EDITORIAL: Windies must bring ‘A’ game
THE INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL (ICC) World Cup 2015 is under way in Australia and New Zealand and the wish of most West Indians is for the Caribbean team to pull off another victory at this level.
Despite the few “ups” and many “downs” the regional side has encountered in recent times, it is possible for it to wallow in victory at this level.
West Indies started their quest for the championship last night in New Zealand and are not among the favourites to clinch the title in this sport which is gaining in recognition and interest worldwide. It is well appreciated that cricket is a very uncertain game full of upsets and surprises.
But the West Indies are two-time champions and, even though now ranked eighth, should clearly understand that the region will be watching and hoping for a drastic improvement. It is a matter of pride.
Even if they fail to win the tournament, the least that we want to see is that they are competitive.
How the Caribbean lads perform could very well determine a number of things. First among them would be endearing the public to our cricketers once again. The paltry crowd support at many regional first-class matches indicates the level of frustration.
Many Caribbean people are turned off from cricket and are focused on a variety of other sports. Even with cricketers earning hefty sums, the passion and fire seem not to exist across a once cricket-crazy region.
To make a bad situation worse, the debacle of last October’s ill-fated tour of India has left Caribbean cricket with a possible financial albatross, given India’s demand for compensation of US$42 million. A weak West Indies team on the field would only further demoralise the public.
In this tournament, West Indies players must ensure that their behaviour is exemplary at all times and they must seek to uphold both the game’s and this region’s integrity, whether on or off the field of play.
The players must not react to sledging and disrespect against them in any form. While there is no condoning of such behaviour, it must be left to the umpires and match referees to provide proactive policing of any such infractions on the field. Firm action must be taken where there are breaches.
Our players must also be on guard against those pushing the corrupt practices of match-fixing. They must be aware that the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit will be watching every move in this regard. These are criminal offences.
We must endeavour to keep our good record intact. That is why a top-class performance in this Cricket World Cup is the only thing expected from West Indies.