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West Indies: A call for euthanasia

jack_sparrow

U19 Debutant
When you were young, did your Dad ever put a much-loved pet out of its misery?
For example, drowning an obese and arthritic cat or taking that faithful, decrepit old sheepdog behind the barn and blowing his brains away?

I only ask because if so he might be needed to do a similar job on the West Indies cricket team at some point in the near future.

Surely we are reaching that point where ending it all would be a kindness, those cricket fans who would keep the Windies alive are surely remembering how things used to be and not how they are.

After all, it isn't 1994 anymore and Brian Lara is no more capable of taking this team back to the top than George Headley.

These walking adverts for euthanasia are in Australia at the moment, struggling to keep the head above water in tour matches in between humiliating Test defeats.

A draw in Melbourne against Victoria over the weekend was the latest heartbreaking instalment, the tourists getting a draw from a three-day game they might have lost by an innings had the hosts had more time.

Brad Hodge helped himself to 177, easy runs even for a man accustomed to making centuries in his sleep in the English county championship.

David Hussey, not even the best batsman in his family for the Windies to worry about, also made a ton out of 571 off 122 overs before taking the final wicket in a reply of 302.

Had time constraints not brought a merciful end to proceedings at that stage the umpires would surely have considered stopping the match for safety reasons.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul now has four days to try and regroup for the second Test as the Windies harbour forlorn hopes of squaring the series.

He will be able to call on the fading light of Brian Charles in Hobart but little else extra, these are terrible days for the nation many believe had the best team ever.

That era seems relatively recent, perhaps because the emergence of Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose meant that the Windies had the best pacemen in the world long after their true golden age.

In retrospect, those two were papering over the cracks more than any of us realised.

Think about it - during the last three years the Windies have boasted three all-time greats of the game.

Yet during the same period they have avoided being the worst team in the world only by an execrable England team or Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

There is a frightening list of players to wear the famous maroon cap in recent years: the fast bowling hall of shame alone is standing room only thanks to such luminaries as Cuffy, Cummins, MacLean, Gibson, Dillon, Rose et al.

Chanderpaul himself has been a top player and Ramnaresh Sarwan has had his moments but the subsequent quality gap in the last decade is astonishing.

Lara's autobiography after the 375 spent much time contemplating the talent drain; it was published a decade ago and not a single top player has been produced since.

C365 correspondent Shiraz Peer this weekend called for their relegation to a new second division of Test cricket.

This is a sort of toned-down version of my dissolution proposal: let's put the Windies in a home rather than a cemetery.

Lara ending his career against USA and Namibia would be enough to make a grown man cry, though he might get past 400 before hanging up the willow.

Moreover, these things are usually cyclical so logic and history suggest that the Windies will come again.

It makes sense to remain patient and await a recovery.

The vital signs are less than encouraging at the moment, however.

If they cannot use the 2007 World Cup as a springboard then maybe it really is time to accept that they are no longer good enough to compete at the highest level.

The concept of Test cricket without the West Indies is absurd but perhaps we should start thinking the unthinkable.

Link
 

marc71178

Eyes not spreadsheets
Whilst Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are around, there's not an ounce of credibility in calling for the Windies to be removed.
 

honestbharani

Whatever it takes!!!
I feel so sorry for them. I have to say it is the toughest thing to do to have to watch Lara walk in at around 40 for 2 more often than not, and hear the commentators say, "he should live up to his rating". I don't think anyone can play at their best when the side is as bad as the Windies are.
 

Slow Love™

International Captain
Peter May[/quote said:
Think about it - during the last three years the Windies have boasted three all-time greats of the game.

Yet during the same period they have avoided being the worst team in the world only by an execrable England team or Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
Eh? I guess he doesn't mean the last three years here...

I honestly can't tell how serious the writer is about calling it quits or relegation, but it gets a bit tiresome to hear this line after a while - particularly when the West Indies are predictably struggling against the number one (for a little while longer, at least :p) team in the world on their (Australia's) own shores, as Pakistan and New Zealand just did before them. Actually, those tours fuelled much talk of how the Australians were so far ahead of everybody else that test cricket was in a parlous state - and look what happened when Australia set sail for England.

Less hysteria would be nice. Teams such as England (which the author notes) and Australia have been in the doldrums before. We should save the "should this country be playing test cricket?" speech for countries where the issues are far more serious than a current lack of talent, because IMO there's a country that warrants this discussion seriously right this minute. The West Indians are likely to recover, and it could easily come sooner rather than later.
 

Mr Mxyzptlk

Request Your Custom Title Now!
First off, the reference to being outplayed by a State side as evidence for removal is ridiculous. It's happened to better teams in the past.

Just a year ago the West Indies won the Champions Trophy with a near flawless performance. The players showed guts, determination and pure talent. This doesn't mean that the West Indies is not by far the worst team in the world (bar the entirely dismal Zimbabwe and Bangladesh), but it does show what these players can do when they apply themselves.

The talent is there (as always), and I think that Bennett King, given the opportunity to do so, is the man to finally bring it as results. The problem at the moment is that signs of frustration are already evident, though understandably so. It seems that the media and West Indian fans expected a miracle-worker when King was hired, because he's "Australian" (ie God). It's ridiculous that people were calling for his head less than 6 months after the team played its first Test under him.

Building a worthwhile team from one in the state of the West Indies currently is a difficult process and will take time. With a poor grassroots structure, lack of funding and proper training facilities, King has a long road ahead of him. My hope is that he is allowed to walk the road.
 

Jungle Jumbo

International Vice-Captain
IMO West Indies till have lots to offer to international cricket, they add variety and falir to what would perhaps become a drab fixture list. They've hung onto the idea of a pace quartet for far to long, despite the fact the fast bowlers (barring Walsh and Ambrose) have not been up to previous standards set in the 1980s. While Walsh and Ambrose were around, they had some kind of cutting edge with no back up, hiding the flaws in their side, and the lack of a quality spinner has been evident for many years. But their batting lineup is still full of talent (Lara, Sarwan, Gayle, Chanderpaul), and once the internal problems are solved they may re-emerge. England were being slaughtered in Australia by the state sides in 2002, and I don't recall any people calling for them to be dropped then.
 

roseboy64

Cricket Web Content Updater
There Is No Lack Of Talent In The West Inides Just A Lack Of Application And Concentration.
 

roseboy64

Cricket Web Content Updater
Also, cricket isn't exactly a profession unless you make it to the West Indies team. If you get paid at all it's a paltry sum. That turns away prospective cricketers. Of course though poor West Indies performances turn away fans and sponsors so it's a revolving door really.
 

howardj

International Coach
Euthanasia is when you want to die, isn't it? I havent heard them say they want that. Therefore, I suggest that they just be suffocated against their will, perhaps using Richie Richardson's old maroon floppy.
 

Crazy Sam

International 12th Man
they've got the right coach in bennett king, they just need more time with him, and not against teams such as australia who are out of their league at this point.
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
Some people are obviously too young to remember the Aus side of the mid/late 80s.

They were no better than the WI.

These guys need time, attitude changes (see McGrath's comments on Gayle and Sarwan on cricinfo) and, most importantly, an injection of confidence.

One thing that you can guarantee is that they'll be back, it's just a question of when.
 

Beleg

International Regular
WI have the batting talent (Gayle, Sarwan, Lara, Chanders), though I am not so sure about their bowling.

Corey Collymore is a useful bowler but he isn't going go get you bucket-loads of wickets consistently on all surfaces. As for the rest, I though Fidel Edwards had as much promise as Ryon King, Best was the new Franklin Rose and the rest ammounted to a needle in a haystack.
 

Mr Mxyzptlk

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Beleg said:
WI have the batting talent (Gayle, Sarwan, Lara, Chanders), though I am not so sure about their bowling.

Corey Collymore is a useful bowler but he isn't going go get you bucket-loads of wickets consistently on all surfaces. As for the rest, I though Fidel Edwards had as much promise as Ryon King, Best was the new Franklin Rose and the rest ammounted to a needle in a haystack.
*Reon King, Franklyn Rose

Reon King is unfortunate that injury claimed him. In fact, injury claimed Collymore too. He used to bowl upwards of 90mph before his back injury. Imagine him bowling with the same accuracy that he does now, at that pace. Consider also that he gets seam movement and can swing it when the condtions suit. The prospect of that makes me sad that backs are so fragile.

Tino Best needs some discipline. That said, so did Franklyn Rose. Rose only got halfway there.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
There is enough talent in this West Indian side to help them compete with the best teams of today. However, as one fan said, there is an obvious lack of application.

All West Indian batsmen are very hard hitters of the ball, and on their day, they can turn a competitive or even a losing situation into a winning one. However, we often see them needlessly play loose shots or run themselves out- unfortunately once too often.

The new pace attack has the much-missed pace needed to take extra wickets. But as we see, they bowl all over the wicket at the wrong time and overstep way too often. They're also very inconsistent as a fielding side, mixing moments of brilliance with clumsiness.

Maybe it's just between the ears. Or a leadership issue.
 

Mr Mxyzptlk

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To be fair, the West Indian fielding that I've seen over the past 6-8 months has been quite outstanding. In Sri Lanka it was as good as any team has ever fielded. I do think that that's one area where Bennett King has made a clear difference.
 

vic_orthdox

Global Moderator
Just wondering, Liam, from the West Indian supporters' perspective, the reception to Bennett King getting the gig as coach, and also towards what he has achieved/hasn't achieved since he took over? Whether it's in your personal opinion, or just the general feeling amongst West Indians, just interested to hear some thoughts.
 

Slifer

International Regular
For me i think bringing in King is a step in the right direction. Because he is not from the islands he is less likely to be susceptible to some of the inter-island squabbling that is common. That said i dont expect a miracle over night. Baby-steps are what im looking for and so far i see a few steps in the right direction. One day the sun will shine on WI cricket again i just hope im around to c it happen again.
 

Mr Mxyzptlk

Request Your Custom Title Now!
vic_orthdox said:
Just wondering, Liam, from the West Indian supporters' perspective, the reception to Bennett King getting the gig as coach, and also towards what he has achieved/hasn't achieved since he took over? Whether it's in your personal opinion, or just the general feeling amongst West Indians, just interested to hear some thoughts.
Sadly, a lot of people have given up on King already, but that's largely because of armchair coaching tendencies and general ignorance. Many fans believe that a good coach is one who comes in and immediately turns things around. What people need to realize is that it's all a process, and although the West Indies won the CT right before King took over, then dominated his first Test in charge, this is a very very poor team. Good potential amongst individuals, but a very poor team.

King is only human. He's not a miracle worker. Since coming on board there have been improvements evident, despite the constant defeat. The bowlers may not be world-beaters, but throughout this year they've certainly been better than on past occasions. For example, the chief reason the West Indies have been thrashed by Australia this time around has been the inept batting, rather than the bowling.

The fielding is a HUGE improvement. On the last tour of Australia, we could barely hold any of the simple chances. Now we're not only holding the simple chances, but taking the brilliant ones too.

Consider this, the West Indies batting is as inconsistent as ever over the past 5-6 years. The bowling has lacked penetration (aside from in Sri Lanka), but the fielding has improved. As such, the team has improved, if only in one aspect. It's not as though the batting and bowling has gone backward.

I think Bennett King needs time to work with the players. He's still in the process of isolating the players he believes will be the future of West Indies cricket - Samuels, Dwayne Smith (questionable), Ramdin, Bravo, Edwards, Daren Powell, Devon Smith - but he needs time to help them develop. Look at Duncan Fletcher. He picked his Flintoff, his Trescothick, Harmison, even Bell! Now look at England. Each of these players has come good and the team is world class outfit.

It's all about cycles.
 

Slifer

International Regular
FOR me WI are just 3 decent bowlers away from being competitive again. i think 3 decent bowlers is the ideal formula to be a successful team ( 4 decent bowlers is just icing on the cake). i cite many times especially in the 80s when WI were shot out for 250 odd and they came back and won by an innings. at the end of the day baby steps are what i want for now. And as far as i can see we will probably continue to be thrashed for the near future but we'll turn the corner eventually.
 

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