A wet surprise in Super 50 cricket
Congratulations to the West Indies Emerging-Players Team (WET) which on Sunday emerged the surprising winners of West Indies cricket Super 50 competition, the premier 50-over competition in the region.
The team, made up of promising young players, including Vincentian Gidron Pope, a former West Indies Under-19 star, along with players who failed to be selected for their respective national squads, could be considered lucky to reach the final four after being humiliated in its final match by Trinidad and Tobago. But the Guyanese team was surprisingly upset by the USA giving the Emerging Players a semi-final place.
That opportunity was grasped gleefully and the outsiders brushed aside Barbados to gain a finals place. Even then, they were considered underdogs to new favourites, the Leewards. This team had powered past the home team from Trinidad and Tobago and were red-hot favourites to win the title. But this was not the script for the Emerging Players and they recorded an impressive and most comprehensive victory by a massive 205 runs.
It was a great all-round performance, reflecting the strength of this little-considered team. There was not a single “star” on the team, no “big name” in West Indies cricket, yet solid batting and tight targeted bowling brought rewards where the “big name” players failed at the final hurdles.
Interestingly, former West Indies fast bowling giant Sir Curtly Ambrose supported by his fellow commentators has called for the West Indies Board to sponsor the Emerging Players team for its participation in next year’s four-day competition. Ambrose said that it would be a tragedy after such a sterling showing for the Emerging Players to be left adrift.
His call is one which ought to be strongly supported throughout the region, for the weakest aspect of West Indies cricket is in the longer form of the game. More exposure for more players can only be to the collective benefit.