One way WI can hit back
WEST INDIES cricket is in the doldrums. In fact, many West Indians believe that cricket in the region has gone through the eddoes.
The West Indies cricket team once had “weapons of mass destruction” in the hands of fast bowlers who besides being hostile to batsmen also destroyed the morale of the opposing teams.
What do we have today? Spinners. Empty stands. I watched part of the day of the second Test between the West Indies and South Africa being played at Warner’s Park in St Kitts.
When the cameras scanned the stands, all of them were almost empty. Under 150 spectators. Same thing on Saturday.
Sunday, the commentators said there were around 500 spectators. The World Cup football was the excuse, it was said. So blame the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). It is demoralising for Test cricketers to play to empty stands.
So this is what I will suggest to the WICB. Introduce weapons of mass deception: invest in two sound systems for every stand at which international cricket is played.
One system would comprise of boom boxes that pipe music across the venue at high points of the game.
The other sound system would have canned applause and crowd cheering to add to the atmosphere.
The other suggestion is to invest in 10 000 suitably clothed mannequins wearing hats, sunglasses and pants; 80 per cent male and 20 per cent female and place them in the stands.
When the television cameras scan the pavilion or stands the systems could then be activated to give a sense of real people.
The roar of the crowd, the applause and cheering would definitely lift the spirits of our cricketers plus the world would see that West Indians were filling the grounds to capacity.