.09.2023, 20:16)(20:16)0
YareliGaw 71 for 2 after 10 overs(22.09.2023, 19:51)(19:51)0
AbrahamSri Lanka selectors are scheduled to announce the World cup squad today. Few important questions to be answered! The injury concerns of Chameera and Hasaranga? The batting make up and the big question about Dasun's future ! Skipper or not in the squad or not? Should know the answers shortly.(20.09.2023, 18:19)(18:19)0
YareliFormer Guyana and West Indies all-rounder Narsingh Deonarine turned in a Player-of-the-Match performance to lead West Indies to victory over Australia on the opening day of the Over-40s Cricket Global Cup 2023 in Karachi, Pakistan.

West Indies emerged with an 84-run victory on Tuesday, joining hosts Pakistan, Canada and Hong Kong as winners on the first day of the 45-over tournament.

Batting first, West Indies posted 267-7 from the full allotment of overs and then dismissed Australia for 183 from 35 overs.

In photos, Deonarine receives the Player-of-the-Match award for his 65 and 1-20 and fellow Guyanese Mahendra Nagamootoo plays a shot during his 16-ball 27.

READ MORE: https://newsroom.gy/2023/09/19/deonarine-leads-from-the-front-as-west-indies-o-40-beat-australia/
(19.09.2023, 16:03)(16:03)0
MarisolWhy Guyanese hooked on cricket when baseball is more lucrative?(18.09.2023, 10:52)(10:52)0
ketchimBangladesh beat India by 6 runs...(15.09.2023, 14:55)(14:55)0
ketchimdebutant Matthew Nandu looked good in the WIN(14.09.2023, 13:32)(13:32)0
ketchimAmazon vs Tallawahs 7 p.m. Today!(13.09.2023, 11:42)(11:42)0
WillThousands of people were killed and at least 10,000 were missing in Libya in floods caused by a huge Mediterranean storm that burst dams, swept away buildings and wiped out as much as a quarter of the eastern coastal city of Derna.(12.09.2023, 18:35)(18:35)0
MarisolOk(10.09.2023, 19:26)(19:26)0
MarisolHopefully the men step up(10.09.2023, 19:25)(19:25)0
ketchimTerrible decision to WIN TOSS and BOWL...(10.09.2023, 19:09)(19:09)0
ketchimRoyals win by 8 runs......(10.09.2023, 19:05)(19:05)0
MarisolOutttt(10.09.2023, 18:53)(18:53)0
Marisol666(10.09.2023, 18:52)(18:52)0
Marisol4444(10.09.2023, 18:51)(18:51)0
Marisol21 from 8(10.09.2023, 18:44)(18:44)0
Marisol22 from 9(10.09.2023, 18:44)(18:44)0
MarisolNabi stumped(10.09.2023, 18:42)(18:42)0
MarisolWarriors need 23(10.09.2023, 18:41)(18:41)0
TerrellGuyana 6 straight Ws outta 6 played !(10.09.2023, 14:45)(14:45)0
AudreyTKR taking home the trophy!(10.09.2023, 12:59)(12:59)0
AudreyGo Royals!(10.09.2023, 12:58)(12:58)0
Audreyno one watching CPL? Royals beating up GAW(10.09.2023, 12:41)(12:41)0
WillSpain: Soccer Head Faces Sexual Assault Charge over Forced Kiss; Women Players Strike over Pay(09.09.2023, 18:26)(18:26)0
WillCongo Faces “Worst Hunger Catastrophe” as Mineral Extraction Enriches the Few(09.09.2023, 18:25)(18:25)0
Willshout box is for anything(09.09.2023, 18:21)(18:21)0
Willhi(09.09.2023, 18:20)(18:20)0
VillageBelleThe shoutbox still busy......with cricket the main topic. Hello all!!(09.09.2023, 18:03)(18:03)0
MarisolGood morning(08.09.2023, 07:03)(07:03)0
ketchim36 after 4 0vers GO girls !(05.09.2023, 14:48)(14:48)0
ketchimAmazon Women chose to Bat vs Trinbago : after(05.09.2023, 14:47)(14:47)0
ketchim7:00 PM
Guyana Amazon Warriors vs. Trinbago Knight Riders
(05.09.2023, 14:36)(14:36)0
ketchimHappy 52 birthday to Guyana Amazon Warrior COACH, Lance Kluesner !(04.09.2023, 13:19)(13:19)0
ketchimLabour Day holiday in Canada !(04.09.2023, 11:05)(11:05)0
ketchimHeath Streak dead at 49 R.I.P great fast bowler(03.09.2023, 14:51)(14:51)0
Karleewin(02.09.2023, 16:42)(16:42)0
Karleewith a 98 run gives super NRR(02.09.2023, 16:41)(16:41)0
KarleeGuyana tops CPL standings Yeeeaaahhh(02.09.2023, 16:40)(16:40)0
gakar74911The KIU LMS is user-friendly and easy to navigate, providing students with access to course materials, assessments, discussion forums, and other resources. Kiu Lms Student Login(01.09.2023, 06:05)(06:05)0
ketchimAmazon WIN : by 34 runs(27.08.2023, 15:06)(15:06)0
Enrique210(27.08.2023, 11:58)(11:58)0
EnriqueGuyana 209 wow !(27.08.2023, 11:57)(11:57)0
Go to top