The directors of Cricket West Indies (CWI) owe an explanation to the public of the West Indies as to what was the reason for the recent tour of Pakistan. There are many questions that have been left like feathers drifting in the wind, with no one being able to grasp even one!
The visit comprised three t20 games in three days all in the city of Karachi. The team for this trip numbered 13 and was chosen or at least announced two days before departure. The squad arrived on the night of March 31 and without the benefit of a single practise session went directly into the first game on April 1, followed by games over the next two days.
Which cricket country that is part of the professional circuit will accept a challenge such as this? Which country with the history and tradition of the West Indies would accept an invitation where they couldn’t choose their best available team? We, the long-suffering fans of the Caribbean, would like some answers.
The big query from me is exactly what gain did we achieve to risk the embarrassment and shame as defending World t20 champs to be so humiliated on the anniversary of our epic victory over England in the final in 2016?
Don’t tell me that our altruistic nature determines that we help out our Pakistani brothers to the detriment of our cricket with the full knowledge that we would not have been able to select our best team but a third-rate side, so weak indeed not to be competitive; then to drop that bunch on the highly rated Pakistanis in front of their cricket-starved people who packed the ground for the three games!
They took great joy in the annihilation of their visitors without the slightest regard of the weakness of their opponents. This is precisely what I’m saying: the tournament was on, the Asian hosts then say, ‘Let’s take advantage of this disastrous lot and whip them as badly as possible; our strongest team against their third raters!’
And that my friends, is professional cricket! There is no give and take, only play to win, that is what the game is all about and so, all professional sport. The Pakistan Cricket Association set the trap and our very naïve directors fell straight into it!
But is this all it seems to be? Or is there more to it than meets the eye? Of what benefit was this cricket tour to West Indies cricket? We dropped two places on the standings and Pakistan rose all the way up from second in the ratings to top dog in the world of t20 cricket. As if we did not have enough trouble of our own as it were, to sell out our ratings on a t20 trip that was always going to be a debacle!
We fell for it, or did we? CWI should inform its fans as to what was the financial remuneration for the visit. Was it 100 million dollars or 200 million? How much was our shame worth to the coffers of the CWI? That’s the only way it could make some sense, but they must let us know so that we have an idea of a sacrifice well worth its value in dollars and cents so we could have a stack of wealth to develop our future cricketers.
My point is that West Indies is not important enough for this type of charitable outlook. We are struggling with a number of problems beginning with getting our best team on the field to play a game. Now we have exposed our soft underbelly to scramble together a group of over aged and past cricketers to represent our region without attracting the slightest hint of glory.
We see the coach Stuart Law, praising the security arrangements for the series, and the president of West Indies Players Association, Wavell Hinds (who accompanied the side on tour) talking nonsense like “Our performances aren’t as what we expected. There are quality players in the squad but the performance has been down.”
Really? Then he continues, “Players are hurt because they are losing but, in the end, they understand the value of coming to Pakistan and what they are doing for world cricket.” Has anyone ever heard more hogwash?
West Indies cricket is not in the business of clearing security-stricken countries to play cricket again. There are many cricketers in England and Australia who can qualify for that as they have many charitable sporting organisations for that!
We have too much to lose…which we did!
Caribbean fans ought to be furnished with audited financial statements for this tour. ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark!’