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A THORNY ISSUE: Don’t give up on our boys

by Andi Thornhill

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Understandably emotions are running quite high after another West Indies defeat to South Africa.I can understand why some are calling for change. I can understand the anger and I can even understand why we are pressing the panic buttons.However, now is the time, I think, for us to rally round the West Indies.The team is at its lowest ebb and I believe despite our frustration we need as Caribbean people, to close ranks and try to throw the boys a moral lifeline.It might be easier now to curse them but I prefer to embrace them. You need your friends most when there is trouble on your doorstep, thus the old adage “A friend in need is a friend indeed”.Again, I suggest that we don’t crucify them but support them wholeheartedly and help to resurrect them spiritually. There can’t be much confidence dwelling among the team and without it, there will hardly be any chance of reversing their losing streak far less putting them on the road to win.Knowing how to win consistently is a practice resigned to the fields of the past so much so that there are times when they turn what looks to be certain victory into defeat.In other words, it makes no sense for us as loyal supporters pouring more pressure on a side that is lacking confidence and self-esteem.I am not suggesting that we bury our heads in the sand or close our eyes to the fact that there are fundamental problems in our cricket, but we must still be patient and rational on the path to restoring what used to be.I am every bit in agreement with those who want to shake the tree, but what good would it do to cut down the tree, roots and all?Plus, can’t we seek to find the positives to help trigger some semblance of self confidence?  For argument sake, let’s look at Sulieman Benn. Here’s a player who looked distant from West Indies selection three years ago.  Even his selection for Barbados seemed in jeopardy because of certain issues in which he was involved. He was able to turn things around and has since been able to cement his place in the team as the leading spin bowler. His eight wickets in the just concluded Test justified that billing. Isn’t he someone that you can look to find a thread of inspiration to show that you can be down but it doesn’t mean you can’t rise from the ashes?There are technical problems which can be rectified but if there is still no self belief you will still have an empty well and no water to drink. We need a united, rallying call to repair the broken spirits of our team. I am already on board. I am waiting for you to join me. • Andi Thornhill is the sports editor at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation.