Retirement Of Legends To WICB Financial Issues: Key Reasons Behind West Indies' Downfall In Cricket

Retirement Of Legends To WICB Financial Issues: Key Reasons Behind West Indies' Downfall In Cricket

Dissecting the key reasons behind West Indies' downfall in cricket.

Aayushman VishwanathanUpdated: Saturday, July 01, 2023, 10:03 PM IST
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West Indies captain Shai Hope. | (Credits: Twitter)

West Indies' long-standing struggles have culminated in their failure to qualify for the 50-over World Cup edition this year, set to be played in India later this year. This has come months after failing to qualify for the T20 World Cup 2022 after heavy losses in the preceding qualifying tournament.

One of the most pressing issues behind the Men in Maroon's downfall is the board's failure to maintain amicable relationships with the best cricketers. The likes of Sunil Narine and Andre Russell haven't played for the national team since 2019 and 2021, respectively, but have been active in franchise cricket.

We take a look at a few issues that prevented the West Indies' qualification for the 2023 World Cup:

1) Best Players not getting the nod:

A month before the T20 World Cup 2022, West Indies' men's team chief selector Desmond Haynes revealed the reason behind Narine and Russell not finding a place in the 15-man squad for the mega event. Narine and Russell have been part of West Indies' World Cup-winning team.

While Haynes indicated that Russell has a desire to play for the national team, he feels the all-rounder's performances haven't convinced him. The former opening batter revealed that he had conversations with Narine, but was unsure whether he was interested to play for the West Indies anymore.

2) WICB's dispute with the players:

Back in 2015, all-rounder Dwayne Bravo criticized the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) as the most unprofessional board and that politics rule too much of their cricket. The Trinidadian issued a statement during his Big Bash League stint saying:

"Those in charge have to look into themselves. We don't have proper grounds, proper nets or a proper academy. All these things are a part of our downfall. The relationship between players, board members and management staff - it needs to get stronger and tighter. They need to have a lot more honesty."

Their tussle harks back to October 2014 when the national team quit the ODI tour of India midway over a payment structure dispute with the board. It went to the extent of former skipper Darren Sammy claiming after their 2016 T20 World Cup win that they are yet to hear from the board.

3) Struggles to retain their best players due to financial issues:

After former West Indian captain Clive Llloyd quit as the WICB director in February 2012, he expressed concerns about the state of the game in the country. In a statement issued after resigning, Lloyd claimed:

"As one of the most successful West Indian captains in the history of our game, I have to say that I am very concerned not just about the state of cricket in my country but the state of West Indian cricket as a whole - the lack of accountability and consultation and limited discussion about the stagnant state of our cricket."

Due to the board's struggle to offer competitive pay cheques to their players, the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine have made sporadic appearances. Instead, they spend their year playing franchise cricket.

4) Existing players failing to step up to the occasion:

Lastly, the current generation of players haven't stepped up to the occasion according to the expectations. Gone are the days when the likes of Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd single-handedly led them to two World Cup wins. Losses against Scotland, the Netherlands, and Zimbabwe show that their issues far deeper than the face value.

Moreover, the former champions haven't been able to grasp the key moments in the game. For instance, the players dropped multiple catches against Zimbabwe and fell short by 35 runs in the end. After making 374, the Dutch hit an improbable 30 runs in the Super Over due to Jason Holder's poor bowling. Defending 181 against Scotland, the bowlers were hardly penetrable.

However, it's not just the bowling, but the batting has equally suffered. The likes of Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran failed to make telling scores against Zimbabwe and Scotland - two games the West Indies ought to have won.

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