West Indies cricket October 8, 2012

Time to shed 'Calypso cricketer' tag, again

MV Swaroop
'Calypso cricketers' was the term, those happy-go-lucky entertainers, who might just pull off something exceptionally brilliant, but just don't do it with the regularity or professionalism of a champion
47

For as long as I can remember, I've been a fan of West Indies. It started, I think, in 1989, when, as a five-year-old living on the western coast of India, I watched an India-West Indies game, and thought that the West Indians were my own people - from the west of India.

By the 1992 World Cup, I was old enough to have checked an atlas to find the islands that made up the West Indies, but I loved Richie Richardson's hat and Curtly Ambrose's bowling action enough to continue supporting them. Even over India.

While my lasting memory from the Hero Cup was Sachin Tendulkar's over against South Africa, I remember being quite upset when West Indies were mowed down by Anil Kumble in the final. When the 'Padams' series of 1994 happened, in gully cricket, my bat became completely secondary to my batting. A year later, West Indies surrendered a Test series for the first time in my life - to Australia, at home. In 1996, Australia stole a World Cup final berth from under their noses. Then, they lost a Test series 3-2 to Australia, this time away. Something told me that being a West Indies fan would be infinitely tougher that point onward.

Brian Lara remained an obsession. I derived warmth from the sight of the ageing duo of Ambrose and Courtney Walsh continuing to make batsmen tap-dance. It got tougher after their retirements. The tireless Shivnarine Chanderpaul provided much comfort, and occasionally, the others provided some excitement. Overall, though, I consoled myself with sporadic displays of spark, or the rare successful skirmish, the occasional individual brilliance amid a regularly shambolic team performance.

I watched Fire in Babylon recently at Sathyam Cinemas in Chennai. The crowd was of two kinds - youth, who had heard so much about "that West Indies team" and old men who had felt the fire of that team crackling through their radios. It was nostalgia for some, and reflected nostalgia for the others.

Fire in Babylon is a compelling narrative. It has bright, striking and awe-inspiring protagonists who speak with honour and pride about the time when they ruled the world. It sets them among the cultures - as the movie reminds you repeatedly, there is no one West Indian culture - they are so proud of. It sets them amid the politics that so defined their existence (CLR James wrote that, in the West Indies, you had arrived if your company was of a lighter skin-tone than you).

It also tells of the reputation they carried prior to those glory days, that of the entertaining losers. 'Calypso cricketers' was the term, those happy-go-lucky entertainers, who might just pull off something exceptionally brilliant, but just don't do it with the regularity or professionalism of a champion. Those amiable, popular, fun losers…

The term could also be used to describe the West Indies team of today. In Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, they have a surprising number of batsmen who can clear the boundary with damaging consistency. In Sunil Narine, they have a freak spinner, whom, despite two years of video analysis, no one seems to have an answer to. All these cricketers, barring Sammy, are among the top-billed in T20 leagues across the world. Still, people would not have been surprised if they had imploded in crucial games at the World Twenty20.

The batch of '76 was humiliated by defeat to Australia. That made them push themselves harder. World Twenty20 aside, the current team has been losing consistently for a decade and a half. Clearly, the humiliation of defeat can't jolt them much anymore. Clive Lloyd's men were pushed into a corner by racism and discrimination. They represented, symbolically, black peoples all over the Commonwealth - no other blacks played international cricket at that point. Sammy's team does not face that pressure.

But the West Indies today have their own set of issues. The players have had innumerable issues with an erratic board. The ensuing rift within the side led to the exile of their best batsman. The coming together of various "dots on the map" into one regional team seems artificial. Perhaps this is the reason why West Indian players find it easier to choose club over international cricket - it is one artificial entity over another, isn't it?

To that extent, the success of the West Indies lies in something similar to what Lloyd's team faced - an assertion of their identity. Of showing that there is more to their game than raw power, but retaining that power, unquestionably their biggest strength, at the centre of their game. Of showing that the common West Indian cricketing identity still means something to them. Of showing that they can play, consistently, effectively, efficiently and yet thrillingly, flamboyantly, instinctively, as one single cricket team. If those guys did it, why can't we?

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • RAMA KNIAN on October 28, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    The WINDIES have won the T20 with a bunch of very talented players, and according to CRICINFO --- THE ORIGINAL GLADIATORS of CRICKET. However, the selection continues to be appalling !!! First, although they won the T20, they picked the wrong 11 for the final; in every game the selectors must continue to tweak the final 11 depending on the opponents, the ground conditions, and the form of the players.

    Talent abounds in the current contingent of players that are available to play for the WINDIES, hence every player should be assessed on their worth at the moment of selection; in other words be fair to the players, the WEST INDIAN PEOPLE of all the islands and Guyana, and the rest of the world.

    WHY? The rest of the world is watching us ! They want us to succeed because they want to see the ‘CRICKET GLADIATORS’ bring the best to the game that they love; no one else ‘lights; this game up as we do ! The necessity to be fair in selection means that the hard work and dedication of our WINDIES PLAYERS must be rewarded with their selection on making us, once again, ‘THE GREAT WINDIES’. To continue to make selection that does NOT augur goodwill across the WEST INDIES would only perpetuate the insularity that exist with each individual WEST INDIAN NATION.

    The sooner we get around to picking our best team for each format of the game, the better off the whole WEST INDIES will be because if we get right in cricket, one day we may see a ‘GREAT WEST INDIAN SOCCER TEAM’ and a ‘GREAT WEST INDIAN OLYMPIC TEAM’; and maybe a ‘GREAT WEST INDIAN FEDERATION’!!

    HENCE: It is not necessary for Sammy to be captain of the team for every format! Shillingford should have been included for the upcoming tour; and please don’t discard Bishoo for upcoming series. Fidel Edwards should also be there, as well as Adrian Barath. And the the Jamaicans do not want their Krishma Santokie to be ignored since he performs well enough to be groomed for future selection (but not this tour). The WICB should consider spending the extra money and add Shillingford, Edwards, Barath to the touring team; remember the world is watching us and expecting us to delight with ‘GREAT WEST INDIAN CRICKET’, gladiators playing the game at their best. And on a final note: PLEASE, PICK OUR BEST TEAM ALWAYS, AND THE INSULARITY WILL STOP !!!

  • Randy Bridgeman on October 13, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    Don't fool the uninformed,Ms.Donna. Our winning just papers over the cracks and divisions which exists amongst Caribbean people. I don't like it but we must tell the truth. What passes for unity is superficial,temporary and shifting. Look how long the concept which is CSME has been around and it's still not a reality today. I always smile to myself when I hear sports commentators say that cricket is the only thing that unites us. If you're honest, you will know that this is not entirely true. Am sure you won't agree but the only person who is able to truly unite people/organizations is the Prince of Peace Himself,Jesus the Christ.

  • Donna on October 13, 2012, 2:48 GMT

    Let's not spoil the moment with petty divisions! I am a Barbadian whose favourite player was Alvin Kallicharran and who simply loves Shivnarine Chanderpaul! Bajans loved Carl Hooper so much they dubbed him "Sir Carl" There was no Barbadian in the semifinal or final but without Dwayne Smith's run out they would not have reached those stages. There have been many Guyanese before and there will be Guyanese again in the West Indies team. Most Caribbean people love eachother unless they perceive that they are being taken advantage of or misused in some way. Please let us enjoy eachother! There is so much about us to enjoy!

  • Donna on October 13, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    Wow! I always knew that most people were West Indies fans and supported them against countries other than their own but to discover that so many people support them even against their own country is trully amazing. I wish all parties involved in W.I. cricket could read these comments and realise that the whole world is counting on us to bring that X factor to cricket that only Caribbean people can supply. Onward and upward people! Or as Rastaman say, Forward ever, backward never! Let us move fast forward!

  • Randy Bridgeman on October 12, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    It appears that many Indian fans failed Geography for failing to make a distinction between the West of India and WI!(lol). Am from Barbados and have followed our cricket team for a long time. Actually, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first ever Test match which I saw live- WI vs India at the Jerusalem of Caribbean cricket, venerable Kensington Oval.

    The only game played as a young boy growing up in rural B'dos was "cricket, lovely cricket." We played morning, noon and night. Well not literally, but I'm sure you get my drift. One of the nurseries of WI cricket was a strong village game. Unfortunately, that's a thing of the past. Of course we all backed the WI except for one or two Afro-Saxons who would hail for the former colonial ruler, England.

    Bajan (one of the nicknames given to the people of Barbados) fans are known to be very knowledgeable about the game. We tend to favor elegant batsmen whether foreign or local. Seymour Nurse, Tom Graveney, Greg Chappell, Lawrence Rowe and Carl Hooper readily come to mind. We like our bowlers tall, strapping, hostile and quick. Back in the day, tiny B'dos would produce the bulk of the WI players. For instance on the '63 tour to England, half of the tour party of 16 players were Bajans: the legendary Frank Worrell, (captain), Conrad Hunte (vice-captain), Wes Hall, Garry Sobers, (all subsequently knighted), Charlie Griffith, David Allan, Nurse and Tony White (replacement player).

  • david on October 12, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    there was no guyenese on the team how can sammy the board man say they celebrating in guyana when he and gibsion do not like guyenese people eg)swarn and deonarine ..these are two cricketers who must be on the team

  • Marcus on October 12, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    This West Indies cricket team is a very humble and respectful team. God bless Sammy and the rest of the Guys. As a Jamaican, Sammy plays with such passion and it is now helping the team. Just wish we had a magical Lara to go with Gayles aggression and Samuels' artistry with the bat.

  • mark on October 12, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    i wonder whether this article is about West Indies or India...???

  • Sriram on October 12, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Not very often me and my wife sit and watch a cricket match, the ones i can remember is WT20 2007 when we were screaming when India won, then WC2011 again screaming..and recently WT20 that Windies won..we were so excited, and happy..we enjoyed it as much as if India would have won. My bowling hero was and will be the one and only 'Raging RED Bull' Curtly Ambrose. I've watched that youtube video when he knocked of Aussies down under a 100 times. No team can entertain as much as Widies, not in the past and no way in future. Windies are synonymn for celebration and our sport needs pure celebration, just the carribean way!! Rock on Windies Cricket. the world is with you.

  • Pacerone on October 12, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Calypso cricket is enjoyable cricket.Even when W.i was losing badly they would score faster than the opposition.Stroke play is a big part of the game.I remember seeing Seymour Nurse on news reels and started playing strokes like he did.it gave me great joy when my captain who saw Seymour for many year would comment to me "well played Seymour".A bouncer was always thought to be a ball that you could only get caught from,so it was not a ball you would want to have go by by ducking.It was said that Conrad Hunte would hook off the peak of his cap,so that was how we tried to play the hook.when we played against each other I was Norman Oneil if I was on the Australian team.Roy Marshall,Barry Richards,Majid Khan and an W.Indian batsman that was not taken.

  • RAMA KNIAN on October 28, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    The WINDIES have won the T20 with a bunch of very talented players, and according to CRICINFO --- THE ORIGINAL GLADIATORS of CRICKET. However, the selection continues to be appalling !!! First, although they won the T20, they picked the wrong 11 for the final; in every game the selectors must continue to tweak the final 11 depending on the opponents, the ground conditions, and the form of the players.

    Talent abounds in the current contingent of players that are available to play for the WINDIES, hence every player should be assessed on their worth at the moment of selection; in other words be fair to the players, the WEST INDIAN PEOPLE of all the islands and Guyana, and the rest of the world.

    WHY? The rest of the world is watching us ! They want us to succeed because they want to see the ‘CRICKET GLADIATORS’ bring the best to the game that they love; no one else ‘lights; this game up as we do ! The necessity to be fair in selection means that the hard work and dedication of our WINDIES PLAYERS must be rewarded with their selection on making us, once again, ‘THE GREAT WINDIES’. To continue to make selection that does NOT augur goodwill across the WEST INDIES would only perpetuate the insularity that exist with each individual WEST INDIAN NATION.

    The sooner we get around to picking our best team for each format of the game, the better off the whole WEST INDIES will be because if we get right in cricket, one day we may see a ‘GREAT WEST INDIAN SOCCER TEAM’ and a ‘GREAT WEST INDIAN OLYMPIC TEAM’; and maybe a ‘GREAT WEST INDIAN FEDERATION’!!

    HENCE: It is not necessary for Sammy to be captain of the team for every format! Shillingford should have been included for the upcoming tour; and please don’t discard Bishoo for upcoming series. Fidel Edwards should also be there, as well as Adrian Barath. And the the Jamaicans do not want their Krishma Santokie to be ignored since he performs well enough to be groomed for future selection (but not this tour). The WICB should consider spending the extra money and add Shillingford, Edwards, Barath to the touring team; remember the world is watching us and expecting us to delight with ‘GREAT WEST INDIAN CRICKET’, gladiators playing the game at their best. And on a final note: PLEASE, PICK OUR BEST TEAM ALWAYS, AND THE INSULARITY WILL STOP !!!

  • Randy Bridgeman on October 13, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    Don't fool the uninformed,Ms.Donna. Our winning just papers over the cracks and divisions which exists amongst Caribbean people. I don't like it but we must tell the truth. What passes for unity is superficial,temporary and shifting. Look how long the concept which is CSME has been around and it's still not a reality today. I always smile to myself when I hear sports commentators say that cricket is the only thing that unites us. If you're honest, you will know that this is not entirely true. Am sure you won't agree but the only person who is able to truly unite people/organizations is the Prince of Peace Himself,Jesus the Christ.

  • Donna on October 13, 2012, 2:48 GMT

    Let's not spoil the moment with petty divisions! I am a Barbadian whose favourite player was Alvin Kallicharran and who simply loves Shivnarine Chanderpaul! Bajans loved Carl Hooper so much they dubbed him "Sir Carl" There was no Barbadian in the semifinal or final but without Dwayne Smith's run out they would not have reached those stages. There have been many Guyanese before and there will be Guyanese again in the West Indies team. Most Caribbean people love eachother unless they perceive that they are being taken advantage of or misused in some way. Please let us enjoy eachother! There is so much about us to enjoy!

  • Donna on October 13, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    Wow! I always knew that most people were West Indies fans and supported them against countries other than their own but to discover that so many people support them even against their own country is trully amazing. I wish all parties involved in W.I. cricket could read these comments and realise that the whole world is counting on us to bring that X factor to cricket that only Caribbean people can supply. Onward and upward people! Or as Rastaman say, Forward ever, backward never! Let us move fast forward!

  • Randy Bridgeman on October 12, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    It appears that many Indian fans failed Geography for failing to make a distinction between the West of India and WI!(lol). Am from Barbados and have followed our cricket team for a long time. Actually, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first ever Test match which I saw live- WI vs India at the Jerusalem of Caribbean cricket, venerable Kensington Oval.

    The only game played as a young boy growing up in rural B'dos was "cricket, lovely cricket." We played morning, noon and night. Well not literally, but I'm sure you get my drift. One of the nurseries of WI cricket was a strong village game. Unfortunately, that's a thing of the past. Of course we all backed the WI except for one or two Afro-Saxons who would hail for the former colonial ruler, England.

    Bajan (one of the nicknames given to the people of Barbados) fans are known to be very knowledgeable about the game. We tend to favor elegant batsmen whether foreign or local. Seymour Nurse, Tom Graveney, Greg Chappell, Lawrence Rowe and Carl Hooper readily come to mind. We like our bowlers tall, strapping, hostile and quick. Back in the day, tiny B'dos would produce the bulk of the WI players. For instance on the '63 tour to England, half of the tour party of 16 players were Bajans: the legendary Frank Worrell, (captain), Conrad Hunte (vice-captain), Wes Hall, Garry Sobers, (all subsequently knighted), Charlie Griffith, David Allan, Nurse and Tony White (replacement player).

  • david on October 12, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    there was no guyenese on the team how can sammy the board man say they celebrating in guyana when he and gibsion do not like guyenese people eg)swarn and deonarine ..these are two cricketers who must be on the team

  • Marcus on October 12, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    This West Indies cricket team is a very humble and respectful team. God bless Sammy and the rest of the Guys. As a Jamaican, Sammy plays with such passion and it is now helping the team. Just wish we had a magical Lara to go with Gayles aggression and Samuels' artistry with the bat.

  • mark on October 12, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    i wonder whether this article is about West Indies or India...???

  • Sriram on October 12, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Not very often me and my wife sit and watch a cricket match, the ones i can remember is WT20 2007 when we were screaming when India won, then WC2011 again screaming..and recently WT20 that Windies won..we were so excited, and happy..we enjoyed it as much as if India would have won. My bowling hero was and will be the one and only 'Raging RED Bull' Curtly Ambrose. I've watched that youtube video when he knocked of Aussies down under a 100 times. No team can entertain as much as Widies, not in the past and no way in future. Windies are synonymn for celebration and our sport needs pure celebration, just the carribean way!! Rock on Windies Cricket. the world is with you.

  • Pacerone on October 12, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Calypso cricket is enjoyable cricket.Even when W.i was losing badly they would score faster than the opposition.Stroke play is a big part of the game.I remember seeing Seymour Nurse on news reels and started playing strokes like he did.it gave me great joy when my captain who saw Seymour for many year would comment to me "well played Seymour".A bouncer was always thought to be a ball that you could only get caught from,so it was not a ball you would want to have go by by ducking.It was said that Conrad Hunte would hook off the peak of his cap,so that was how we tried to play the hook.when we played against each other I was Norman Oneil if I was on the Australian team.Roy Marshall,Barry Richards,Majid Khan and an W.Indian batsman that was not taken.

  • allapgregory on October 11, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    A wonderful article, I share the sentiments and for sure during the lean periods of recent times, I consoled myself with the facts that I too, had the cherished memories of West Indian dominance of world cricket in past! Congrats to the current players and from the look of things with this unified approach, the desire and committment from all parties, the return to the glory days of Windies cricket is omnious!

  • Jchris on October 11, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    It's so pleasing to hear fans from other countries supporting the West Indies Team, makes me realized at this point West Indies have to come alive and stay alive for entertainment and the betterment of world Cricket. Wonderful article!!!

  • Imran Hnaif on October 10, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    GREAT Job WI!!!!!! I am so proud of this achievement. GOD Bless. BIG Up maan.

  • gsramesh on October 10, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    It's touching...the best of samuels hitting malinga 108mts .........amazing....feeling as if our country won the cup......west indies the way they enjoy the cricket,that makes us still to watch cricket.......awesome you can do more of this.if you are unite.........no countries might have entertained this kind of post presentation

  • arsalan on October 10, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    this is good blog.

  • Adrian Smith on October 10, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    I am a true West Indian at heart. I did not grow up in the glory days when the West Indian cricket team dominated cricket but I have an overwhelming sense of pride with being a West Indian. I believe in my heart that things will change for the better and we will once again dominate world cricket. The T20 World Cup is just a small step in that direction and I know that this is a sign that better things are yet to come in the not too distant future.

    Great article MV Swaroop really enjoyed reading it.

  • B. George Blake on October 10, 2012, 3:08 GMT

    This is such a heart warming article Mr Swaroop! As a West Indian living in Canada it makes me feel like a homeboy. It is a paper with understanding and a sense of universal goodwill; for these reasons it is worthy of a wide circulation in the Caribbean for the benefit, not only for those who are cricket lovers, but as an inspiration to a wider readership.Thank you.

  • P Louis on October 10, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    proudest west indian in the world...very proud of the guys from gibson right back down sammy/gayle/samuels...Forward windies...

  • Randy on October 9, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    @Purushotham Nope there no Issue around C Gayle. Plus WI got a new CEO who is From Jamaica, so i dont think they will be an Issue with Gayle. Its just to me Hilare was the Biggest ..... in the group. Gibson did wrong. and he now sees the results and i think he learn his lesson bout mixing the Old player with New player. They have a talk with Sarwan now trying to get him back into the Team. With this Victory, it shows wi is going in the right path, just need to be more orgaised in the Management. also Gayle n Sammy have no problem both of them look happy playing together, some time Sammy have been seeking Advice from Gayle on the field. it looks like WI are coming together now as one, under the leadership of Sammy. WI do have a bring future, Just Cant step back, need to go forward

  • Anonymous on October 9, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    That IS cricket. True cricket fans love CRICKET and CRICKETERS. There is nothing wrong with ethnic or national pride; and "fandom" is an essential element of all sports. However, this intense competition among fans where ill wishes and put-downs are common is unwholesome. It reminds one of "football hooliganism" although it is not as destructive{yet)! Let TRUE cricket fans continue to love cricket wherever it is played and whomever plays it and teach the true appreciation of the game to the new fans as they come aboard in Afghanistan, the USA and everywhere else. Any other way just isn't cricket!

  • RASTAFARI I on October 9, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    What a glorious moment in the eyes of the Caribbean people, to see our TEAM win convincingly one on the most prestigous cricket titles in World Cricket, the T Twenty World Cup, 2012. After all, the issues of coach and captain; Gayle and the others, has come to pass, and I hope also, has gone to rest. Sometimes, we have to take hard decisions and stand by them, once they are for the betterment. Sammy has been captain for only two years and has been the most critised captain in West Indies cricket, yet he has been one of the most committed and devoted player ON THE TEAM todate; as the saying goes, patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait. BIG UP SAMMY, BIGGER UP COACH GIBSON, BIGGER GAYLE AND BIGGER TEAM WEST INDIES. This is only the beginning. Keep the fire buring. JAH BLESSINGS AND LOVE TO ALL. FIRE! FIRE! BURN.

  • Jonty on October 9, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    As a kid used to hear from my late father about Sobers,Alvin kallicharan, Kanhai & Wes Halls cricketing exploits. Grew up watching on TV, Viv Richards,Greenidge, Dujon, Marshall, Holding and the likes play. Saw Lara, Ambrose and Walsh play live. Now can't get enough of Gayle and co play. Thanks for the wonderful blog evoking nostalgia of West Indian Cricket! Cheers

  • Vijay on October 9, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    Thanks Swaroop. I loved west indies from the day i heard about them. I am Indian. I thought that its against all moral rules loving another team above ur own countrys team. When i read your article i came to know that its not. I loved the way they play. I am from those golden days. I used to hear the commentry always. Even when india used to go to west indies and the comentry used to start at 1:00 am. i was there. It was richards time. My goodness man he used to tear around the bowling. I am so proud to take birth when richards was playing. There is no big sight than listening or watching that great man. Nobody can give such thrill like richards used to. Not in any game man. HE IS THE KING. I am so happy that West Indies won this trophy. I am 47 now and still love the game and i am on it the whole day. I played a lot of cricket in my life. I played for HYDCA in leagues.

  • Gopinath on October 9, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    its a mini time travel for me too. Thanks Mate!.. ofcourse! u missed a lot about brian lara and his brilliant achievements (pains too!!). This is the time for resurgence and focusing towards Mission Champions.

    let us pray and hope for a great revival. Cheers!!

  • unskilled_cricketer on October 9, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Awsome article. i just hope this win ignites somekind of passion among the youngster in those islands to take up cricket in the big way. i believe the replacement line is the major issues which windies need to address. they can sustain the consistency if they have battery of players in reserves ...n plz plz plz..find some quick bowlers who will again make the batsmen smell the leather :)...luv n wishes from an indian who will alwys remain a die hard supporter of WI (like many of fellow indians)

  • Ramdoss on October 9, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    In Chennai, for most of the cricket loving people of my age ie late 40's we are ardent fan of Viv Richards & Co and the West Indies Team. Whenever they play against India, irrespective of the outcome we accept and If windies happens to lose match against any opponent the day will always be sad. Off late we are happy to notice that they won against Newzealand had a respectable tour of India and now the World T 20. Hope the team will continue to show their dominance in the days to come. One thing which I would like to mention is that during the last test against India played at Mumbai, we were immensely satisfied with the Draw Result, we would have been sad if India won that match.

  • naveen alvares on October 9, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    Buddy , you like me are an wist Indian fan!!!! i m not surprised by it, the flair with which they played no one has been able to match them... they have had lows , but finally the sun could be shining on them...... the future is there , but they have to work hard at it..... Caribbean people are loved all over the world because of their happy nature......i will always remain a West Indian fan.... even over India.... Calypso cricket is the bright spot the world needed along with their new found fascination of a dance called gangnam

  • Ramdoss on October 9, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    In Chennai, for most of the cricket loving people of my age ie late 40's we are ardent fan of Viv Richards & Co and the West Indies Team. Whenever they play against India, irrespective of the outcome we accept and If windies happens to lose match against any opponent the day will always be sad. Off late we are happy to notice that they won against Newzealand had a respectable tour of India and now the World T 20. Hope the team will continue to show their dominance in the days to come. One thing which I would like to mention is that during the last test against India played at Mumbai, we were immensely satisfied with the Draw Result, we would have been sad if India won that match.

  • Rajesh Mehta on October 9, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    Great article. Just thought I would put in my tuppence worth...I was one of 22,000 people at Lord's on that glorious day when the West Indies won the first world Cup. I saw Viv Richards score 291 at the Oval Test Match in 1976. I was again at Lord's for the 1979 Final. I do consider myself lucky!! And, last Sunday a whole group of us of Indian origin, here in Nairobi, watched the T20 Final, and to a man we were all rooting for the West Indies...

  • Harsh on October 9, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Ha ! I second that too! I bet a lot of us used to think as kids that West Indies was perhaps a part of India somewhere in the west, and hence used to genuinely support them.

  • Santosh J S on October 9, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Well written Swaroop. I was a bit more luckier than you -- i was able to follow the WI from the beginning of the 1980s, and got to watch a fair bit of Viv, Greenidge and Marshall and a bit of Lloyd and Holding. It's hard explaning to anybody who got passionate about cricket post mid-1990s about the absolute majesty of the WI in full flow, or why they were everyone's favourite side even while playing on foreign soil, or why many of us continue to hope for a turnaround in WI fortunes. Although i'm not a great fan of T-20 cricket, i'm very happy at the WI victory -- quite a few youth among those who watched the WI-Au game and finals would have been touched by the magic of the WI game and would yearn for more. And that's always a positive.

  • Ashok Sridharan on October 9, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    Until this world cup win I thought that I was the only Indian from my generation (I never saw the great West Indies team in action) rooting for the West Indies. Turns out, there are thousands of others like me out there hoping to see West Indies do well. Go West Indies, go!

  • R.K GAHLOT on October 9, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    first of all congrats to windeis team they played extremely well right throw the tornament this kind of format of the game sutes to west indian so much they r now champ of this format

  • Madan on October 9, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    As an Indian, I screamed for joy at Samuel's thunderous sixes and Narine and Sammy's wickets...and finally, when the winning moment arrived. I was probably happier than when India won the WC 2011 probably because the buildup to the moment had been nothing like in 2011 and maybe also because of Sammy's equanimity in victory. Like you, I was shattered when West Indies lost narrowly to Australia in 1996 and I hope they don't throw it away again after this title.

  • Anonymous on October 9, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    I was always a fan of windies right from the days of Sobers, Kanhai, Hunt etc. I remember watching the Windies play in 1974-75 in Hyderabad against a south zone team led by Venkatraghavan and hammer away at the target in the last session of play on the third day. Can you ever forget Andy Roberts bowling. I also watched the India WINDIES FOURTH TEST in Madras in 1974-75 and saw an awesome spell of fast bowling by Andy Roberts and what in my opinion is the finest bit of batsmanship by an India [ G. Vishwanath ] . My memory fails me , I think he was unbeaten in the nineties. There was terrific spin bowling by Prasanna. I literally fell in love with the Windies that great tour [ they won 3-2 ] and followed them onradio when the toured Australia and Holding made his debut. Lets hope for the revival of cricket in the Windies.

  • constantine tringas on October 9, 2012, 2:35 GMT

    i can not speak highly enough of coach gibson and capt. sammy ,now i think the windies are on the way up people should be more patient with the hierachy after all they havent been on the job for very long , it does take time to mould a team .but i thing they have the right people at the top now we have to get consistency in the team remember a champion team will always beat a team of indivivuals. go the west indies and good luck.

  • D M Bachan on October 9, 2012, 1:28 GMT

    You have the nature of our spirit quite well. Welome home brother!

  • Viggy on October 8, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    Fantastic article mate. Well done. Loving it..

  • Anonymous on October 8, 2012, 21:12 GMT

    I was with you until the part of the "asserting identity." My own opinion of the last decade and a half is that we just either didn't have as good players like the past, or we got used to losing -- or a combination of both. I could be wrong, as I personally am now discovering my own self! :-) Thanks for supporting West Indies Indian!

  • John McFarlane on October 8, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    Ie EVER am a Jamaican and the only team I have EVER supported is the West Indies.I saw Sobers 365 no at Sabina as a little boy, I saw Keith Miller hit Tom Dewdney for 6 consecutive 4's at Sabina,I saw Lawrence Rowe's double century and century on debut,I saw Mikey Holding demolish England at the Oval in 1976,I saw Lara's double vs Australia in the late 90's,and a cover drive 4 which Jimmy Adams hit against McGraw... sweeter than sugar was that shot...who I thought was a most unsporting cricketer..Taylor uprooting Pietersen's leg stump in WC 2007 in Bdos,and bowling out England for 51 at Sabina.Most recently the matches against NZ at Sabina.I have never cared how many Jamaicans are in the side as the team represents us all..we loved Lara and Curtley as much as Chris and Marlon.Now we have the spirit back...no thanks to the awful Board ...but to the PLAYERS.Bless them all,great semi and final...we deserved to win.

  • neo1986 on October 8, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    This article speaks out the heart of every cricket crazy kid from the late 80's... We read how mighty the legends from carribean were; we admired their olalalalaleyo's and the bouncers... The courney Walsh and the Hoopers! Lara's and chanderpauls! These men were always the favourites.. deep in our hearts we always wanted them to win! Atlast here they are, back in their winning ways. It never is so pleasurable to watch a foreign team win, but When it is the Windies, u feel the passion, the joy, the ectasy! Heartfelt wishes to the Windies!

  • Darrell Cooper on October 8, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    It was great to the West Indies win the final. Am I however the only one to notice the absence of the shirt makers logo on Chris Gayle and Kieran Pollards match shirts. Perhaps there is still not exactly harmony in the ranks.

  • mikoyan on October 8, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    I can relate. Till I turned 10 I used to think India-West Indies match was between Rest of India and West India.

  • Satish on October 8, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    Well said! West Indies has always been one of "my" teams as well. They have a seemingly enjoyable innocence about their game that is untainted by the big money that seems to hold sway everywhere else. The skills they bring to the table are second to none and I just hope their ascendancy does not stop with this WC T20 win. Congratuations and may the entertaintment never stop...

  • Purushotham on October 8, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    please somebody tell me where is Mr. Gayle in that group photo. I am disappointed to seeing him, again any rift in the team. :(

  • The Rabbit on October 8, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    Amazing blog my friend. As a West Indian from Barbados your words reminded me why West Indies cricket has friends all over the world. The calypso cricket tag often annoys me because I believe it has sinister colonial and racial undertones, but still I would not want us to give up our flamboyant style that gave us that tag. After almost 20 years of heartbreak I hope us fans have more to cheer about in the coming decade. Thanks

  • Sanjeev Sonnad on October 8, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Right from the heart of a true fan!!! :-)

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  • Sanjeev Sonnad on October 8, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Right from the heart of a true fan!!! :-)

  • The Rabbit on October 8, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    Amazing blog my friend. As a West Indian from Barbados your words reminded me why West Indies cricket has friends all over the world. The calypso cricket tag often annoys me because I believe it has sinister colonial and racial undertones, but still I would not want us to give up our flamboyant style that gave us that tag. After almost 20 years of heartbreak I hope us fans have more to cheer about in the coming decade. Thanks

  • Purushotham on October 8, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    please somebody tell me where is Mr. Gayle in that group photo. I am disappointed to seeing him, again any rift in the team. :(

  • Satish on October 8, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    Well said! West Indies has always been one of "my" teams as well. They have a seemingly enjoyable innocence about their game that is untainted by the big money that seems to hold sway everywhere else. The skills they bring to the table are second to none and I just hope their ascendancy does not stop with this WC T20 win. Congratuations and may the entertaintment never stop...

  • mikoyan on October 8, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    I can relate. Till I turned 10 I used to think India-West Indies match was between Rest of India and West India.

  • Darrell Cooper on October 8, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    It was great to the West Indies win the final. Am I however the only one to notice the absence of the shirt makers logo on Chris Gayle and Kieran Pollards match shirts. Perhaps there is still not exactly harmony in the ranks.

  • neo1986 on October 8, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    This article speaks out the heart of every cricket crazy kid from the late 80's... We read how mighty the legends from carribean were; we admired their olalalalaleyo's and the bouncers... The courney Walsh and the Hoopers! Lara's and chanderpauls! These men were always the favourites.. deep in our hearts we always wanted them to win! Atlast here they are, back in their winning ways. It never is so pleasurable to watch a foreign team win, but When it is the Windies, u feel the passion, the joy, the ectasy! Heartfelt wishes to the Windies!

  • John McFarlane on October 8, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    Ie EVER am a Jamaican and the only team I have EVER supported is the West Indies.I saw Sobers 365 no at Sabina as a little boy, I saw Keith Miller hit Tom Dewdney for 6 consecutive 4's at Sabina,I saw Lawrence Rowe's double century and century on debut,I saw Mikey Holding demolish England at the Oval in 1976,I saw Lara's double vs Australia in the late 90's,and a cover drive 4 which Jimmy Adams hit against McGraw... sweeter than sugar was that shot...who I thought was a most unsporting cricketer..Taylor uprooting Pietersen's leg stump in WC 2007 in Bdos,and bowling out England for 51 at Sabina.Most recently the matches against NZ at Sabina.I have never cared how many Jamaicans are in the side as the team represents us all..we loved Lara and Curtley as much as Chris and Marlon.Now we have the spirit back...no thanks to the awful Board ...but to the PLAYERS.Bless them all,great semi and final...we deserved to win.

  • Anonymous on October 8, 2012, 21:12 GMT

    I was with you until the part of the "asserting identity." My own opinion of the last decade and a half is that we just either didn't have as good players like the past, or we got used to losing -- or a combination of both. I could be wrong, as I personally am now discovering my own self! :-) Thanks for supporting West Indies Indian!

  • Viggy on October 8, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    Fantastic article mate. Well done. Loving it..