Says Stephan Sookram
FLIPPING through social media Wednesday morning, I notice that there are a lot of cheers and congratulations going around for the West Indies team that qualified for the World Cup 2019 set for England and Wales.
But why are people celebrating? We haven’t won the cup. As a matter of fact, they played basically non-member and affiliate teams to seal their spot there (with the exception of Ireland, Afghanistan and hosts Zimbabwe of course). Yes, they went through. But they basically had to tussle with the Scotlands and Hong Kongs of this world to see another world cup tournament and their fans, some of us, are celebrating.
Woo Hoo! We took advantage of teams that haven’t a third of our cricketing heritage to secure a spot that in my view we aren’t deserved of. Still, the latter may be harsh by some terms but it’s time to stop sugar-coating the side that have left much to be desired.
Maybe it’s time to call out those spades and dub the failures, failures.
Wednesday’s match for instance. The rains saved us. Rain!! We had top flight players and it took luck and a bit of bad officiating to hand us a spot. And we celebrate!
And then the captain Jason Holder has the gall to say it was a collective effort. Effort of what? Inconsistency and all-round doggedness as a unit?
Whatever this collectiveness that Holder speaks of must be a state secret.
The silver lining is that Keemo Paul got his call-up to the senior team and had it not been for the band of misfiring maroons before that caused the Windies to play the qualifier he may have had to wait a little longer. The world may never know.
And if that’s what you’re celebrating, (his call-up) then by every means, go ahead. I won’t fault you on that. It’s worth it, even though he was the replacement for an injured player.
But don’t turn around to tell me that you’re celebrating beating Scotland on Duckworth Lewis by 5 runs after a bad call by an official. Five runs separated you from absence from a major tournament. Let that sink in – a boundary and a single separated a full member association being eliminated from a major ICC tournament.
Don’t tell me you are celebrating qualifying for a tournament that you should have been an automatic candidate.
And don’t duck and hide, Cricket West Indies. This blame falls on you as well. Your railroading of several senior players has not gone unnoticed. We’ve seen your rank politics firsthand affect several players in the past and there is no promise that moving forward, it won’t continually occur to those outspoken players.
Still, I expect a letter of commendation from the top brass stating that they are satisfied by a job well done and congrats and all the flowery language that goes with it, but who are you fooling Surely not those who have regional cricket at heart.
However, I really hope that the Regional side has perfected its rain dance to a tee because they’ll need a monsoon to overcome what awaits them in England against full member teams, who are hungry for a win – teams that take their cricket seriously with fans who do the same.