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Congrats to Windwards Volcanoes

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It behoves us to offer heartiest congratulations to the Windwards Volcanoes, the cricketing franchise which carries the hopes of the cricket fans in the Windward Islands, for winning this year’s regional one-day competition, the Super-50. True, with the decline in the fortune of West Indies cricket, enthusiasm has waned somewhat, but for historical reasons, and given the scarcity of such triumphs, it is nevertheless one to savour.

In the four decades since official one-day competitions have been organized in the Caribbean, the Windwards have been the least successful of all the teams. Last Saturday night’s victory over Barbados was only their fourth title, previous ones having been won in 1989, 2001 and 2013. Other circumstances made this year’s victory even more memorable and rewarding.

In the first place, the Windwards Volcanoes franchise is based in Dominica, ravaged by hurricanes last year, including the loss of its home ground. In spite of this setback, and its lack of current ‘big-name’ players, together with the loss of the rising Vincentian batsman, Sunil Ambris, to injury, the team bonded together and upset the apple-cart.

Fittingly, Dominican players were prominent in the resurgence of the Windwards. Captain Shane Shillingford led the way and was the tournament’s most successful bowler, but critical roles were played by his fellow-Dominicans Kavem Hodge, Tyrone Theophile (who was unfortunately injured for the final) and young West Indies Under-19 star Alick Athanaze. Every member of the squad contributed, beginning with veteran opener Devon Smith, and in true eastern Caribbean style, this team again exhibited the resilience so typical of our islands.

They continued in the rich tradition of outstanding Windwards players, who while unfairly treated selection-wise at the West Indies level, have given yeoman service to regional cricket. It can only warm the hearts of all fans in the islands that the Volcanoes team has been able to emerge champions. These days good news is scarce and there is not always much to celebrate.

Let us savour the moment and offer our heartiest congratulations!  

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