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Author Topic: Forget the rain... the lack of Gayle-force Windies dampens series  (Read 3465 times)

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Buzz

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  • Clear your mind, stay still and watch the ball

it might be worth a cheaky 5er on the WI to win the series... but this column from the editor of Wisden is makes a very valid point (or two)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-2137440/The-Top-Spin-West-Indies-Chris-Gayle-dampens-series.html

A team purporting to represent the best West Indies has to offer arrives in England tomorrow for three Tests, three one-dayers and a Twenty20 international. Had the Olympics gone to Paris, they would probably have been given only two Tests. They are, in truth, beneficiaries of a quirk in the schedule.

As recently as 2000, when the arrival of a side led by Jimmy Adams coincided with West Indies' 27th year in possession of the Wisden Trophy, their visit came complete with a frisson - which sounds like a shot only Brian Lara could have played.

They were awarded five Tests that summer (but never since), plus six one-dayers and numerous other matches. The tour averages tell us that opener Sherwin Campbell got through 20 first-class innings. Leg-spinner Mahendra Nagamootoo was given only one Test, but still bowled 328.4 first-class overs.

They were in the days when a tour had a rhythm of its own - and a subplot outside the Tests that could be engrossing in its own right.

This time West Indies have a three-day game at Hove and a four-day match against England Lions at Northampton before the first Test begins at Lord's on May 17. Move along, seems to be the message - nothing to see here...

Of course 12 years ago it helped that they still had names to conjure with: Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Lara, even Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

And but for a collapse to 54 all out in the second innings of the second Test at Lord's, they would have taken a 2-0 lead with three to play. The summer that kickstarted Duncan Fletcher's reign as England coach could easily have been as miserable as the previous one.

Forgive, please, the nostalgia - but that is what we are left with.

If West Indies go out and a nick a rain-affected series 1-0 in the weeks ahead, this column will be suitably contrite. But we are talking about a team that has won only two Tests out of 30 since seeing off a rabble of an England side in Jamaica three years ago. And one of those two victories was against Bangladesh.

But the decline and fall of West Indies is about more than a chance to moan about the fact that things aren't what they once were. It is one of cricket's modern morality tales.

Absent from the 15-man Test squad will be Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Sunil Narine and Dwayne Bravo.

Gayle has not played international cricket since the World Cup a year ago after falling out with the West Indies Cricket Board, while Sarwan - who averages 40 in his 87 Tests - believes he has paid the price for being too close to the WICB's arch enemies, the West Indies Players' Association.

Narine, a 23-year-old Trinidadian unorthodox offie, recently took 11 wickets in five ODIs against Australia at an average of 14 and with an economy-rate of 3.32. But the lure of the IPL meant he played no part in the Tests, where Shane Shillingford promptly overtook him with a 10-wicket haul in Dominica.

As for Bravo, the more he plays for Chennai Super Kings, the less he feels a part of West Indies.

As a quartet, these men provide their own reflection of the state of the game in the Caribbean: a world in which communication is poor, administrators are at each other's throats, and funds are so scarce that talented cricketers are forced to place faceless franchises ahead of regional prestige.

We are often told that West Indian cricket has been the victim of circumstances beyond its control, and no doubt there is some truth in this. Sporting dynasties cannot last for ever, the lure of American sports is undeniable, and the post-colonial rage that burned inside Viv Richards may have flickered its last.

But let's not patronise West Indian cricketers too much. Because they could, if they got their house in order, field the following XI at Lord's: Gayle, K Edwards, Sarwan, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Ramdin, Sammy, Narine, F Edwards, Roach.

No world-beaters, perhaps, but strong enough to give England at least a scare.

Instead, we will have to make do with a watered-down approximation of the real thing. And that is a source of regret - not just for the Caribbean, but for everyone who cares about cricket.

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"Bradman didn't used to have any trigger movements or anything like that. He turned batting into a subconscious act" Tony Shillinglaw

Alvaro

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Re: Forget the rain... the lack of Gayle-force Windies dampens series
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 10:57:28 AM »

http://cricketwithballs.com/2012/04/26/a-movie-about-a-crab/

This is an interesting take on the last premier WI batsman...
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Alvaro

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Re: Forget the rain... the lack of Gayle-force Windies dampens series
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 10:59:48 AM »

Also, no mention of the incompetent WICB, who Narine isn't even contracted to for instance, in that article. Their role is often over looked in the death of WI cricket, though the BCCI is at the fore front of English ire. Funny that.
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Talisman

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Re: Forget the rain... the lack of Gayle-force Windies dampens series
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 09:27:03 AM »

Gayle back, maybe Bravo to follow?
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