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Lara showing ‘spoilt baby’ side


When I was growing up, there was the saying: “Good for one good for all.” That was when we were confronted by conditions that were not considered ideal for cricket.

Whatever the factors were, we were expected to get used to the conditions. And to use today’s parlance, “face the music.”

It is rather unfortunate that the West Indies captain, or former captain depending on how soon he makes up his mind, had to be so critical and I dare say cynical of the pitch conditions during the fourth and final test at Sabina Park, Jamaica.{{more}}

Psychologically, the West Indies lost the match before a ball was bowled. Lara’s reaction left a sour taste and his fears permeated the team’s psyche. That is a sad indictment on the attitude of our cricketers whom the rest of the region looks up to with reverence.

If India could have worked out the conditions and applied themselves in the face of what seemed to be difficulties, the West Indies batsmen ought to have displayed like discipline.

Instead, our players took issue with the groundsmen, and there was a lack of application.

The performance in the first innings was pathetic, and even though some showed a little more backbone in the second innings, there was not much of an improvement when it came to the display of technical or tactical approaches.

West Indian fans were pleased with the turn – around of fortunes during the One-Day series. Supporters hailed the victories as a turning point, and hoped that after the drought, the formula for success had indeed been re-discovered.

But the winning methods are not secured

on the field of play alone. There has to be a systematic and calculated approach which entails overlooking certain negative factors and taking one day at time.

We seemed to lack faith in ourselves, in our groundsmen, in our ability to overcome odds no matter how minute they may appear.

Those are attitudes no coach or management team can instill. They are inborn. Times before, Caribbean players mustered that type of discipline, and the resultant display of confidence without becoming too cocky. This served us in good stead.

We seemed to have gone full circle in a reverse direction. Ever so often we appear to crumble in the face of the slightest opposition, or when conditions are not in our favour.

The West Indies cricket squad, the symbol of regional unity is supposed to represent all our dreams and aspirations. As a Caribbean nation, we are not used to being rolled over by the appearance of the very first obstacle. Our region is based on a degree of resilience. How else could we have survived the acts of brutality, which have shaped our history and existence? For our cricket team to be eroding our historic record of resistance, tends to send signals of a new era of resignation overcoming us. This we can ill-afford to embrace.

Caribbean people are a unique brand, influenced by the variety of conditions, which have moulded us into a blend of diverse peoples. There is a depth of character, which has fashioned our survival strategies. Our cricketers owe it to us to maintain that tradition.

Sadly, our response to challenges in the last Test left us with a bitter taste, one we have to endure for some time.

There are a number of factors that may have or are still contributing to our continuous loss of pride. And when such situations manifest themselves, it is easy to detect cases of insularity, favouritism and other debilitating circumstances, which expose our weaknesses.

We have to be strong and deal with whatever situation presents itself, and be prepared like the good old Boy Scouts to face any conditions.