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BC’S B’DOS: O, woe is WI

B.C. Pires

BC’S B’DOS: O, woe is WI

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Mercifully, the second ODI between West Indies and Australia was played yesterday, past my deadline, and I was spared contemplation of what we have to call, due to the limitations of English, the West Indian batting “performance” in St Vincent yesterday. (Perhaps we can borrow a word from the Germans; WestIndianbattingshitezer?) What happened on Friday was bad enough, though, to carry me into next weekend; and probably the team for the whole series.
For the wise people who have either stopped hoping West Indies might approach a game professionally from ball one to stumps, or, better yet, stopped following West Indies cricket altogether, our boys, chasing 205 for victory, contrived to be all-out in 34.2 overs, losing said low-scoring match by 64 runs, a feat of incompetence made possible by the dedicated throwing away of six wickets for seven runs at one particularly miserable passage of the game; West Indies took a low-scoring game and turned it into a woe-scoring one.
But you’ve got to admire the dedication of the team, and what my very low German would call the administationshitezer behind it. Many other teams – Bangladesh, Canada, Ireland, for example – would have struggled to at least look good in losing.
Players might have thought of their wickets as things to be guarded like, well, like the players of the great West Indies teams (every man of whom learned professionalism on English county cricket grounds).
In the days the Mighty Sparrow properly mocked in his song, Kerry Packer, as being, “all prestige, no pay”, West Indian cricketers earned scandalously low wages; and perhaps it was those dreadful earnings that made them put a premium on their wickets; God and Sir Garry know that, if a West Indian gave away his wicket, he would feel deeply shamed, and would resolve never to let it happen to him again.
But the West Indies we know today seem incapable of learning that basic lesson.
So, even though, at time of writing, I didn’t know what happened in St Vincent yesterday, we all know today.
Of course, there is an outside chance that West Indies might have played all 600 balls of yesterday’s game entirely professionally. It wouldn’t matter in the least to me if we won or lost, once we did that. And I remain West Indian stupid-hopeful enough to believe, in my bone marrow, that, if we only played every ball as well as we could, we would win every game.
But we don’t.
So we lose.
As we did yesterday, and will again, next day.
And, yes, there is always the outside chance that we will win. But cricket is a game of concentration and skill, not chance. I have just as much chance of winning this week’s lotto as West Indies have of winning this series. And I didn’t buy a ticket.