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Wishful thinking


Yes, the West Indies have washed lowly placed Bangladesh in both the three One Day Internationals and the two tests.

But the West Indies was expected to win and to do so without much bother, though it must be wishful thinking to believe that it should be heralded as any achievement of note, given that their opponents are last on the test rankings.{{more}}

For many, a win is a win and should be welcomed as such, since for the West Indies, victory is a pot of gold.

Winning by 10 wickets and by 296 runs over the Bangladeshis, simply shows up the rightful place of the West Indies on the world stage of the game.

Whilst being dominant throughout both formats, evidence of the numerous flaws in the host players’ techniques and skill sets, were glaring, even against a weak opposition.

Therefore, the normal proposition of taking the momentum over into the next series, must be muted with immediate effect.

First up, India is a far superior opponent and at home they are hard to beat.

And, the West Indies most recent outing against the Indians on home soil does not make for hope.

When the West Indies visited the subcontinent last year, they were beaten 2-1 in the ODI’s and suffered 2-0 in the tests, both by an innings.

It is true that since India has been flattened in tests by England, but their ODI form has been imperious.

But West Indians’ hopes have heightened in the recent past with the changes made to the West Indies management, especially with the advent of the legendary Clive Lloyd as convener of selectors.

It is far-fetched to think that because Lloyd was a very successful captain and along with his other statesmanly attributes, he would immediately wave a magic wand on West Indies cricket and success will begin to fall like manna from the sky.

As a selector, Lloyd and his other illustrious colleagues, including Courtney Walsh, Eldine Baptiste and Courtney Browne, still have to contend with a myriad of issues.

Among them are the general poor standard of regional cricket, relatively unscientific methods of pitch preparation and the other militating factors, including the ever present financial worries.

Lloyd will find, like other selectors who preceded him, to be between a rock and a hard place, as it is six of one, half dozen of the other, when it comes down to selection of regional teams.

This loudly explains why Shivnarine Chanderpaul, despite being over the age of 40, is still the best batsman in the team.

So, for those who call him selfish and say he bats only to establish records, think again. If he were not of that ilk, then the West Indies would have been 10th on the list of test playing nations.

Mr Chanderpaul preserves and prices his wicket highly; why can’t others do the same?

Lloyd, as well, will have to face up with the reality that total loyalty to West Indies cricket is a fleeting illusion, once the big dollars are available in the various lucrative T-20 tournaments around the world.

Hence his call for players like Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, to forgo the Indian Premier League in 2015, to represent the West Indies against England, may be another high order piece of wishful thinking.

Comparatively, what some players earn from an annual West Indies player retainer contract is sometimes more than three times less than six weeks with an IPL team.

Although money must not always be the determining factor for such a decision, such is simply the case with a lot of modern day professional sports people, as they make the financial haste while the sun is still shining on their career.

Keep on wishing, those who want players to put country ahead of club, which is in essence – the dollars.

Don’t expect anything to change soon, when the West Indies Cricket Board sanctions the participation of the players, as the board gets a percentage for the No Objection Certificate.

But is it really worth it to discuss West Indies cricket, when it is a cyclical repetition ?

This column, though, wishes for a change in the recurring factors.