Caribbean Sports – In The 2019 World Cup, Three Of Its Legends Speak Out
News Americas, NEW YORK,
NY, Thurs. June 13, 2019: Tomorrow,
Friday, June 14th, the West Indies cricket team will face England in
their fourth World Cup match of the 2019 tourney.
So far, the Windies has won
their first match over Pakistan; lost to Australia by 16 runs and tied with
South Africa 0-0, after rain washed out that match on June 10th.
But tomorrow’s match will
be a big test for the team in the competition to date as it faces one of its
own – Barbados-born Jofra Archer – a late
inclusion in England’s squad, after qualifying on residency in March.
Some of the West Indies legends are hopeful the team can achieve glory again; but having seen the decline in the team’s majesty from 2009, they remain cautiously optimistic while giving some advice for long term revival.
Curtly Ambrose, who was
part of the team’s bowlers who dominated cricket into the 2000’s and who took 630 international wickets
between 1988-2000, including 24 in World Cups, says “it’s (been) really sad to
see West Indies cricket the way it is.”
“We were so accustomed to being No. 1 in the world and being
the team that everyone wants to beat,”
he added. “To see the decline as a former cricketer is very hard to take.”
Garner, the legendary 6ft, 8in fast bowler who took eight of his 146 ODI
wickets in the 1979 World Cup, arguably the most one-sided ever, says “it’s important that the money goes back into cricket.”
we want to have the future of cricket, then you invest the money you make back
into the grassroots level,” Garner said. “That is where the next set of
cricketers are coming from.”
Chanderpaul, the former Windies skipper whose ODI run tally for the West Indies
is only bettered by Brian Lara and Chris Gayle, is, however, confident that the
administration has turned a corner.
do not have the money that is being pushed into cricket that another board
might have,” he says. “But we’ve done a lot in the last few years. I used to do
everything on my own without any money, no contracts, nothing. I had to find my
own money if I had to travel. Now the countries in the Caribbean all have
contracted players, the local boys all have contracts. That means all the boys
are going to play in regional tournaments.”
also feels that the Board must utilize former players. “We have a lot of guys
with experience in the Caribbean. We need a team of them to go out and work
with young players to help them understand their cricket, because there is a
lot of talent,” the former skipper added.
some improvement is beginning to show in the West Indies’ results.
2-1 victory in the three-match Test series against England in January and
February was followed by a 2-2 draw with World No. 1 team in the subsequent ODI
series. And their win over Pakistan in the first World Cup match and the close
win in the second match against the Aussies has made new believers out of many
and reinvigorated fans.
Tomorrow’s match at The Rose Bowl Cricket
Ground in Hampshire, England will determine if the Windies odds improve.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The
above article is an adaptation of Betway’s
Adam Drury’s interview with three West Indies legends.