As the West Indies sink to heart-wrenchingly low levels, today losing the 5th ODI against South Africa, they now “look forward” to facing Pakistan.
As I’ve said many times before, I really love watching the West Indies. Behind England, they and Australia are easily my favourite sides to watch. So, to see the Caribbean islands in such a bloody mess is saddening. God knows what the caribs feel about it – pretty disillusioned and forgotten, I’m sure.
Which is why this mini series against Pakistan is going to be such captivating viewing. Pakistan has long been the most erratic international team in world cricket – you just never know not only which team will turn up..but who will be captain, who their keeper’s going to be etc etc. A right old catastrophe of a cricket side – yet one of the most talented cricketing countries in the world. In terms of raw talent, skill and ability, I think only India can match them (in those terms). They can crush an opponent mercilessly – less so these days, now that Waqar and Wasim have retired – only to follow it up in the next game with the kind of performance 10 year olds would blush about.
The West Indies aren’t quite as erratic – let’s face it, they’re just consistently shit at the moment – but they do have an incredible batting lineup. Gayle, Sarwan, Lara, Chanderpaul is a fierce batting quartet. If they fire – and they can – they then give their bowlers a lot of confidence. But, like many sides around at the moment, their bowling attack is woeful.
Anyway, I don’t have any great philosophies / ideas / insight into what can be done to rejuvenite a great cricketing nation. I’m just here to hope that their short series with Pakistan shows their fans they do have potential and that they can win games. Unfortunately (yes alright, I’m giving my opinion after all), a complete restructure of their administrative team needs to be done (including all island competitions) before they will rise again. Man, it sucks.