With West Indies losing to Bangladesh in their clash for the ICC World Cup 2019 many have come to wonder the reason for their downfall. Being the most feared side in the 1980’s to not qualifying for champions trophy was has this team gone wrong? we dig the reasons how the transition happened from being invincible to falling apart…
To answer this, we have to look at their rise in the world of cricket……
In early days cricket wasn’t just a sport for a young West Indies, It was their battle against the white supremacy for which the group of islands came together. It proved to be a huge opportunity as they were able to beat the Britishers in their own game with sheer class and dedication. This statement by Michael Holding in a news interview shows us what they were fighting for :
“I have five million West Indians depending on me to perform at my best so they can walk the streets and be proud.”- Michael Holding
Racism was a big part of the game were major cricket celebrities often gave controversial statements and got away with it. A statement by Michael Holding during a press interview sheds light on the struggles the west indies were facing
“The West Indians, these guys, if they get on top, they’re magnificent cricketers. If they’re down, they grovel. And I intend, with the help of Closey [English batsmen Brian Close], to make them grovel.”
Cricket becomes a symbol of strength and the way of showing the white supremacist that even the underdogs could match up to the class of royal British clubs. This was clear when England lost to the West Indies on their own turf by 5-0 in the year 1982. This started a new era as West indies already had won the ODI cups for 1975 and 1979.
The West Indies soon became the most feared teams and were considered invincible till the legendary players started their retirement and the West Indies have no strong support to rely on while the fall of the great west indies was delayed due to brilliant players in 2000’s like Brian Lara.
As time passed the focus was shifted to more monetary benefits and the players were neglected. Also, the rise of IPL contributed to their demise. But along the years we have seen players like Andrew Russell, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo shows that the west indies have it in their blood but the team together playing for West Indies never clicked. There has to be a lack of leadership and incompetent management which has led to their fall.