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Is there an end to WI failure?


rhondathompson, [email protected]

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PRESIDENT OF WEST INDIES CRICKET BOARD Mr Julian Hunte recently spoke of the dawn of a new day in WI cricket. We do not challenge him. In fact, we welcome the launch of the High Performance Centre at the Cave Hill campus of UWI. We wonder, however, about the mechanism in place to shield the new entrants from the debilitating and uninspiring news of continuing merciless defeats handed down to the present team.
As they view, as they must, footage of the ignominious defeats and ponder on the lack of intelligent strokeplay, as well as a satisfactory analysis of the state of the game and the type of approach necessary, what thoughts do they form in their young minds? We hope these experiences will help to guide their thoughts to the serious responsibility they are being asked to undertake on behalf of the West Indian nation.
Given the current embarrassing display, one that bears no evidence of concern about national pride or of the pain and suffering of Caribbean people, we are bothered about the ease with which we expect to reverse the now entrenched culture of losing. We agree experience garnered across the playing fields of the world took us to the top of world cricket. Will the IPL and English county T/20 competitions, with their burgeoning purses, help us to climb the frightening mountain of performance?
Are the recipients of the highest bids, some almost US$1 million, showing a relative improvement in performance and mastery of the game of cricket? Are they included in our teams at the highest levels?
How will we restrain graduates of the High Performance Centre from being similarly attracted in search of the big purses before full maturity? 
We think WICB has a mountain to climb. Its marketing skills will be put to a severe test if it is to generate the income necessary not only to develop our game but, more especially, to meet the demanding purses necessary to keep our refined products at home.
In the past, Caribbean governments have not been known to include individually as budget items, a substantial contribution to the coffers of West Indies cricket. The time is now, notwithstanding the stresses of the worldwide recession. Regional leaders must see cricket as a plus for our recognition worldwide, as a boon to our national psyche, or else let us founder on the rocks of mediocrity and perhaps be excluded from the highest level of the game internationally.
We sincerely hope this new dawn, embraced by the university, will rid us of the scourge of having players thought to be lacking in education and incapable of displaying the necessary skills and brain power required for execution of the game of cricket, no longer just a sport, but rather an exemplification of meeting the challenges of national pride and power in a world of changing paradigms.
Let us get on with it by selecting a board capable of meeting the challenge.

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