West Indies in Australia 2009-10 December 2, 2009

Undeserved abuse for West Indies

The abuse and scorn heaped in the Australian press following the Brisbane Test was uncalled for; much of it was simply beyond the pale
  shares 164

No one is more painfully aware of the rapid disintegration of West Indies cricket than West Indians themselves. The proof has been before our eyes for at least a decade now, at our once-filled grounds, on our television screens, in our newspapers.

Once the most powerful force in the game, it has become so weak and woeful that its Test and ODI teams languish in the nether regions of the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings. The reasons for the sorry state of affairs are myriad but easily identified. As responsible as any is the environment of constant confrontation between an inept administration, all but bankrupt both financially and intellectually, and mollycoddled players who have been allowed to become idle and indisciplined for lack of leadership.

For all that, the abuse and scorn heaped on the team in the Australian press following its defeat in the first Test in Brisbane last week - by an innings and in three days - was undeserved. Much of it was simply beyond the pale.

The circumstances of the match were largely overlooked. Until it was significantly pointed out by the Australian coach Tim Nielsen, so too was the recent history of the first Test at the Gabba. And comparisons with Australia's similar decline in the 1980s, when their overall win-lost ratio in 92 Tests was 18-36 (5-16 against West Indies), were conveniently ignored.

Instead, we had this supercilious comment from Malcolm Conn, the long-serving writer for the Australian: "Have the West Indies really sent their full-strength team to Australia? Surely the real team must be still on strike, because if this is the best the combined might of the Caribbean can muster, then Test cricket is in terminal decline."

He was in the Caribbean with the Australian team in 1984 when West Indies did not lose a single second innings wicket in the five Tests, winning the series 3-0 on the way to six successive victories. As I recall, no one suggested then that Test cricket was in terminal decline because of it.

Nor was there any consideration by the West Indies board that the series "should be cancelled and all tickets refunded", the line Ben Dorries came up with in the Brisbane Courier-Mail after the Brisbane match. And, as bad as the Aussies were back then, they were not chided that their Test cricket had become "a complete and utter joke", another of Dorries' pearls.

Th captain of Australia during that dismal period was Kim Hughes.In his 28 Tests at the helm, Australia lost 13 Tests, against four victories. He resigned in 1984 after his team had been beaten for the fifth successive time by the West Indies, ironically at the same Gabba.

He cut a forlorn figure as he openly wept in front of the assembled media, pleading: "The constant criticism, speculation and innuendo by former players over the past four or five years have finally taken their toll". Given such a background, he might have been expected to keep his thoughts about the present situation to himself. Instead, he weighed in.

West Indies, he charged, were "an embarrassment to themselves", adding that Chris Gayle doesn't believe in Test cricket and "his body language suggests he doesn't want to captain".

"I'm a passionate person about Test cricket and this was not a Test," Hughes added. It was an observation that could be applied to his last five Tests against West Indies that produced two defeats by an innings, two by ten wickets and one by eight wickets. As he made his whimpering exit from the captaincy, did Hughes think, as he did now, that "it's not fair on sponsors and the public, who would be asking `why did you accept this lot'".

I doubt it. Even though West Indies had shown signs of improvement, drawing short series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand and regaining the Wisden Trophy with a 1-0 triumph over England in the Caribbean earlier in the year (the same England that defeated Australia in the summer to regain the Ashes), the outcome of the Brisbane Test was not surprising. They had been beaten in their eight previous Tests in Australia and had not won a series there since 1992-93.

They arrived hardly a month after the upheaval that had led to the second strike in four years by the main players and were palpably unprepared for such a tough assignment. Their fastest bowler, Fidel Edwards, remained at home suffering from back and knee injuries.

Gayle made a flying visit to Jamaica to be with his ill mother and arrived back only two days before the toss. On the morning of the match, Ramnaresh Sarwan's stiff back eliminated him from the starting XI. Halfway through the first day, the only tested fast bowler, Jerome Taylor, damaged his hip badly enough to put him out of the tour.

These were serious handicaps, especially for the opening Test at the Gabba where Australia had prevailed in 15 of their 20 Tests since beaten by the West Indies in 1988. Six of those victories were by an innings, three by ten wickets, two by more than 300 runs, five by more than 100 runs. Gayle's team simply added to the list.

Yet, after Sri Lanka went down by an innings and 40 runs in 2007 (Australia 551 for 4 declared) or England by 277 runs in 2008 (Australia 602 for 9 declared and 202 for one declared), there were no snide remarks in the Australian media such as "this summer will be defined by the comical, not the competitive". (Jamie Pandaram in the Melbourne Age) and "how on earth can anybody be expected to maintain interest in this dog-eared series for two more Tests" (Robert Craddock in the Brisbane Courier-Mail).

There has always been a general perception among West Indians that their successes are grudgingly accepted by others, their failures celebrated.

At the height of their powers, when their fast bowling was its unequalled strength, legislation limited the number of bouncers in an over to one and there were proposals from serious commentators that the pitch should be lengthened. Prior to the tour of England in 1991, David Frith, editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, damned the team as "the most fearsome, the most successful and the most unpopular in the world".

"Their game is founded on vengeance and violence and is tinged with arrogance," Frith wrote. Now there is growing support for the specious thesis that the game in the region would be stronger if fragmented into its separate parts.

Fortunately there are those of substance and influence with a more sympathetic, and realistic, take on West Indies cricket, men such as Greg Chappell. "The region of the West Indies has been one of the great cricket-playing regions and it would be an absolute tragedy in my view if we lost the West Indian region to cricket," he said in his recent Bradman Oration in Melbourne. "I'm hopeful that some of the work that's being done to help West Indian cricket become strong again is successful because I think they're a very important member of the cricket family," he added.

It is up to West Indians themselves, on and off the field, to silence the detractors and fulfill Chappell's hope.

Tony Cozier has written about and commentated on cricket in the Caribbean for nearly 50 years

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY windiesinfo on | December 5, 2009, 6:05 GMT

    I very much agree with Tony Cozier on this one, while I expect the media to be critical of the way the West Indies play and the way they have been playing for the last 15 years I am totally shocked when they write the things they do in their newspapers. I can accept criticisms to a point but for one to say that the West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe should be playing with boys and not men is a total disrespect to these players.

  • POSTED BY windiesinfo on | December 5, 2009, 5:46 GMT

    I think some posters who have now turned to criticising Mr Cozier missed his point. This was not about how the present team is playing or about the great teams of the past. What Mr Cozier is saying here is that the Australian media and some former players are being very unfair in their manner of criticisms. I acknowledge that fair criticism is fine but the negative things being said like "the cricket board should be ashamed of themselves to be inviting these players and should return people's money" was definitely over the top. A lot of talk about making test cricket into a two tiered thing with teams like West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe placed in the bottom tier would only kill Test cricket altogether. We already see what's happening in cricket with the introduction of 20/20 (I am not altogether a fan) and how almost everyone is being drawn to it because of the big bucks.

  • POSTED BY Uriah20 on | December 5, 2009, 3:26 GMT

    Excellent article. Especially seeing as Tony is usually one of the West Indies harshest critics. In most cases rightly so. If people actually read the article they would realise that he is absolutely spot on. Yes it was a woeful performance, but how many teams have put in equally bad if not worse performances in recent times? After Australias whitewash in 2006/7 ashes did anybody suggest the ashes was dead?

    This is a very competitive team that has been caught out by the recent strike which was more the fault of the board than the players. Sarwan and Chanderpaul are world class. Gayle admittedly should be better. Barath has huge potential. Nash has shown he deserves to be here. Compare Bravos stats with Flintoff. Ramdin is one of the best keepers in world cricket and has to continue to develop his batting. Imagine if thea fit Edwards and Taylor to add to the potential of Roach, Sammy, Rampaul and Benn.

    WICB need to get the structure in place to develop this team.

  • POSTED BY delboy on | December 4, 2009, 13:33 GMT

    I'm not asking Australia to donate towards the rebuilding of the WI team as a world force. They (Chapple) et al seem to want to decide who plays for the WI by calling for Darren Ganga to replace Gayle and proposing a two tier system. On the matter of Ganga, I would personally only pick one Ganga to represent the WI and his name is NOT Darren. What I would like Australia to do for WI cricket is allow my son, his friends and others to watch/listen to a match in which the WI is involved and hear a voice with which they can identify. I receive the Sky telecast and suffer the drones of Australian voices. Have the likes of Cozier, Bishop, Croft, Holding etc been relegated to the second tier of commentating / summarizing too?

  • POSTED BY Josephus72 on | December 4, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    You have my sympathies Tony. You have seemed like an incredibly gracious and gentle person for all the years I've listened to you commentate on the radio and on TV, as well as reading your articles and columns. Having seen the rise and fall of West Indies cricket first hand over such a long time, I can't imagine how hard it's been for you to maintain your journalistic integrity and to keep objective. As the preeminent WI cricket journo, you've had a much tougher job than almost all from other nations, so I can understand why you've lashed out this time. Normally, I'd expect you to consider such poor cricket journalism beneath you and unworthy of comment, but even the gentlest spirit has his breaking point.

    SirSackrot is right, remember that all bar one of the offending journos are Murdoch's and with the conservative side of Australian politics in disarray, they need to humiliate someone to sell units.

  • POSTED BY geets25 on | December 4, 2009, 10:43 GMT

    I am thankful that you saw it fit to remind us of the good ole days ...but let's not get carried away the Aussie press has been harsh but WI has played some awful cricket and as a West Indian it pains me each time. Seems to me that the West Indian cricketing wheel has forgotten how to spin and no one is willing to take responsibility or point fingers or say why we keep paying the same bunch of jokers to run and play our cricket? Is it as simple that the "West Indian" is a dying breed? I don't think so, there are numerous West Indian fans out here who still support the West Indian cricket team...it may be that the West Indian cricket board are the ones who no longer have faith in West Indian cricket. And to the persons who believe that Brian Lara's greatness destroyed the team ...why hasn't the Indian team crumpled under the weight of Tendulkar and Sehwag? Do not detract from his greatness beacuase he played with a poor team for most of his career. do not use it as an excuse.

  • POSTED BY stauybn on | December 4, 2009, 9:42 GMT

    Many of those smashing West Indies cricket have helped to seal its demise. The Australians and English did see to the introduction of the 1 ball bouncer per over to nullify the "fearsome" West Indies pacemen of the domininat era. Add to that batting helmets and other security pernaphanalia were all introduced to limit the West Indian dominance.

    The West Indies were just not ready for this test match worse against a team like Australia that will grind even the best prepared teams to the ground. It is also a weak W.I. team no doubt about that. Add the strke and ongoing confrontations with the board.

    Maybe we all must get to that point and accept that West Indies cricket has served its time. The West Indian society has grown more disparate over time, not more cohesive. That is why Trinidad and Tobago competed so very well in the recent T/20 competition as an island team but that performance of commitment and team spirit may never be emulated in a West Indies team again.

  • POSTED BY Rooboy on | December 4, 2009, 2:01 GMT

    Today's events have further evidenced that whatever criticism is directed at the WI, it is deserved. A captain who admits he is too unprofessional to spend ANY TIME AT ALL to familiarise himself with an opposition opening bowler then goes out swinging from the hip trying to hit a strike rate of 150 (there is only one Sehwag!) on the FIRST DAY of a test match and is dismissed early and cheaply. Sorry, Mr. Cozier, that does deserve scorn and ridicule whether you like it or not. And Jarr30 provides yet more evidence of the uninformed opinions eminating from the anti-Australian brigade. To state that the 'Australian media fails to critisize (sic) their own team and their meiocare (sic) captain' is just totally wrong and shows that a lot of people here are just writing what they want to believe or what they have been told, with NO consideration of the facts. Ridiculous comment - Ponting was crucified by Aus media after the 2005 Ashes, much worse than anything the WI have had so far.

  • POSTED BY redneck on | December 4, 2009, 1:36 GMT

    @Jarr30 if ponting cant handle pace then why is his record so good in south africa & australia (the fastest pitches in cricket)? and have his worst stats in india (argubly the slowest wickets on earth)! mate i dont think any cricketer is totally comfortable facing raw pace regardless of how good they are, however i dont think you can captain australia or even make the australian XI if you cant handle raw pace given its generally australias bowling strength! pontings also incredibly strong playing shots of the back foot square of the wicket, shots taylor made for facing quick bowlers on a bouncy wicket! there is no logic to your argument at all!

  • POSTED BY Jarr30 on | December 3, 2009, 23:28 GMT

    compensate@ No matter how hard you try to degrade Brain Lara, he will remain one the games Greatest player along with Tendulkar because they faced the best bowlers during the 90's era. When Ponting arrived in '95, he was only considered a good player who could'nt handle raw pace. Records proves that.

    No matter how many centuries Ponting scores he will be considered just a mediocre player in front these two legends and specially Lara.

  • POSTED BY windiesinfo on | December 5, 2009, 6:05 GMT

    I very much agree with Tony Cozier on this one, while I expect the media to be critical of the way the West Indies play and the way they have been playing for the last 15 years I am totally shocked when they write the things they do in their newspapers. I can accept criticisms to a point but for one to say that the West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe should be playing with boys and not men is a total disrespect to these players.

  • POSTED BY windiesinfo on | December 5, 2009, 5:46 GMT

    I think some posters who have now turned to criticising Mr Cozier missed his point. This was not about how the present team is playing or about the great teams of the past. What Mr Cozier is saying here is that the Australian media and some former players are being very unfair in their manner of criticisms. I acknowledge that fair criticism is fine but the negative things being said like "the cricket board should be ashamed of themselves to be inviting these players and should return people's money" was definitely over the top. A lot of talk about making test cricket into a two tiered thing with teams like West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe placed in the bottom tier would only kill Test cricket altogether. We already see what's happening in cricket with the introduction of 20/20 (I am not altogether a fan) and how almost everyone is being drawn to it because of the big bucks.

  • POSTED BY Uriah20 on | December 5, 2009, 3:26 GMT

    Excellent article. Especially seeing as Tony is usually one of the West Indies harshest critics. In most cases rightly so. If people actually read the article they would realise that he is absolutely spot on. Yes it was a woeful performance, but how many teams have put in equally bad if not worse performances in recent times? After Australias whitewash in 2006/7 ashes did anybody suggest the ashes was dead?

    This is a very competitive team that has been caught out by the recent strike which was more the fault of the board than the players. Sarwan and Chanderpaul are world class. Gayle admittedly should be better. Barath has huge potential. Nash has shown he deserves to be here. Compare Bravos stats with Flintoff. Ramdin is one of the best keepers in world cricket and has to continue to develop his batting. Imagine if thea fit Edwards and Taylor to add to the potential of Roach, Sammy, Rampaul and Benn.

    WICB need to get the structure in place to develop this team.

  • POSTED BY delboy on | December 4, 2009, 13:33 GMT

    I'm not asking Australia to donate towards the rebuilding of the WI team as a world force. They (Chapple) et al seem to want to decide who plays for the WI by calling for Darren Ganga to replace Gayle and proposing a two tier system. On the matter of Ganga, I would personally only pick one Ganga to represent the WI and his name is NOT Darren. What I would like Australia to do for WI cricket is allow my son, his friends and others to watch/listen to a match in which the WI is involved and hear a voice with which they can identify. I receive the Sky telecast and suffer the drones of Australian voices. Have the likes of Cozier, Bishop, Croft, Holding etc been relegated to the second tier of commentating / summarizing too?

  • POSTED BY Josephus72 on | December 4, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    You have my sympathies Tony. You have seemed like an incredibly gracious and gentle person for all the years I've listened to you commentate on the radio and on TV, as well as reading your articles and columns. Having seen the rise and fall of West Indies cricket first hand over such a long time, I can't imagine how hard it's been for you to maintain your journalistic integrity and to keep objective. As the preeminent WI cricket journo, you've had a much tougher job than almost all from other nations, so I can understand why you've lashed out this time. Normally, I'd expect you to consider such poor cricket journalism beneath you and unworthy of comment, but even the gentlest spirit has his breaking point.

    SirSackrot is right, remember that all bar one of the offending journos are Murdoch's and with the conservative side of Australian politics in disarray, they need to humiliate someone to sell units.

  • POSTED BY geets25 on | December 4, 2009, 10:43 GMT

    I am thankful that you saw it fit to remind us of the good ole days ...but let's not get carried away the Aussie press has been harsh but WI has played some awful cricket and as a West Indian it pains me each time. Seems to me that the West Indian cricketing wheel has forgotten how to spin and no one is willing to take responsibility or point fingers or say why we keep paying the same bunch of jokers to run and play our cricket? Is it as simple that the "West Indian" is a dying breed? I don't think so, there are numerous West Indian fans out here who still support the West Indian cricket team...it may be that the West Indian cricket board are the ones who no longer have faith in West Indian cricket. And to the persons who believe that Brian Lara's greatness destroyed the team ...why hasn't the Indian team crumpled under the weight of Tendulkar and Sehwag? Do not detract from his greatness beacuase he played with a poor team for most of his career. do not use it as an excuse.

  • POSTED BY stauybn on | December 4, 2009, 9:42 GMT

    Many of those smashing West Indies cricket have helped to seal its demise. The Australians and English did see to the introduction of the 1 ball bouncer per over to nullify the "fearsome" West Indies pacemen of the domininat era. Add to that batting helmets and other security pernaphanalia were all introduced to limit the West Indian dominance.

    The West Indies were just not ready for this test match worse against a team like Australia that will grind even the best prepared teams to the ground. It is also a weak W.I. team no doubt about that. Add the strke and ongoing confrontations with the board.

    Maybe we all must get to that point and accept that West Indies cricket has served its time. The West Indian society has grown more disparate over time, not more cohesive. That is why Trinidad and Tobago competed so very well in the recent T/20 competition as an island team but that performance of commitment and team spirit may never be emulated in a West Indies team again.

  • POSTED BY Rooboy on | December 4, 2009, 2:01 GMT

    Today's events have further evidenced that whatever criticism is directed at the WI, it is deserved. A captain who admits he is too unprofessional to spend ANY TIME AT ALL to familiarise himself with an opposition opening bowler then goes out swinging from the hip trying to hit a strike rate of 150 (there is only one Sehwag!) on the FIRST DAY of a test match and is dismissed early and cheaply. Sorry, Mr. Cozier, that does deserve scorn and ridicule whether you like it or not. And Jarr30 provides yet more evidence of the uninformed opinions eminating from the anti-Australian brigade. To state that the 'Australian media fails to critisize (sic) their own team and their meiocare (sic) captain' is just totally wrong and shows that a lot of people here are just writing what they want to believe or what they have been told, with NO consideration of the facts. Ridiculous comment - Ponting was crucified by Aus media after the 2005 Ashes, much worse than anything the WI have had so far.

  • POSTED BY redneck on | December 4, 2009, 1:36 GMT

    @Jarr30 if ponting cant handle pace then why is his record so good in south africa & australia (the fastest pitches in cricket)? and have his worst stats in india (argubly the slowest wickets on earth)! mate i dont think any cricketer is totally comfortable facing raw pace regardless of how good they are, however i dont think you can captain australia or even make the australian XI if you cant handle raw pace given its generally australias bowling strength! pontings also incredibly strong playing shots of the back foot square of the wicket, shots taylor made for facing quick bowlers on a bouncy wicket! there is no logic to your argument at all!

  • POSTED BY Jarr30 on | December 3, 2009, 23:28 GMT

    compensate@ No matter how hard you try to degrade Brain Lara, he will remain one the games Greatest player along with Tendulkar because they faced the best bowlers during the 90's era. When Ponting arrived in '95, he was only considered a good player who could'nt handle raw pace. Records proves that.

    No matter how many centuries Ponting scores he will be considered just a mediocre player in front these two legends and specially Lara.

  • POSTED BY Jarr30 on | December 3, 2009, 23:07 GMT

    Mr Cozier...I salute you for writing such a great article... Australian media is a DISGRACE to cricketing community.They get soo much pleasure in insulting and degrading a country or a player with ease.Specially comming from an HOPELESS & FLOP player/ex-captain of Australia like Kim Hughes who himself cried like a p*ssy and thrown of their team is a SHAME. Australian media fails to critisize their own team and their meiocare captain when they lose to stronger teams like SA,India( when Aussiess lost both series in '08 ) & England in '09.

  • POSTED BY shanara on | December 3, 2009, 22:30 GMT

    Mr. Cozier can assess relations between Brian Lara and WI cricket requested by Mr. Compensate. He should consider the negative correlation (not impact) between Lara career and WI demise. Its true that as Lara ascended, the West Indies descended. To de comment that Lara only played well as captain - consider comments in his profile by Cricinfo staff.

    1. Lara returned to his best in Sri Lanka in 2001-02, with 221 and 130 in one Test and 688 runs - a record 42% of West Indies' output - in the series, and reclaimed the captaincy the following year. 2. The task proved as hard second time round, leading a side where he was far and away the best player and where discipline was a constant worry.

    1st comment proves that he did play potential match-winning innings while not captain, they were however, not enough as there was little support from the rest of the team. The 2nd comment gives the reason why the team did not win much while he was performing his heroics as captain - indiscipline.

  • POSTED BY shanara on | December 3, 2009, 21:06 GMT

    As West Indians, we need not only to rise above de abyssmal position we are in world cricket but also above our sensitivity to criticism. Coupled with dat Mr. Cozier himself also needs to rise above his hypocritical pampering of de same West Indies whom he has fed like fodder with his diatribe, to foreign journalist over de years. Shannon Nichols - Trini in Botswana

  • POSTED BY SirSackrot on | December 3, 2009, 13:02 GMT

    I am an Australian sports journalist myself, but not on cricket, and I have to agree with you 100 percent Tony. The way News Limited covers cricket in Australia is a disgrace and typical of their "Holier than thou" style of reporting which prevails throughout this country. Craddock writes like a man bitter he was never good enough to play for his school third XI while Conn is simply an irrelevance, nobody reads The Australian anyway. The only cricket writer I read in Australia is Peter Roebuck, he's insightful, knowledgeable and can make his point without stooping to the ridiculous. Roebuck has been critical of the West Indies team but has been constructive about it and used far superior language to the News Limited "writers". I myself thought there were positives in the Windies performance. I was impressed by the guts of the fast bowlers when a man down, they never shirked their tasks but the batting simply needs more application. We all know the talent is there.

  • POSTED BY redarmy on | December 3, 2009, 13:00 GMT

    Once again great article from one of the finest cricket writer. It is sad to see the current state of West Indies cricket. waited long and losing hope for revival of West Indies cricket

  • POSTED BY dane400 on | December 3, 2009, 12:17 GMT

    i've been following West Indies cricket since 1990, yeah i'm young to the game. But i agree with tony, the Australian has no right to be describing our cricket in that way especially KIM HUGHES one of Australia's worst captains!! West Indies had a lot of handicaps coming into this series so it should be expected that this team would come and destroy Australia. I believe in my team and expect them to come better in the next match

  • POSTED BY EhsenZef on | December 3, 2009, 10:57 GMT

    I am surprised by the number of Australians supporting (mediocre) West Indies cricket team and media hasn't been treating them that bad. In contrast some of the better teams like England (understandably) and Pakistan have been treated worse by media and crowd.

  • POSTED BY seley1 on | December 3, 2009, 10:23 GMT

    i feel sorry for the windies for what they got from the australian media, but it was a very poor performance from the team in general hopefully they can do in the next two tests or else the winidies could be in even more dispute from the media!

  • POSTED BY compensate on | December 3, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    Mr Cozier,I rather like this article.It is very thoughtful,in fact,comprehensive. I shall like to dear you to assess,thoroughly,the negative impact of Lara's career on West Indies cricket.Lara ascended and west Indies decended!He used his 365 and 501 as the platform to undermine the team in pursuit of the captaincy. When he entered,West Indies were still a strong team ,and at the time the strongest team in the world!He walked off the tour in england!The captain said then,some people had there own agenda!I have another request for you,name one match winning test innings Lara played when he was not captain! The fact,he never played for west Indies.He played for himself. Do the impact assessment!

  • POSTED BY dutchy on | December 3, 2009, 10:06 GMT

    This article is symptomatic of many problems with Windies cricket - cheap shots at easy targets like Kim Hughes, constant bringing up the glory days of the 70s and 80s. The 80s are over, Tony. They were great days for the West Indies but they are not coming back. Maybe part of the reason Windies cricket is so bad (and it's far worse than Australia in the 80s), is because of journos like Tony Cozier who can't stop talking about glory days.

  • POSTED BY Gopu61 on | December 3, 2009, 5:14 GMT

    I have been Windies fan for the past 30 years(since Prudential Cup,1975).After the high pedestal they were in,it is really sad to see the decline of present Windies team.It is partly due to insufficient resources.Rich bodies like BCCI should help to rejunivate Windies cricket which is good for world cricket

  • POSTED BY WestIndiesCricket.ORG on | December 3, 2009, 4:10 GMT

    There is not much I care to comment on what needs to be done in the long term to benefit bringing WI cricket to a consistently competitive level. We can argue many things: 2-tier, relegation etc. etc. It's just more blah blah with some merits. But I don't want to see things change for the traditional format. I always say, our cricket has suffered for the past decade due to a lack of quality bowlers. We have and will always have world class batsmen. For now, I want an immediate fix. I want the team to stand a chance in the next test and the test after that. We're not going to be able to do that without world class bowlers. Fidel is out, Jerome is out, we are desperate and we should have done what I stated a year ago and the year before that, we need to bring back Curtly Ambrose into the West Indies team. Many would say this is crazy talk, but believe me, Curtly is very strong and still strong today. I would bet my last dollar that he can still send shivers down the best batsmen of today

  • POSTED BY kingdom2215 on | December 3, 2009, 4:02 GMT

    I have been a West Indian fan for 12 years and i love west Indian cricket,unfortunately i have only experience the decline of it cricket. my enjoyment of the glory days comes from tapes and " how i long for those days to return" and on those tapes i see thousands of fans around the world enjoying every bit of the beating the west indies teams of old were administering to" WEAKER" opponents (ENGLAND AND AUSTRALIA) but i heard no comments during these matches for a two tier system or how irrelevant and disgraceful these team were. the strange thing is history tells us that the boys from the Caribbean drew crows and revenue for the development of world cricket something those trowing rocks seem to forget and now that they (west indies cricket) is in direr need of help and development no one is lending a hand how ungrateful. Tony you are right well said.

  • POSTED BY TheDoctor394 on | December 3, 2009, 3:31 GMT

    Another thing... Last summer, it was New Zealand that the Australian press was saying should not be playing Test matches with the "best" teams, despite the fact that, in the previous match at the Gabba, they did have Australia in trouble for a while, and who has now just defeated Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY finncam on | December 3, 2009, 3:25 GMT

    I have to agree with Crozier, that the criticism was over the top, but the Australian media is always over the top when it comes to cricket. You should see how they regularly take their own team apart, if they dare to lose a a game! Yet rugby and its players, in all forms, are some sort of sacred cow. Not matter how badly footie stars behave - and they are pretty awful - the press rush to their defense. Whereas if Ponting isn't 100% politically correct every moment of the day and might, then they get stuck into him like you wouldn't believe. Usually led by that complete hysteric, Roebuck, who seems to think he's some guardian of the game. An d don't lump all Australians in with the arrogant press. THe audience at that game were very good-spirited and gave the young Windies batsman a standing ovation when he got his century. It's the sporting press, the world over, really, who need reining in, especially the pretentious cricket writers.

  • POSTED BY bajanman on | December 3, 2009, 2:11 GMT

    Well said, Tony. I totally agree with your argument.

  • POSTED BY Goodsaf on | December 3, 2009, 2:03 GMT

    Unlike many of the comments here, i'm with Tony Cozier on this. Australia have for years destroyed teams at the Gabba. No need to get carried away, not to mention the disadvantages the Windies faced in this test, with Edwards & Sarwan out, Taylor soon injured & Gayle on a whirlwind return. I remember Australia being regularly destroyed by powerful West Indies teams, it happens to every test nation. Branding teams a discrace, useless etc is just not helpful. It still always amazes me that the West Indies put a team together at all. A bunch of small countries somehow all come together to form a Cricket team - who are usually highly entertaining to watch. Let's just enjoy it! & stop bashing test cricket. Personally, i'd much rather watch this than ANY 20/20 game that has ever been played.

  • POSTED BY joggy on | December 3, 2009, 1:50 GMT

    I am a young fan of West Indies cricket and i believe the West Indies has been getting a raw deal from Media Locally and Abroad. In Jamaica the Media rarely focus on the achievement of the West Indies, also I believe cricket is not broadcast enough in Jamaica they need help tackling this problem.I have not gotten to watch most of the game in the past year. I sill love he West Indies and belive they can beat any Team.

  • POSTED BY tommyhawk on | December 3, 2009, 1:27 GMT

    Well done Tony! Remember how the same Aussies decried Lara, simply because they wanted Matthew Hayden to retain the world batting record. Let the Aussies remember that he who scatters thorns should not go barefoot!

  • POSTED BY crikectfan on | December 3, 2009, 1:26 GMT

    I respect Cozier's position, however i think that any criticism that the west indies gain is well justified.As an avid cricket and west Indian supporter i have seen mediocre performances test after test. These state of west indian cricket today and the reason for these humiliating defeats stems from a few factor. firstly, the strongest west idian team is never selected, players who have failed test after test have been consistently(some mentioned by stanlee) played while players who show potential have been given one off opportunities. secondly, the preparation for tests are little to none. how can u go into a test against the leading team in the world in their backyard and play one warm up match? this is beyond me...The core reason for the state of west Indian cricket however is the politics involved. the administrators of west Indian cricket have their own agendas and leave the game we all love in the Caribbean to be stained with humiliations.

  • POSTED BY Jim1207 on | December 3, 2009, 1:25 GMT

    I read that Gayle had actually told that test cricket is on its way out. If he has really told so, test cricket will really heap shame on men like him even if it's on its way out. But the truth of who is on its way out is known to all!!!

  • POSTED BY kjkool82 on | December 3, 2009, 1:22 GMT

    To all those that are using this as a change to put more hate on the Aussie team - please do not link our team to our media!! Unfortunately, tall poppy syndrome is rampant in all of our media outlets here. If you think what they are saying about the current WI side at the moment is bad, try having a look at the media following the 2005 & 2009 Ashes. They are brutal on visitors - murderous on their own. You only have to take a look at Peter Roebuck's article about Andrew Strauss. He talks about the contentious catch of Hughes at Lords and vindicates Strauss by saying 'its OK, all of those catches look dodgy". Yet when Ponting claimed a similar catch, Roebuck called him everything under the sun. As an Aussie, I often find myself cursing the print media, so take my advice and ignore them, especially the likes of Roebuck, Conn, and Hughes - amateur hacks!

  • POSTED BY Trapper439 on | December 3, 2009, 1:15 GMT

    It is ironic that Tony brings up Kim Hughes' tearful resignation, as it highlights the difference perfectly. If the Windies lose this series 3-0, do you think Chris Gayle will shed a tear, or even lose a moment of sleep over it? No, he won't. He'll just look forward to his next fat paycheck for playing hit-and-giggle T20 matches.The West Indies lost their last Test series to Bangladesh if I'm not mistaken. Then they put in an insipid performance in Brisbane in which their senior batsmen were shown up by a teenager. Gayle wasted their umpiring referrals like it was a backyard match. They simply don't show the passion to compete that made them a great cricketing nation from the days of the "three W's", through Sobers, Viv, and all the great pacemen. They don't care anymore, and it is indeed a worrying omen for the health of Test cricket. I think Tony wrote this article because the comments by the Aussie journalists cut him a bit too close to the bone.

  • POSTED BY hazeltine on | December 3, 2009, 1:12 GMT

    Tony Cozier has not got no grounds for his comments about the Australian media. He decided not to go to Australia to cover the WIndies tour which is absolutely ridiculous. Sure WIndies are an atrocious team for so many reasons I won't go into. The point of having a WInidan commentator there however, would be to enlighten WIndian supporters. If the team is not batting, bowling or fielding in an acceptable fashion TELL US. If members of the team are out drinking when they should be preparing for a test match, TELL US. If the attitude of Gayle or anyone else is not up to scratch for a test match TELL US. Cozier, Garner and every other WIndian commentator should not be concerning themselves with what Australians say about WIndies, they should be talking about the Gayle as skipper, the pathetic batting display, the inept bowling and the amateurish fielding displays which have been going on for 15 YEARS. Unless they beging to address these issues, we will not BEGIN TO IMPROVE.

  • POSTED BY Rooboy on | December 3, 2009, 1:11 GMT

    wanderer1, with all due respect, you do not have a clue about what you're talking about. 'Aussies like to give it but struggle to take it' - are you for real?! You are obviously commenting from a great distance because if you'd spent any time in Australia you'd realise that the Australian press is just as ruthless and critical of any Australian team or player that is not performing. What Matthew Hayden went through with the press last year was a disgrace, and guess what guys, HE IS AN AUSTRALIAN! To anyone with any degree of logic, that fact alone negates the argument that the Australian press is invovled in some sort of conspiracy against touring sides. But hey, as predictable as the Australian press is in being critical to ANY team that performs woefully, is the whining and moaning about peripheral issues from touring teams hoping to deflect attention from their own inept performances. Grow up!

  • POSTED BY kforshaw on | December 3, 2009, 0:50 GMT

    i am an aussie fan but generally a fan of test cricket. i think the majority of australians loved watching the west indies' cricket when they were at their peak, and i don't think the inflamatory remarks by our (let's be honest) very poor cricket media help or reflect this, journalists after all focus on the sensational. i think if there is any concern in australia it is, like greg chappell says, for the current ill-health of west indies test cricket as it clearly not where it should be, and we australians are sad to see it. this does not excuse the comments tony cozier has quoted in his article - the windies don't deserve this level of abuse. it is unfair to lump every australian cricket fan in with tabloid journalism's worst.

  • POSTED BY mattkel on | December 3, 2009, 0:44 GMT

    Thanks for posting this. The Australian media (I am Australian) are a joke, especially when it comes to sports writing. I hope the Windies pull a surprise victory this tour and see what they are writing then. Tony Cozier, one of my favourite sports journalists.

  • POSTED BY stanlee on | December 3, 2009, 0:28 GMT

    Cozier's protest is hollow because as senior writer on Windies cricket he is often silent when he shouldn't.Where is his outrage when mediocrity is rewarded?Benn,Marshall,Pollard,Powell,Parchment,both De and Dw Smith.M Samuels,Fletcher are some who have failed repeatedly but continue to be selected.Meanwhile A Jaggernauth and D Mohammed the best spinners in Windies cricket the past few seasons are repeatedly ignored while Benn an average spinner at best is preferred.Or N Deonarine now on his third tour, is yet to appear in a meaningful game while Dowlin with inferior stats is preferred.D Ganga's team showed what can be achieved with the right players, leadership and a professional approach.Until Cozier with his high profile raises issues as the ones I have highlighted,and starts dealing with injustices in West Indies cricket, I'm afraid his protestations are lacking in credibility.

  • POSTED BY Rooboy on | December 2, 2009, 23:33 GMT

    Well said, Celtics24, I could not agree more. It's sad to see the WI where they are but people need to be realistic ... they have lost 9 tests in a row in Australia. NINE TESTS IN A ROW! Regardless of what has happened in the past, surely this record is incomparable and if it does not deserve criticism, then I don't know what does. Cozier has not ever struck me as being overly sensitive but this article has me questioning that opinion. It is also HIGHLY amusing to read all the comments about the 'abusive' Australian journalists. Judging by many of the comments here, all Australians lack class because of their 'abusive' attitude, but the people making such comments don't seem to see the irony in their vitriolic anti-Australian comments being worse than anything they are complaining about in the Australian media. Every piece on this website becomes an invitation (for mostly indians) to bash Australia, why do people consider that OK if they are so concerned about teams being abused?!?!?

  • POSTED BY lodger67 on | December 2, 2009, 23:18 GMT

    nafzak - before presuming that it is only white folk that have been putting the boot in to West Indian players and administration, remember that there have been plenty of barbs thrown from inside the Caribbean for several years. Your own Fazeer M writing with very few positive thoughts here and adding comments made by none other than Sobers himself, in 2007: http://www.cricinfo.com/westindies/content/story/312862.html

  • POSTED BY topscore375 on | December 2, 2009, 22:52 GMT

    I think that the current players are overpaid and are not producing any performance to justify the high wage bills. Therefore some of the criticism is deserved but the arrogance and dismissive attitude of the Australian media is distasteful.

    Well done to Tony Cozier for his excellent article highlighting the scorn of WI cricket by the media and his relentless mission for several decades to ensure that WI cricket and supporters are given the recognition for our contribution to world cricket.

    I salute you Sir Tony Cozier

  • POSTED BY topscore375 on | December 2, 2009, 22:40 GMT

    Lack of preparation for major tours is crippling the standard of West Indies cricket and the ICC has to review the format of the Future Tours Programme for world cricket.At the moment it all about money and less focus on the quality of test cricket.The modern game does not allow for the length of time required by the players to acclimatise to new conditions and is therefore reducing the quality and standard of cricket currently being played. I hope that the WICB and the current management team see this defeat as an example of the poor preparation for such an important test series, especially coming after all the recent problems with the player's dispute and the lack of any meaningful cricket in the last 6 months.The WI should have played at least 3 or 4 matches prior to the Brisbane test to ensure that the team was adequately prepared.The WICB must not allow this situation to happen again for any future test tours at home or away.

  • POSTED BY lodger67 on | December 2, 2009, 22:18 GMT

    Before we praise Tony too much here -- for he is right in principle -- please ask him to get his facts straight. At no point did Australia ever play 92 tests for a 18-36 ratio. In the entire decade of the 1980s, the Australian record was 28-31 from 97 tests, so he is conveniently misrepresenting the truth to inflate his claims. Second, he says that nobody ever called Australian test teams a joke or decried the decline in the game, but that is also untrue. Here in Australia throughout 1984 to 1987, such abuse was regularly the subject of Australian press coverage of their cricket team. The fact her is that the real villain is the Australian press which, like the British press, is notorious for hyperbole and ridiculous sensationalism. Tony has for years been a much respected writer and commentator. I urge him now not to follow the Aussie press into the gutter of misrepresentation without due evidence.

  • POSTED BY MrPontingToYou on | December 2, 2009, 21:51 GMT

    Not sure what Tony is complaining about. The WI cricket team has been a disgrace for years. They are an embaressment not only to themselves, but to the entire region.

  • POSTED BY frangela on | December 2, 2009, 21:48 GMT

    Tony (No! Mr. Tony) You have spoken on behalf of all true lovers of the game in West Indies and the rest of the world, even the fairminded in Australia. It is worth noting that whilst the abuse was taking place the very Head of Austrailia, Prime Minister Rudd was bestowing on Brian (No! Mr. Brian) Charles Lara Honor and highest praise! Leave the cruel jokers alone. I cannot forget the cruel essay Ruebok wrote on Lara and my take on that is he is simply a man jealous of the world's greatest batsman with the greatest records since The Don Sir Donald Bradman. The cruel writers and bad-mouthers of Austrailian Press will do well to accept that in the days when they could not lift a bat against the might of West Indies, no one on this side of the world chastised them in the way they are doing to West Indies and by extension the fans of West Indiea. Their attitude suggests that they are a proud bunch but let it be known that pride goeth before a fall and it is coming!

  • POSTED BY wanderer1 on | December 2, 2009, 21:28 GMT

    Aussies like to give it but struggle to take it. The news media in many parts of the western world is overtly abusive to people they either don't like or respect, they get away with it because they believe in some mythical nonsense which deems them to a freedom of speech which they almost never give to the ones shouting back.

    But know Tony that what goes around comes around, and Australia will also, as their test ranking slide has shown will find themselves in the other position and they won't like it when people chide and belittle them.

  • POSTED BY johnbidd on | December 2, 2009, 21:02 GMT

    The Australian media are generally pretty excitable, and while kicking someone when they're down isn't particularly edifying or helpful, the better response would be to ignore the journalists, rather than trying to defend the indefensible, and concentrate your efforts on improving WI cricket. Incidentally, it should also be said that there is a significant point of difference between Australia getting well beaten by the WI in 1984 and the WI getting well beaten by Australia now - the 1984 WI team was an all-time great side, which the 2009 Australian team isn't.

  • POSTED BY pace_and_bounce on | December 2, 2009, 20:48 GMT

    Fully agree with Tony. This abuse is rubbish and in no way deserving. Is this any way to welcome a touring team or cover a series? It doesn't reflect well on the writers of such articles... unfortunate that they stoop to such levels to maybe sell more copies of newspapers, or get a few more hits on their web page. BTW, your great response is getting a lot of attention (already see 102 comments). Hope this knocks some sense into these blokes and they try and write some proper stuff which is worthy of reading, instead of childish opinionated rants.

  • POSTED BY lazytrini on | December 2, 2009, 19:38 GMT

    The most salient point Cozier has to make is in the opening lines. All observing W Indians are aware of the problems, constructive criticism from outsiders is welcome AND needed, but we don't really need anyone rubbing it in our face vindictively. That said, despite the myriad of factors affecting the team in this past test, the fact is, there are systemic problems in WI cricket that will not be resolved anytime soon. There is some hope for the future, but the turnaround is not close. Much of the success the team has had in the last few years. ('06 Champions Trophy to now) has not been indicative of true progress, but has been because of a combo of brilliant individual performances, flash in the pan moments, complacent opposition and occasionally luck. Until WI cricket is completely overhauled, the team will have to depend on all of these things to experience any success. And until it can show that its progress is real and consistent, then it sadly wears a bullseye for all to target.

  • POSTED BY WJStryder on | December 2, 2009, 19:27 GMT

    And out come all the Australian haters ... Look at your own media before criticising anothers. Look at your own players on field behaviour's before criticising anothers. There isnt a country in the world that plays cricket in the spirit the scribes say is expected. Yet Australians are routinely targeted as the bad guys. Im south African. i see plenty wrong with the SA, England and India play the game, yet they are never castigated in these forums. Anyhow... Australian media are not as tony cozier is trying to insinuate that the West Indians are untalented. They are trying to rouse them to a competitve state of mind. The most annoying thing about west indian cricket is that they simply dont care. That is why they are so poor. If you condone that, then youare condoning the death of test cricket. Australians love competition. They love to be challenged. Something we could learn from. Certainly something the West indians could benefit from.

  • POSTED BY wibbly on | December 2, 2009, 19:21 GMT

    Kim Hughes was beaten, bruised, and totally defeated...he lead a mediocre team and was humiliated by the West Indies and a few other teams as well. His response? He cried in public and made himself and Australian cricket into a laughing stock. Some would say that he cried because he cared so deeply about Australian cricket, others would call him a name that i will not print here. Seriously, in the face of similar adversity could anyone imagine Lillee or Thommo or Steve Waugh breaking down and crying? Could Allan Border ever have lowered himself to sob like a girl in public because eleven big West Indian men had humiliated him on a cricket field? Kim Hughes does not deserve a voice in cricket now or ever. He has internalized his humiliation and it has poisoned him. He wants to stab the windies while they are down, forgetting what the Windies did for Australian cricket when they were down. Oh Kim, it's ok, those big West Indians can't hurt you anymore, ...let go, let go, no more pain.

  • POSTED BY ashok16 on | December 2, 2009, 19:08 GMT

    Tony, in cricket as in other professional activities in life, you are only remembered by your most recent achievements. West Indies have been in decline (terminal or not) for about 10 years now. And to top it there is very little money in the West Indies. Get used to it - it is only going to get worse from now on. Unless the next Marshall, Roberts, Garner and Holding are found, getting even 3 test series in Australia will be difficult. And let us say by miracle, the next fearsome foursome is found somehow, it is not like the West Indies will refuse to tour Australia citing all the abuse they are going through now.

    Ashok

  • POSTED BY NavinDesigns on | December 2, 2009, 19:08 GMT

    Excellent article by a man who knows cricket. Every aussie should read this.

  • POSTED BY Lovemd62 on | December 2, 2009, 19:07 GMT

    In our history lies the glory of our Pride! We are still the force that makes cricket the sports to watch! Our Players are graceful hard hitting and demoralizing to the best of world class bowlers.

    If we forget our past Australia, we bound to repeat it! Australia your days are numbered like that of Sodom, We will beat you in the second test, we will silence the dis-tractors and hypothalamus damage Aussie news media!

    We will once again rise like the eagles to lent the harmony of willows to ball resounding its melodies to the ear of every West Indian lover of the great game we dominated for decades. Your words against us will rolls off like the dew upon the lilies!

    Peradventure, when we are on our upward path, Australia you are on your downward.. Our noses in the Caribbean is never to frowned upon the weak but to give a helping hand as we did in the 80's. We pride ourselves in what we have accomplished being poor, yet strong in substance and beauty.

    Yes We shall rise! We shall!

  • POSTED BY VishyKnight on | December 2, 2009, 19:03 GMT

    Wonderful article Tony! The Australian press should have known better than criticizing the West Indies team and thus taking you on :)

    My personal view is that there is a lot of talent brimming in the West Indies - there are fast bowlers, attacking batsmen and the West Indian flair is intact. During the Champions league the Trinidad and Tobago team was the most popular and won over the hearts of neutral fans. I think Adrian Barath is a wonderful talent and so is Kieron Pollard. I also like the exciting talent of Dwayne Smith. In Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor, Ravi Rampaul, Dwayne Bravo, Gavin Tonge and the spinners Suleiman Benn and Dave Mohammed West Indies has some exciting bowlers. At their full strength and playing at their best, they can beat any team. I think what is needed is probably strong leadership at the team level and the Board level. Can Chris Gayle do that, by playing the role that Clive Lloyd did in the 1970s? We have to wait and see.

  • POSTED BY asiba on | December 2, 2009, 19:03 GMT

    WELL ! what do you expect ? Who can blame them ? We need to shut them up but the WICB will have to be disbanded because the WICB has no clue what to do

  • POSTED BY Jeykel on | December 2, 2009, 18:48 GMT

    Well said Tony. This is a reason why despite their brilliance in the sport, Aussies have not earned respect of other countries. Aussie cricketers, fans, and the press do not know how to be humble winners or graceful losers. WC final in the Barbados was a case in point - not a single non-Aussie wanted AUS to win. Aus may have won games, but not the hearts and minds of the cricket world.. when WI ruled the world, they were loved by everyone..

  • POSTED BY asad114 on | December 2, 2009, 18:20 GMT

    Absolutely sublime article...Let's hope the West Indies can stick one up the arrogant Australians in the next match....the Aussies by the way are the most one-dimensional, unimaginative and uninspiring cricket team in the world right now....all they have is steady fast bowlers, an extremely boring off-spinner and barring Ponting their batting is highly vulnerable against swing bowling.....stop bragging aussies! u've lost 3 series recently...one of them to an extremely mediocre english team!

  • POSTED BY socasmasher on | December 2, 2009, 18:13 GMT

    Ahh tony , once again u write nonsense. The WI are ****. Thats the facts.

    Time to break away from these misfits.

  • POSTED BY kemmisito on | December 2, 2009, 18:00 GMT

    It is common knowledge that WI cricket has been in decline for the past 15 years & that the WI have not been able to compete on a consistent basis since 2000 but I am utterly disgusted by some of the comments made by some Australian journalists and former players. If WI loses to teams like India or Sri Lanka you know that they will win like gentlemen. The problem with WI cricket is not the talent but the nurturing of it in young players as it's not every day that you get a rare talent like Lara who will flourish without the necessary guidance. For Test matches Gayle should be moved to the middle order where the ball is not doing as much as he doesn't have the temperament or technique to open. Ganga should be brought in as captain. If he doesn't average at least 35 after a year then you look at someone else but I believe he will raise his game in an effort to inspire his team and lead from the front. I believe that with good administration WI can be a threat again in less than 5 years.

  • POSTED BY Mtwaboy on | December 2, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    A Test series took place in 1969/70. It consisted of four Tests.The winning country won all four Tests in a row. These are the margins by which they won: Test 1-170 runs, Test 2-129 runs, Test 3-307 runs, Test 4-323 runs.

    Many players in the losing country subsequently went on to become legends in their own country as did many in the winning country.

    The losing country happened to be Australia...39 years on they are still playing the game of cricket there and have subsequently produced some of the greatest players ever to grace the game.

    Cricket has a way of going in cycles. Those entrusted with submitting articles to the media of Australia will do well to reflect on the history of the game and to respect those players selected to represent all those that have gone before them as well as those still to come.

    Tony, your article is a masterpiece and is not only well-researched and exact, it is also a strong reminder to all that the game is always bigger than any team.

  • POSTED BY len501 on | December 2, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    While it is true that West Indies cricket has fallen from the pinnacle it once occupied, there is no justification for the vitriol that drips so readily from these Australian sports writers. As a proud West Indian, I wish to thank Tony Cozier for his firm and eloquent defence of our cricket. His voice is one of fairness and truth on all matters concerning our team, as well as the teams we compete against and he is to be lauded for that. When our team rises again, and it will, the detractors and naysayers will be silenced.

  • POSTED BY OrchardCounty on | December 2, 2009, 16:58 GMT

    Fair play to u Tony!! You are right on the money here. How can people forget so quickly that in the last couple of years the West Indies have beaten England and drawn with Sri Lanka and New Zealand (away) in Test series. I remember how awful the Aussies were in the 80s and England weren't much better. What goes around comes around. The Windies look to have found players in Barath and Roach - add a few more and things can change quickly. Then watch out world.

  • POSTED BY ed.dixon on | December 2, 2009, 16:56 GMT

    Beautifully written by a man who has West Indies cricket in his soul. Yes west Indies cricket has declined, but let us not forget that all teams go through good and bad periods and they are certain to be back before long.

    Let those who are also calling for a two tier test championship (a lot of whom appear to be Australian) be aware that if that were instituted, there would be no Ashes series at the moment as England are 5th and Australia 4th.

    Were the unlikely but genuinely possible happen and the positions to be reversed, I'll bet the Australian calls for two tiers would be rather muted.

  • POSTED BY Fairplay-caba-gee on | December 2, 2009, 16:52 GMT

    While I recognise that The West Indies are not doing well especially against Australia,this is no compelling reason to cast aspersions and abuse on the team.

    Admittedly ,the team needs to improve as their level of cricket leaves a lot to be desired and has contributed to a decline in interest in the team's fortunes.And given the Caribbean unit legacy.As Mr Cozier has so lucidly stated the West Indies ruled the roost in the 80's and during their reign thrashed Australia and England in many one -sided matches.Noone then called for their[Aus & Eng] relegation.I guess the Elites Aus & Eng] are untouchable as they are in a "different league/class''. Finally the two former Australians captains have demonstrated in their respective commentary why one has ben and still is a character of class both on and off the field while the other was and still is a weak character. Hats off to Greg Chappell.Kim Hughes ,please take a few lines out of Greg Chapell's book for it will serve you well

  • POSTED BY Rezaul on | December 2, 2009, 16:37 GMT

    I personally believe that Australian media and some of the commentators are always as abusive as they did after the completion of first test at Gabba. Actually it is in their blood and they are habituated to do so against everybody. Very few people (ex. Gavaskar, the legend) from the rest of the world become courageous enough to counter those. And I salute Tony Cozier for his excellent reply which very gentle but mouth pouring answer to those people who loves to abuse others. Thats why I like Tony Cozier, because he is such a personality who sets example by his sweet words full of actual information and real arguments. WI is a team had been producing so many legends that they deserve to be well respected. May be they are in declinig/rebuilding age but if you are a true cricket lover then you have to be by their side and help them out how to come out of the problems not just using your extreme abusive words to dishonour them. It shows your own class!

  • POSTED BY Bobby_Talyarkhan on | December 2, 2009, 16:32 GMT

    I agree with bradg. West Indian cricket is a joke. They deserve scathing and damning criticism until they get their act together. But if Tony's point is that it is unfair to blame just the players then I agree - the administrators must take most of the blame. I mean what about Stanford? What was that all about? As bradg says this is an average Australian team that has lost to England, India and South Africa recently - no McGrath, Warne, Langer, Hayden, Martyn. Come on West Indies stop coming up with excuses and start facing up to your inadequacies. Yes it is terrible to have just one warm up match before going into the first test (that too at Brisbane) but whose fault is that?

  • POSTED BY magic_torch_jamie on | December 2, 2009, 16:15 GMT

    If the West Indies are pilloried, it is through frustration at their attitude. The talent is mainly not lacking, but as for the application... If there is a reason not to do it, it is because we'd all like to see West Indies as a major force in world cricket again. So actually the only reason not to do it is pity, which is awful!

  • POSTED BY Gundus11 on | December 2, 2009, 16:08 GMT

    Bravo!!! I can see the anger in your blog. As long as I have followed cricket (unfortunately just as the West Indies decline began), I only know your name as the most prominent supporter/critic of West Indian cricket. I believe that those who cannot help you or don't try to help you should just shut their mouths. I have always been fascinated by uniqueness associated with Windies Cricket, lets hope they don't fade away.

  • POSTED BY nafzak on | December 2, 2009, 16:01 GMT

    Finally, Tony has see the light. Trinidad & Tobago's Fazeer Mohammed has written before about the disrespect shown to the West Indies and Asian teams.. especially the West Indians. The umpires from West Indies and Asia used to be treated with a lot of disrespect by the Eng, Aus and NZ players.. as if "how dare you rule against me". This only started to change when nuetral umpires became a reality. We continue to see racism in the many facets of the game - from Administration to players. They (white media) talks about regulation of Bangladesh etc. They forgot how long it took New Zealand to win a Test Match. People also forget that the Caribbean has gone through a lot of changes - politically and culturally in the last 2 decades and our population is barely a few million. I believe however, that there are signs of change and soon we'll be back competing for the # 1 spot in Cricket again.

  • POSTED BY StreetCricketer on | December 2, 2009, 15:59 GMT

    I think all abuse is undeserved. Cricket is a gentlemen's game and we should question if Aussies have the manners to be invited to the table. This reminds me of Roman times when people filled stadiums to see a guy get mauled by a beast. The gore seems to help sell papers in Australia. They should also remember that they crashed out of T20 world cup in the first round !!

  • POSTED BY drsuso on | December 2, 2009, 15:54 GMT

    The Aussie journalists will surely be hit by the boomerang they have thrown towards the West Indians in the near future. WHEN SHADOW BECOMES LARGER THAN YOU, YOU CAN BE SURE THAT IT IS ALREADY THE EVENING OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENT.

  • POSTED BY fuente on | December 2, 2009, 15:49 GMT

    Well its a real sad day for cricket when ex players like warne can be calling to relegate the WI. I could not have bring the facts to light better than Cozier. It's amazing how the aussie have short term memories. I share the same views with Garner, the WI needs a more competitive first class League and we can achieve it with the help of the so called richer ICC nations.

    Mr Hughes, after we make you, now you all want to do away with us, but we, Like Black History, will Rise AGain

  • POSTED BY ArifAttar on | December 2, 2009, 15:49 GMT

    Now I hope you are getting some sort of an idea, Tony, on what India went through during their last series in Australia. The phenomenon cannot be dismissed summarily nor can be limited to cricket. It is rather a socio-political issue.

  • POSTED BY David.Lloyd on | December 2, 2009, 15:48 GMT

    Great article , Tony. I for one have marvelled throughout my cricketing career at the awesome skill of the West Indian cricketers. The West Indies have given us some of the greatest players the game has ever seen and they have ALL been terrific colleagues and opponents. We all know that this is not a good time for West Indies right now and maybe they need a liitle support from us all . In my view, sport is wonderful for being competitive ,tough and uncompromising but another word that should never be missed out is respect. The Australian journalists can go hard at times and Chris Gayle and his team should react like all other teams that have been in this position....work twice as hard to turn things around.....and have a good memory as to who said what

  • POSTED BY gudolerhum on | December 2, 2009, 15:41 GMT

    Tony is perfectly correct in his comments and I applaud him for taking this stand. These pathetic Aussie writers, they should never be called journalists, are a sad reflection on the profession. Journalists try to sell papers but most of them demonstrate some morals in doing so. WI cricket needs to get back on its feet ASAP to put these remarks in their proper place. However, to quote the Bard, "the fault, dear Brutus, in not in the stars but in ourselves that we are underlings". For too long we have worshipped mediocrity in some of our players and seen it as brilliance. Our admin and governance procedures need an overhaul. I appreciate Joel Garner's call for a change in the method of distribution of cricket revenue. That is unlikely. We earned what we did when we were at the top, that is history. The WICB did not use that revenue to build a structure to provide replacements. We allowed some players to be seen as greater than the game. We have learned a bitter lesson.

  • POSTED BY SatyajitM on | December 2, 2009, 15:34 GMT

    Tony Cozier is right. Criticising a team's performance is fine but outright abuse and crude joke is uncalled for. Tony Cozier has remained one of the sanest voices in world cricket. I think the fact that this WI team has been playing together after a long time has mattered as well. Plus some of their first choice players are out injured. They don't have good backup system like Aus to fill up gap left by injured players. Having said that, I find Chris Gayle too laid back to be a good captain. He is a cool guy and can smash anybody on his day but not the ideal candidate for captaincy and more so in test matches. I don't know how good is Darren Ganga as a batsman but he would make hell of a captain. This is one of the things (there are many others of course) WI should look at after this series.

  • POSTED BY RLatchman on | December 2, 2009, 15:15 GMT

    Tony Cozier's first line is so true, "No one is more painfully aware of the rapid disintegration of West Indies cricket than West Indians themselves" as a West Indian I feel this pain. I can only talk about what is going on in Trinidad as I am a Trinidadian, but there are two names I would like to mention, Darren Bravo and Kieron Pollard. Darren Bravo is like the second coming of Brian Lara and Kieron Pollard is like a Chris Gayle on fire. When these two young talents enter the international arena on a more permanent basis, trust me people will be lining up at the gates. The world saw our newest talent in Adrian Bharath, the world saw what Pollard could do in the T20 Champions League and Dwayne Bravo spoke a few years ago about his younger brother Darren and how much of a better batsman he is. I say to the world have a little bit more patience, there is a growing feeling in the Caribbean that things are changing faster than there were in West Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY grantleyp on | December 2, 2009, 14:55 GMT

    It always amazes me when I read all sorts of negative comments in the media about West Indies cricket. Let me remind these so called experts who knows so much, every dog has its day and you can be rest assured that the West Indies cricket team day will come. I take my hat off to Tony Cozier for his thoroughly professional and measured comments in his article. When the West Indies cricket team was a force in world cricket, there were all sorts of hysterical, begrudging and negative comments coming from the media and former players from most of the other test playing countries. I recall when the West indies had their formidable 4 prong pace attack, these so called cricket writers and experts were saying how West Indies are killing test cricket. Now other teams have four even five fast bowlers in their line up and all you hear is appraisal from the media and the so called experts. The hypocrisy and double standards by these people is amazing. Aussies by nature are arrogant. Say no more...

  • POSTED BY wibbly on | December 2, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    Well said Tony Cozier, for too long these Australian hypocrites have gone unchallenged, they are ridiculously biased when it comes to the West Indies. I remember during a tour a few years an Australian journalist happened to have items stolen from his luggage during a flight between two of the West Indian islands and proceeded to launch a scathing attack on West Indian people, society and everything else he could think of. Of course a few years earlier when West Indian cricketer Marlon Black was chased and beaten like a dog in the middle of a major Australian city this same journalist was not to be heard and no West Indian media was disrespectful enough to suggest that this attack was a reflection of Australian society. At one of Australian cricket's lowest points Kim Hughes broke down and bawled like a girl, maybe it was because he cared, maybe it was because he was too soft. In the West Indies we have a name for men like that, but unlike the Australians, we're too polite to say it

  • POSTED BY Nipun on | December 2, 2009, 14:23 GMT

    Lol.Somebody show Kim Huges & those journalists how Kimmy cried & had to leave the Australian colours after leading the Aussies to a 5-0 murder.I'm sure they'll like it.

  • POSTED BY picky on | December 2, 2009, 14:22 GMT

    I was always told be careful what you say, because you will be judge for the rest of your life based on your utterance and it is because of this that Chris Gayle is now judge.From now on if Chris walk fast or run slow in the world eyes he is not committed.What Chris didnt know is that he is not a Lara or Ponting, you are not allowed to express how you feel, hence he is now paying the price.I am prepare to Bet the world that the authories in the WI will fire him and it will not be for proformance, because anyone that is given the captaincy would have leave Australia with 3-0, (Ganga,Ramdin,Bravo or Rampual). I am a West Indian for life and that i will be, we have talent but we need to get them start understanding the work that is needed to be back on top. Series will end 2-1.

  • POSTED BY promal on | December 2, 2009, 14:22 GMT

    Completely agree with you, Tony. There's no excuse for any media to be so facetious against any team, let alone one of the greatest cricketing regions on the Planet. Funny that all this is coming after just 1 test. Tons of teams have been pulverised in their first away test. In the '90s, India routinely crushed England and Australia by an innings whenever they toured India but still, no one ever talked about them bringing shame to the game. Similarly, even the last Ashes series in Australia was absolutely woeful when talking about the quality of cricket from England, but still it was considered the flagship series. As much as I hate saying it, all this negativity comes purely as a veiled form of racism. England and Australia may have hated the West Indies in the '80s, but WI were by far the most loved and popular team among the Asians after their home team. They are going through a tough patch and they will come back to be great again one day. It's just the cycle of life. Go WI!!

  • POSTED BY GokulChov on | December 2, 2009, 14:18 GMT

    Good article here for sure, but will Tony be able to write similar words with the same level of aggression after a 3-0 whitewash? That's the important question.

  • POSTED BY Howzzat07 on | December 2, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    Yes, the Aussie media is an ugly animal. With the sole exception of the British (David Lloyd the exception there) they are the most biased so-called journalists in the world. In fact, I don't consider these guys journalists. Journalists are unbiased, objective and moderate in their comments. These columnists might as well put on short skirts and grab pompoms and just show themselves as the unabashed cheerleaders they really are. But, at the same time, the West Indies aren't doing themselves any favours by thinking Chris Gayle has their best interests at heart. He's a mercenary. Much the same way Andrew Flintoff is and Kevin Pietersen will soon show he is.

  • POSTED BY Celtics24 on | December 2, 2009, 14:04 GMT

    I agree wtih VictorTrumpet, it's always the same on this website, clueless Indian fans slating the Australian team or even nation as a whole. It's the PRESS for gods sake. They are trying to sell papers. They like to be controversial, and if you think they're harsh on the poor Windies, read up some stuff they've said about our OWN team, lol. They love nothing more than trying to force retirements of old players, ask Matthew Hayden. In the lead up to his retirement there must've been 10 articles a day basically asking for his head. They love slating our team. And by the way, the West Indies are incredibly popular in Australia, we love them, they were a massive drawcard when they were the best side, beating us into pulp, the stadiums were full and crowds were loving the action. Now no one really has alot of interest in the series. Australians want a contest, yet of course you Indians think we're bad losers (lol). The recent home series vs South Africa was highly rated even though we lost

  • POSTED BY abhibane on | December 2, 2009, 14:01 GMT

    Well, the only century in the match was scored by a West Indian!

  • POSTED BY pull2open on | December 2, 2009, 13:58 GMT

    It is shameful for the Australian press to have reacted in this way. Journalism should be about explaining the reasons why the West Indians performed so poorly, not about sticking the knife in when the victim is plainly badly wounded anyway. It is equivalent of giving a batsman a verbal send-off having just got him out!

    If I have one small criticism of Mr Cozier's piece it is this: West Indies' 2009 victory over England in the Caribbean cannot really be used as evidence of a sign of improvement. England threw away the first Test through sheer ineptitude and WI held on to the advantage thereafter by preparing flat decks that no one could take wickets on. Fair enough, they were the home side and that is their perogative, but that does equate to an improvement in standard. And we should not forget that WI were soundly beaten by England in the return Tests just a month after the Caribbean series ended. Mr Cozier did not mention that bit.

  • POSTED BY rgom on | December 2, 2009, 13:55 GMT

    Both Tony cozier and Garner are way off the mark when they compare the current situation to the early 80s. At that time, Australia might have been a mismatch for WI, but they were still as good as the second or third best team at that time. Now WI is not match for any of the top 4 teams. They will be beaten at home and away easily by the top 4 teams.

  • POSTED BY mcj.cricinfo on | December 2, 2009, 13:53 GMT

    As an Aussie supporter, I want to stress that the comments of the often rabid Australian media do in no way represent the majority opinion of avid Australian cricket fans - and I expect the Aussie team would feel the same. The general media here often write sensationalist rubbish about both the opposition team and the Australian team. If the Aussies lose than they write about who should be dropped immediately from the team. If the Aussies win then they'll do similar for the opposition team. Thankfully the columnists here at Cricinfo are usually more moderate and contribute something more meaningful and interesting rather than the anger and sensationalism seen from some low quality productions. Please don't judge either the Aussie team and supporters by bad media hacks who are low on either ability and/or time to produce quality cricket articles.

  • POSTED BY Hooves on | December 2, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    Mr Cozier and Team Windies. Take some comfort in the lack of intellegence you read in the Aus papers. Reading some of the quotes from 'journos' in this article makes me laugh at the Aus perspective. Interesting to reflect on the Aus decline in the 80's too with Hughes, echoed by Garner when WI were the box office team. Short memories. Let's all support the West Indies and even assist with their mission in hand to re establish their cricket. Naturally gifted bunch that they are, it would only be a positive effect to have them competing at the hughest level again.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | December 2, 2009, 13:24 GMT

    I think when people poimt out that there is a revenge element in the way teams approach WI teams, they have a good point. I am ambivalent- while it is 'sad' that WI are doing badly, in another way I do not care. After all I can remember Marshall and co brushing aside English teams like matchstick houses., and for Eng to do it back is noit merely nice, it is requisite. No doubt the same for all other teams. People want to do the same to Australia, so badly now. The levels of competitiveness are higher now...and Australia are the ones who have done it best. Most sides surrender spinelessly if they are far behind in a match-Australia do not-viz 2nd and 5th Ashes tests. The opposite is true at the moment for West Indies-no fight,except between the islands and players vs Board. West Indies actually have talent in their side-a lot,but they are not facing the same direction, unlike the giood teams. They should not care that guyanese makes all the runs now.they should be playing for one team

  • POSTED BY 200ondebut on | December 2, 2009, 13:07 GMT

    It comes as no surprise to me the comments made by the Australian media afterall they are Australian and are working in the media. On their own each of these factors often results is some fairly crass and unfair comments - combining them - well what can you expect.

  • POSTED BY cricktah on | December 2, 2009, 13:02 GMT

    2 differences (1) the aussie team in the 80s were being defeated by the then world no 1 windies team whereas the aussie team that defeated the windies are not the undisputed no 1. (2) also the windies are not a nation but a conglomeration of 10 nations and 5 dependencies. one would expect that at least after pooling their resources, they could come up with a decent team!

  • POSTED BY javiso on | December 2, 2009, 12:36 GMT

    To quote Mr. Cozier's opening statement "No one is more painfully aware of the rapid disintegration of West Indies cricket than West Indians themselves". As a West Indian and an avid supporter of the team through thick and thin, this is absolutely true, so how some people can speak of "denial" is beyond comprehension. Equally or even moreso, how others can express "dis-appointment" in his comments baffles the mind as what Mr. Cozier speaks of in this article are FACTS, plain and simple. These very facts have triggered a response form Mr. Cozier as there is only so much abuse that any one person can stomach before reacting, and might I add, his reaction was quite admirable and dignified, and not an emotional, defenisve and irrational one, devoid of any thought or cognisance of the historical context un(like some other reactions). On behalf of West Indians, thank you Mr. Cozier for this article and defending our honor, and thanks to other posters who have expressed dimilar sentiments!

  • POSTED BY Anneeq on | December 2, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    People harp on waaaay too much about this great, fantastic West Indies team of the 1960's or whatever. Times have changed!!! West Indies is on the door step of the US and are influenced by their sports. I mean even in football we're naming or stadiums after our sponsors, 'sportsdirect @ St Jame's Park' and the 'Emirates Stadium.' Just like our annoying cousins across the atlantic. People need to give them a break, they had their time and now its someone else's turn (the Australians).

    And its not like they've lost spirit Gayle came the day after he found out his mum would survive. Plenty of people would have milked it and used it to excuse not playing for their national team but the 'unpatriotic and lazy' Gayle didnt! Sarwan, Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor all are big names and all were injured. Even with a second string team in the Champions trophy it took a super human Mitchell Johnson effort to save the Aussies. Stop harassing them every time they lose, its getting pathetic now.....

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | December 2, 2009, 12:19 GMT

    What a gem..you need a staanding ovation for this article sir. You are one of the best and unbiased commentator in todays world. A breathe of fresh air amongst stinkers like greg, hughes, gavaskar etc. This is by far the best article writen on pure facts and lots of passion giving a fiting reply to nast aussie press. It is a known fact that aussies hunt in a pack when there cricket team, commentators and press combine to ruin a visinting cricket team. Now only this hurt carries to gayel and co. A team comprising of gayle, sarwan, chanderpaul and bravo cant b a pushovers. Problem is the burning desire, hunger and hurt is lacking in there leader in chris gayle. He is a rockstar but Windies need a balanced and passionate leader. Pls, pls pls bring back ganga. Only way to shut the non sense dished out is by playing well..may the force b with chris and his comrades.

  • POSTED BY derrida on | December 2, 2009, 12:14 GMT

    Tony Cozier is brilliant. It is this kind of attack is needed for Aussie Media, Their pens are like anagonda, want to swallow mountains. It is an utter hubris boasting of their own cricket as superior. An unwarranted overweening Pride. Somebody should tighten their lips. Thanks for Tony Cozier to do this. Malcom Conn and all doesn't deserve any quoting, he is an white suprematist and an arrogant cricket writer with a nasty nationalist fervor. He don't like West Indies, India, Pakistan, Srilanka. whenever these countries are touring australia they will write all sorts of non-sense stuffs

  • POSTED BY chandau on | December 2, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    WHy take Aus Media seriously? I mean they never have the guts to lose graciously. They never give credit to other players but seriously blow up their own as great players. They snide at other countries' losses while gloating at their own victories but never say much when they get hammered or lose the ashes !! They have their own rules on reporting and not only for cricket. Take rugby or tennis or swimming where Aus show up, they write as if their team or players have won over the world. No wonder that Ausy teams are heckled all over the world where eve they go 'cos the arrogance to think they ae better than others. That from a country that was populated by criminals banished from Europe. Suppose that monkey is still on their back, so hard they try to put down others. At least most other countries have a culture and history to be proud of and boast of unlike Australia. So dont be surprised of such comments 'cos it just shows their stock !!! cheers mate

  • POSTED BY A.S.K. on | December 2, 2009, 12:09 GMT

    I read the second paragraph and almost burst out laughing. I have a long memory. I distinctly recall Tony Cozier "ripping into" Australian cricket in the mid 1980's - whether or not he used a ghost writer to do so is beyond the point - his name was on the numerous articles in (believe it or not) the Australian press. What doesn't surprise me is he has chosen Fickleinfo to now express his hypocritical views. Tony, are you using Sambit (I hate Australians) Bal as your ghost writer this time, or are you using Peter (everybody hates me, including the Australians) Roebuck?

  • POSTED BY Gopu61 on | December 2, 2009, 12:04 GMT

    Really sad to see the decline of Windies after seeeing the high pedestal they were in.Even now whenever there is Windies match,used to follow the match in the fond hope that they will turn around.As once Gavaskar remarked the decline of Windies marks the death of cricket.Even in such a case,the Aussie media should not be so rude

  • POSTED BY Farce-Follower on | December 2, 2009, 12:00 GMT

    Tony Cozier is a legend and the words show his hurt. However, Chris Gayle has emerged as a frivolous and flippant captain. His soundbytes are as shallow as his commitment to Test cricket. He should get out. Not that his IPL stint was great either. There are far more talented blokes.

  • POSTED BY rumcork69 on | December 2, 2009, 11:59 GMT

    Well said Mr. Cozier, I thank you for your honesty and objectivity in this article, hopefully your journalism spirt can spread to your austrailian counter parts. For the West Indies players the fans are still behind you, I know its like starting from square one after much of the players were on a long break from the team. Congrats to Adrian Barath, and look forward to see Travis Dowlin get a hundred in the next test. I think Nash should be dropped if Sarwan is fit, what do you guys think?

  • POSTED BY rahulthewall3000 on | December 2, 2009, 11:58 GMT

    "Unpopular at its height" - strange, that is a sentiment I can never associate with. I don't know what is it with the West Indies but seeing them play gives you a special kind of thrill. Even when they are down and out, they can pull out the proverbial rabbit from the hat. As someone pointed out earlier, they are to cricket what Brazil is to football. Playing the game for fun, with a smile on their faces. The current decline (save for a few performances which can be classified as flashes in the pan) is depressing for cricket lovers worldwide. The administration needs to wake up, get their act together and ensure that the best 15 are in the squad for the West Indies. Contractual disputes aside, get the best WI team out there - for we the cricket fans - deserve to see these boys go out there and play a cricket which is not monotonous, which is fun for its unpredictability and sheer genius.

  • POSTED BY OmanBiek on | December 2, 2009, 11:55 GMT

    Tony is right. And there is a growing sentiment of cautious optimism that the worst is behind us. The WI wont fall apart. We have reached our lowest ebb. We will be back - and we wont forget what was said when we were down.

  • POSTED BY robheinen on | December 2, 2009, 11:47 GMT

    Well Tony, journalism, as you know, isn't what it used to be. Except for reading articles by your hand. They always make excellent reading. Never mind aussie trash writers.

  • POSTED BY khupmajakaruya on | December 2, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    there is a reason all of us in the profession look up to tony cozier. and there is a reason he is better, and far more respected, than any of the names he has mentioned in this article. tony is one of the most balanced voices in the game and a genuine cricket lover. he tells the game as he sees it without ever mocking at people. it is one thing to criticise, quite another to subject them to ridicule. and he doesn't use someone else's achievements to make fun of people. and having been to australia so many times, i can assure you it is not an australian trait to ridicule people, just a way of trying to appear smart in print. tony has seen the great highs of west indian cricket but he was always fair, balanced and hospitable. it is trait all of us can imbibe. i'm sure there are other ways of selling newspapers! harsha bhogle

  • POSTED BY bradg01 on | December 2, 2009, 11:08 GMT

    The difference is that the 80's Aust. team were consistently being beaten by a Great Windies team, while the current Windies were just flogged by an average Aust side.

  • POSTED BY harikeshan on | December 2, 2009, 11:03 GMT

    I guess the Phrase" you are good as your last Innings" hold true for the WI cricket. It would be a travesty if they were relegated from Test Cricket. Why was this question not raised when the English were beaten 5-0 in two consecutive series in the Eighties and the Aussies were supremely thumped during the same time period? It's remarkable that someone like Kim Hughes, who was at the helm of the Aussie Cricket when they were beaten by the then mighty WI wants them out. What a charlatan. I guess barring a Few the world of Cricket is run by a bunch of inept administrators. I personally wish that WI cricket comes to be what it used to be and only then will the Game of Cricket see some true flair.

  • POSTED BY squidhead on | December 2, 2009, 10:58 GMT

    Tony, thank you for this. As an Aussie I will always support the national team but you are right to point out the wretchedness of the Australian media. If it's any consolation they can be just as quick to turn on their own. Ask Symonds, or Hayden, or even Ponting. None of them will be held to account, of course. I know I'm not the only one to have noticed the increasingly uninformed, sensationalist, vindictive, and downright abusive "journalism" spewed out by these hacks, and I'm glad someone of your stature has finally decided to call them out on it. For so many reasons (as you properly allude to) this was always going to be a difficult test for the Windies. Teams have been beaten in three days before, and will again, but cricket and life goes on. For a number of reasons I guess we all hope for a better showing for the rest of the series, and from the Windies (AS the Windies) for many years to come.

  • POSTED BY HumanSyndrome on | December 2, 2009, 10:36 GMT

    The Australian Journalists (new to the scene) tend to discount the great history of West Indies cricket. This is very typical of people i.e. the past is relegated beyond memory and the present is what we are all about. This may be forgiven, however, what should not be put aside is why West Indies cricket is where it is today. The short and sweet answer is because of our OWN doing. The people we put in charge the WICB and the WIPA have their own agendas. These two bodies must come together to work as one unit for the good of our cricket. We cannot live on our past performances; we must deal with our present circumstances. Provide our youth with inspiration and opportunties to take cricket seriously and at the same time give them the facilities and encourgement that they so desperately need and deserve. In conclusion, we should use the disparaging remarks to galvanise us to correct our inherent problems and in so doing to propel us back to the forefront of EXCITING cricket.

  • POSTED BY Siddharth_Pandit on | December 2, 2009, 10:03 GMT

    @victortrumpet - Dude, nobody is looking down on Australian cricket team and where does the team come into picture. Most of the people here are commenting on Australian media. Don't try to make it a issue between nations. I guess you are trying Australian support by just dragging your cricket team.

    To answer your second query, nobody's here is jealous of/hates Australia. They are a very consistent side due to sheer hard work and would be till others match their level. Indians lack that consistency over individual brilliance. You would be amazed to find a lot of Australian supporters in India for the skills they display in fielding and bowling. We respect your cricket. You may have come across one off case, where some fake poster claims himself as Indian. Indians as a nation love their cricket and anyone who play good cricket in right spirit. We are not questioning your integrity ;) (remember something??)

  • POSTED BY rohanbala on | December 2, 2009, 9:56 GMT

    Both Srini701 and the_silent_observer have made the right observation about the West Indies Captain Chris Gayle. He does not really look like one who takes pride to lead the team in a Test match. Its time the West Indies selectors appoint Darren Ganga to lead the team atleast for a short period of time. However, bringing back the likes to Marlon Samuels would be an unwise move.

  • POSTED BY jaztech on | December 2, 2009, 9:53 GMT

    Really, one doesn't need to be in Mensa to comprehend that the media of any country will write outrageous stuff to sell papers. Is this some mystery shared only in hushed tones while wearing a hooded gown?? English tabloids are extreme. Indian newspapers are extreme. Australian tabloids are extreme. If you don't like the newspaper stories, either don't read them or play better cricket and shut up those who bag you. The people of the West Indies aren't whingers so it's disappointing to read Cozier's comments. Most people are aware that journalists are only just above slugs in terms of evolutionary progress so just deal with it. Same goes with all the whinging forumites on here.

  • POSTED BY Dezezez on | December 2, 2009, 9:20 GMT

    It's hilarious how some of the posters here think that their own country's media is so squeaky clean when it comes to some of the articles it dishes up about other international teams? Then there are those countries who not let their media torch their team and coaches, they literally torch effigies of them in the streets (you know who you are)!!. There's something about throwing stones and living in glass houses some of you forget. You also seem to forget and what has been pointed out by others here is the appropriateness of the terms used in those articles: 'terminal decline' is a perfect description of a team that has failed to improve even a tiny amount over the last 10-15 years - if Cozier disagrees with this, he is in denial. I will state however that most Aussies are disgusted in Kim Hughes comments - he is after all, hardly qualified to make the sort of statements that he did.

  • POSTED BY reader100 on | December 2, 2009, 9:11 GMT

    With due respect to the somewhat deserved comments by the australian press.iwant australia to keep there words soft and sweet because,they will loose every other test series in the upcomming months against major opposition.the only teams the bowling line up they carry can dismiss is probably west indies and probably new zealand if they are lucky.hauritz is suddenly the great spinner australia have found only against an unprepared w.i. team.to the aussie press,you have many sad days ahead

  • POSTED BY SachinIsTheGreatest on | December 2, 2009, 8:58 GMT

    Essentially, it's all those who were battered and bruised by the West Indies through the 70s and 80s enjoying the struggles of the Windies these days.

  • POSTED BY victortrumpet on | December 2, 2009, 8:45 GMT

    Looks like the Indians fanatics are still smarting from Aussies knocking them out of the ODI competition, despite all the world's best players in the Indian team. Or was it NSW dominating the pathetic Indian IPL teams in the Champions League? Or was it Australia winning the Champions Trophy? Why don't you Indians give it a rest? You've had you're day in the Sun and now it's all downhill from here. Do you have to keep regurgitating the same vitriol every time there's an article written about the Australian team? If it's not the Pakistanis you're hating, it's the Australians. If it's not the Australian's you're hating, then surely it must be yourselves. Cozier has made a fair point, but I think the Australian pundits are more disappointed over the WIs lack of character than wanting to kick a man while he's down. Aussies audiences would prefer to lose a close match than win one against lazy opponents.

  • POSTED BY mcj.cricinfo on | December 2, 2009, 8:44 GMT

    Some sections of the Australian media has gone way over the top. In many sports there are lopsided contests which still have moments of sheer brilliance. Same with with this current test series. I hope the West Indies regains its strength - and it does make sense for all cricketing nations to get a share of the financial pie. Having said that, the WI board has been sub par. I hear that this test series isn't even on TV in the WI? Why?

  • POSTED BY Siddharth_Pandit on | December 2, 2009, 8:36 GMT

    @serendipiti - Mate, when commenting on something, don't comment on behalf of whole nation. These are your personal opinions and your comments may or may not reflect "lot of Indians". Nothing personal, of course.

  • POSTED BY gloriouscricket on | December 2, 2009, 8:26 GMT

    LETS PLAY CRICKET THE WI WAY, WE can win, yes we can, the game calls for leadership, talent, dedication and the will to win, to be champions.The administration of WEST INDIES cricket must provide training facilities.Who is the batting coach or the bowling or fielding coach on this tour.Ramdin can bat but lacks coaching to improve his technique.Coaching IT HELPS.SEASONED PLAYERS SUCH AS DWAYNE Smith, Morton and Simmons should,ve been on this tour. This team is not the best batting team;HERE,S the order - of a team that I BELIEVED can compete and win-Ganga, B ARATH,Sarwan,Simmons,Chanderpaul ,Dowlin,Gayle,Ramdin, SAMMY,BENN,EDWARDS,Taylor,Roache,.[Bravo,Chattergoon,baker or tonge]should complement the touring party.Are there any rules that limits the touring party to 15 instead of 17? Gayle has never been a solid opening batsman,he is an easy out at the top of the order.Stability is needed there, I still believe no one has the courage to ask him to bat lower,He is not an opener.Thanks.

  • POSTED BY Green_How on | December 2, 2009, 8:21 GMT

    Tony - You have a hit on a very interesting point here. The quality of Australian journalism is quite dreadful. Having been out in Australia for the 2002/03 Ashes series i can assure you this is exactly the same kind of gutter press that the English team were getting. Abusive, vitriolic and disrespectful - you have my full sympathies. Hope your team can use this kind of writing as some kind of motivation for the remaining tests. Good luck W.Indies.

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | December 2, 2009, 8:05 GMT

    why is everyone picking on the aussie team again,why does everyone hate us? indian fans are mad over their odi loss,south africa have long way off the top, england were demolished in odis,we are coming back to the top in cricket,the whole cycle repeating itself ,everyone is going after us,it seems we are back to the top!!!

  • POSTED BY Celtics24 on | December 2, 2009, 8:02 GMT

    Mr Cozier, the main difference is Australia in the 1980's were always going to bounce back. We had the resources, the economy, the facilities and most importantly, the INTEREST in the game to make a comeback. The difference with the West Indies is they do not have the financial support, Joel Garner has said that already in the press over here. The other difference is that we keep hearing that cricket is no longer as popular in the Carribbean these days. Sports like soccer, basketball and track and field are taking over with young people. I think this is why people are genuinely more concerned with the results of the West Indies of today compared to the Australian side of the 1980's. Many people don't think the West Indies have that ability to fight back because of the lack of resources and declining interest. The Australian press, just like that of the English, might be savage, even to its own team, but don't let that fool you. We REALLY miss a strong West Indies!

  • POSTED BY No_Excuses on | December 2, 2009, 7:36 GMT

    The problem is not the Australian press Tony - it is your pathetic team. There hasn't been an ouce of improvement in West Indian test criclet for 10 years - with Lara gone the team is probably worse. It is not the loss that is so disappointing - it is the manner of the loss. Don't shoot the messenger. The Aussie teams in the 80's were totally outclassed by the one of the greatest teams of all time but didn't throw the towel in like the current West Indian team. The current Aussie team is the worst Aussie Test side for 15 years and as eagerly pointed by the Aussie haters on this forum is now ranked 4th.

  • POSTED BY slappinjax on | December 2, 2009, 6:52 GMT

    Would you like some cheese with that whine Tony? Look, the Australian media can be pretty ravenous generally. They get stuck into the English, The Indians, the Kiwis but most especially the Australian's themselves. Sensationalism sells. Australians look forward to the summer of cricket. We had one of the best series ever last year with South Africa so its disapointing that the Windies have come out here so underprepared and weak for what is one of the hardest challenges in cricket, touring Australia. Its annoying that a quality team like Sri Lanka ends up playing winter tests in Darwin while the Windies get top summer billing. If copping it from the media upsets you just be thankful you're not Australian because they get crucified in the media in the UK and India regardless of how well they play.

  • POSTED BY gottalovetheraindance on | December 2, 2009, 6:42 GMT

    i wonder if all this berating of the team is just to distract them more from playing quality cricket. if they have a problem with the team now why didn't they try to ensure that they had better preparation before the series? say 2 or 3 practice matches or maybe play the one day series b4 the test matches

  • POSTED BY phoenix_29 on | December 2, 2009, 6:30 GMT

    All the blah blah about the Aussie media is getting a bit over its head..shouldnt everybody agree on ONE FACT that every team goes through a rebuilding phase but they have been rebuilding for 15-16 years.Does one forget the SUMMER OF 60-61,when Sir Donald Bradman and former Test Cricketer, Ernie McCormick, a jeweller by profession, created a perpetual trophy, to be presented to the winning captain for all future Test series between Australia and the West Indies. The trophy's design incorporated a ball used in the 'Tied Test' and it was named 'The Frank Worrell Trophy'. Here we had the first black captain, the visiting captain and ironically, the losing captain, having a perpetual trophy named in his honour. The Australian players endorsed the naming of the trophy as a fitting tribute to a great statesman of cricket. 'The Frank Worrell Trophy'.WESTINDIES as a team are close to everyone...maybe their harsh words to have an effect on the deaf years if WICB

  • POSTED BY Theena on | December 2, 2009, 6:28 GMT

    If its Conn and Craddock, I am not really surprised. Their writing, especially in the case of Conn, on opposition teams sometimes borders on the jingoistic. I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

  • POSTED BY Markus71 on | December 2, 2009, 6:27 GMT

    Has R.Sarwan captained at First class level? I'm not sure ,but he seems a more likely candidate, exp.middle order Batsmans temprement. You dont make a naturally aggressive opener Captain! come on. Let him play with the freedom of a V.Sehwag, he may even improve on his 39 ave.!

  • POSTED BY tapanp on | December 2, 2009, 6:24 GMT

    Wonderful article Tony, well researched, appropriately critical, beautifully written. If there is one thing worse than a sore loser, it is a poor winner. The reason most temas hate losing to Australia is not the loss but the National Gloating that accompanies it. Most other countries have characters of more refinement and dignity who can graciously accept both victory and defeat. I sincerelt hope the Windies the best of luck for the remainder of the series and hope they can register enough form to wipe a few smirks off the aussie hacks' faces!

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 2, 2009, 6:24 GMT

    West Indies Board lack leadership. ICC should step in and fix them and remove the corruption. Or T&T should separate.

    Ganga should be captain. West Indies need fighters. Gayle is not a fighter. He looks like disinterested Slogger in the last test. Unbelievable.

    Even Ganga's batting is not of Test quality , he inspires. he fights until last ball bowled. If he has given tools , he can be great captain. He just need more power to select his own players.

    May be the quota system in West indies flawed?.

  • POSTED BY balu09 on | December 2, 2009, 6:22 GMT

    I don't understand why aussie media all of a sudden is so hell bent on showing that WI cricket is at an abyss when this has been the case with WI cricket for the last decade and at a point when actually the things are falling in place for them slowly and showing some improvement in the last 2 years. Just because the aussies will win this series doesn't mean they can look down upon their opponents and go dancing around. Hope they learn to show some respect to opponents. In fact they should stop shedding crocodile tears for WI and start wondering how in the world they transformed from a team that swept away its opponents to a team loosing as much as they are winning and 4th in test rankings. hope the WI team put some fight in the coming tests...

  • POSTED BY serendipiti on | December 2, 2009, 6:22 GMT

    Well Tony all this but expected from the Aussies. To me(and a lot of Indians and people the world over), West Indies is to cricket what Brazil is to football. Test cricket needs a strong West Indies team. They are going through a tough rebuilding phase. Every team goes through one. The present Indian team fater it loses the services of Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman too will suffer.After all these are once in a lifetime players. But what administrators need to do is foresee and foretell and have guys ready to be able replacements fro them...a system that Australia practices. Therein lies the failure of WICB/administrators. I for one would love to see a strong Windies again....full of rollicking strokeplayers and quick bowlers...

  • POSTED BY redneck on | December 2, 2009, 6:16 GMT

    can i just point out to a few commenters here like Majr & mach23. the aussie media is also the first to stick the knife into the australian team. eg they came out calling for pontings head after the indian test at the scg the other year, symonds (half a dozen times), warne in 03, & mark tayor at the end of his carrer have been just a few of the aussies to cop freindly fire from our media! they certainly dont just pick on the touring teams! if theres something negative to write about cricket somewhere in the world they'll be the first on the scene and will do their darnest to blow it out of proportion too!

  • POSTED BY misterjoeyman on | December 2, 2009, 6:15 GMT

    Quite so, Cozier. One of the worst things about the ongoing WIndies decline is the extreme commentary... and this goes for the negatives, as TC says, and for the positives. Whenever there's a moment of adequacy, many of the region's dreamer/pundits dust off phrases like "turning the corner" to set up our hopes for the next disaster. I notice there hasn't been much of it for Adrian Barath's 100, and that's good. Maybe he can settle in to being a decent opening partner for Gayle, and we can win a couple matches.

  • POSTED BY srini701 on | December 2, 2009, 6:15 GMT

    Tony, that was a very beautifully and emotionally written piece. I absolutely agree with all that you say. So easy, isn't it, for a writer with a pen in hand, to summarily write off whatever he/she wants? You have so nicely brought to the notice of these same "writers" the strengths of the Aussie and Windies teams of the early 1980s. Every team goes through transitions and I am sure the West Indies will regain their glory days. It will take time, but the talent is there. The players just have to believe and like you said, take it upon themselves to prove to the world that Test cricket is still alive and kicking in the caribbean. I just hope the players do not discard Tests and their careers altogether in the lure of quick money in the T20s. But I am somehow not convinced of Gayle's ability to build and lead a team. He just doesn't look a leader to me. What the windies need right now is a strong leader who can mould, discipline and build confidence and belief in the side. Darren Ganga?

  • POSTED BY the_silent_observer on | December 2, 2009, 6:06 GMT

    Tony should not worry too much about all the diatribes of the Australian commentators or journalists. Their proficiency in English or the game is not matched by their grace (if any). For time immemorial, their constant refrain, whenever teams toured Australia, had been "this is the weakest team to tour this country" and so on...or so forth ! If Tony remembers right, the same comments would have come even when WI at their peak cam to Australia. Just that the weakest WI team had more muscle than the strongest Australian team ! Ignoring their comments could e the best response.

    notwithstanding that, I do believe Gayle is not interested in the WI cricket as much as he is in his personal fortune and I do think that WICB should bite the bullet and get someone who has an interest in cricket to don the mantle. While Gayle is around, there will enough reasons for every other team to celebrate.

  • POSTED BY gottalovetheraindance on | December 2, 2009, 5:50 GMT

    has anyone ever heard that where there is no vision the people perish? this exactly what happen to WI cricket. their was no succession planning while our all conquering team faded from the scenes player by player. the WICB thought that another world beating team would just fall into their laps. unfortunately that did not occur & we are stuck where we are now 15 years later. we have no respect because of what we allowed to happen. we set an example for others to avoid following by all means. we are now the laughing stock of every cricketing nation in the world. just look at Australia. very few people expected them to be as good as they are after almost their entire team retired except for Ponting & Lee. how did they do it? Are they superior to us in any way? are they Gods & we are only human. or are we just lacking the vision & more importantly the will & mind power to improve our cricket? look at India & how strong they will be after Dravid Laxman Tendulkar Khan & Sehwag retire?

  • POSTED BY Siddharth_Pandit on | December 2, 2009, 5:49 GMT

    What's new? Australian media has always been like that. Did India and england shout the decline of test cricket after they defeated Aussies. WI are a team composed of individual brilliance and least consistency, so this is bound to happen. They bank on under prepared opposition and momentum most of the time. As a short term solution and to pull crowd, WI players should start doing antics on the field. Aussies, as always observed, get agitated by that and their performance dips. Having said all this, Aussies are the most consistent side since the last decade, so it seems highly unlikely that WI would get any success out of this series.

  • POSTED BY PeteB on | December 2, 2009, 5:44 GMT

    It really does appear to me that West Indies test cricket is in terminal decline. There seems to be little interest in the region at the performance of the test team if Fazeer Mohammed's comments on ABC radio about the lack of coverage for this series are true. Are there really only 2 journalists from the entire region covering this series in Australia? I do hope I'm proven wrong but comparisons with teams that go through inevitable cyclical declines don't really wash. And when the captain himself seems dubious about the validity of the format this doesn't add to my positivity. The comments by our press whilst snarky are part of a longer debate this summer about the survival of test cricket as a format. And certainly uncompettive matches don't help the cause. Most of these journos I expect remember with much fondness the great Windies teams of yore.

  • POSTED BY Sorcerer on | December 2, 2009, 5:35 GMT

    As indignant as Tony is feeling, he is convenienetly ignoring the fact that for him to remind the Aussies of their thumping in WI in '84 is not tackling the issue properly because:

    1. The Aussies were never quite the whipping boys of cricket like WI team has been in the last decade or so. That's why the term "terminal decline" is apt. The Calypso cricketers have been having it in droves from almost all other cricket nations.

    2. There was never a big question mark over the commitment and priorities of Aussie cricketers in '80s like is the case with current WI lot. Take the example of nothing less than their skipper, Chris Gayle whose preference for earning bucks is quite pronounced so much so that he lands in England just a couple of days before the Test Series is to begin! The top core is thus rotten and this is a major stinging blow and malaise of WI.

    Tony would be better served taking his head out of the sand and read the writing on the wall. Drastic measures are required.

  • POSTED BY AvinashGodkhindi on | December 2, 2009, 5:23 GMT

    Nice write up, I think the West Indian teams of the past were probably the emost popular teams in the world, they were everyone's 2 favourite ( 1st being the ehome team of course). They talkedd less than these aussie teams, were more humble about their domination ( which was more complete than the Aussie one) and far more entertaining to watch. While it is really sad to see the team not perform to its potential, it's bpart of the process of rebuilding, would love to see them fight it out though, like Barath did. Seniors, Messers Gayle, Chanders, Bravo, Sarwan please stand up and dominate on the adelade pitch in the e1st innings

  • POSTED BY batmannrobin on | December 2, 2009, 5:21 GMT

    Agree with Tony on most. However the person seriously responsible for such harsh critism s Gayle. Had it been a comment like' crowds are not coming to test cricket which is a concern' , i dont think the reaction from the Aussie media wud ve been so harsh. But you make a statement ( I m not too sad if it dies n im not surprised by such low turnout) u pull every down teamates, fans and even neutral ones like me . Losing is one thing - Not wanting to play is another. Luckily 4 him, he hit Oz out of the Park and led his team to the T20 worldcup semis. If not he wudve been screwed even then. So much talk for nuthin. When Eng n SL lost, it looked more like a team full of superstars beatin a lesser talented team. The skill was lacking not the intent. And both teams performed much better in the next match wen if not 4 Warne Poms wud ve drawn n Sanga almost won @ Hobart. Agree with Tony , but Gayle has to change 4 the better n if he fails again, he s in some serious prob even in ODI n T20

  • POSTED BY randikaayya on | December 2, 2009, 5:20 GMT

    what a wonderfully forthright piece of writing, brimming with the Caribbean straight forwardness. the Aussie media along with the likes of Kim Hughes should openly apologize to the visiting cricketing ambassadors who have a reputation for dealing in the field but not off it! shame on Aussie media albeit their cricket being far superlative

  • POSTED BY RogerC on | December 2, 2009, 5:09 GMT

    Really admire Tony's expression of pain, having seen the glory days of WI and now having to endure the pathetic downtrend. WI needs such ardent supporters among other things to reach the top again. I hope some of the Indian writers on this site who criticize India for silly reasons read this article and learn a point or two.

  • POSTED BY redneck on | December 2, 2009, 5:06 GMT

    i have to say tony that i have been embarrassed by the way our media have gone about covering the windies tour so far! i dont take much note of news ltd cricket writters in australia anymore with roebuck maybe the exception. conn and craddock seem to be pushing their own views almost forcefully down the australian publics throats at the momment and as for ben dorries he's probably some no namer journo trying to get noticed in bigger circles! admittadly the first test didnt do the west indies cause down under any favours, however as pointed out above few teams come away from the gabba unscathed. even if its not so obvious to our media, i think the average aussie cricket supporter can still recognise that the west indies have shown improvement over the last couple of years with a test win in south africa against what is now the number1 test team and a series win against a full strength england earlier this year are proof of this!

  • POSTED BY Ravishan07 on | December 2, 2009, 5:02 GMT

    Tony is absolutely wrong. The present West Indies team would be happy to play a 10-10 cricket(10 over international rather than 20) - swing their bats hit some sixers - bowl get some wickets- by chance win- but make money - ad money and performance(?) money. Winning is just an off shout. Get a new set of admins and also for Crickets sake sack Gayle as the captain. Please elect administrators who believe that its the players who are the life of WestIndies cricket and who are not as stubborn as the ones who let Bangladesh win. At the same moment select players who actually yearn for playing cricket( Of course you are going to make a lot of money with all the ads and tournaments). When you can still have a person, who thinks Test cricket is going to die and makes it a point to publicly announce before every Test, as your commander then be sure he is going to murder the morale of his troops before they actually begin the war.

  • POSTED BY suneel.biotech on | December 2, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    This article is a slap on the face of cricket pundits of Australia. If Australians are not interested to play windies , who will they play against :They have to remember their team is not number one and they currently fourth in rankings. during the past one year they lost to India 2-0, England 2-0, South Africa and Iam sure they are goin to loose against Srilanka as-well. It is high time that Australian cricket writers come out of their short sighted views and accept that game of cricket is for every one. let us give some breathing space to Windies. Chris Gayle is a mercurial leader and i hope he can turn his team fortunes with one knock.Sarwan and chanderpaul are equally good and bravo is a great all rounder in making.

  • POSTED BY Arijit_in_TO on | December 2, 2009, 4:52 GMT

    The best way to answer the diatribe of the Australian media is to play better cricket; the Aussies have the West Indians down and are going for the jugular. How will Gayle --who is not an inspiring captain-- and company respond? I, for one, loved the old powerhouse West Indian teams but lets get one thing straight: bowling 11-12 overs in a hour during the 80s was ridiculous -notwithstanding Michael Hodlings smooth-as-silk runup. The change in the rule was welcome. Who can blame the kids there to want to play basketball rather than cricket when that is what they are watching all the time on satellite tv? There needs to be a coup at the WICB.

  • POSTED BY The_Maxophone on | December 2, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    @phoenix_29 - Benn looked ok with the Bat to me. I was at the Gabba on Saturday and he played some great shot's in the first innings including one great pullshout off Siddle (I think) For a number 9 he's more than good enough...

  • POSTED BY Rex_Da_King on | December 2, 2009, 4:48 GMT

    I've always been against T20 Leagues like the IPL since they get boring after some time and take too much time off the calendary year which means less time for Test cricket.

    But if such leagues provide financial security for players from less secure regions like West Indies or New Zealand, then it will help them concentrate on Tests, so I welcome that.

    But Gayle's comments, even though he is the most secure of all the West Indian players (considering he plays for Kolkata and has been signed for some Australian franchise too), he still resents playing Tests.

    Such an attitude is unworthy of a captain but the players are behind him so that means he's not a bad captain. However, he must rally his players to improve the Test standards, since that will be enough to restore WI pride.

    Even if WI won the ODI World Cup, their pride will not be so high if they won a series in Australia. Go WI, we're all behind you! (I'm an Indian fan, but I love the WI too)

  • POSTED BY krik8crazy on | December 2, 2009, 4:45 GMT

    I feel bad for Mr Cozier, who has covered West Indies cricket in it's full glory. The Aussies must not forget that they surrendered the Ashes yet again to a fledgling England team playing without Kevin Pietersen. Instead of showing some graciousness, they are heaping abuse on the struggling West Indies team. These Aussies are sore losers and not gracious winners either. As far as the West Indies team is concerned, they seem to do well at home but struggle abroad. And this is true for almost every test team out there. The Aussies lost series in India and England. The South Africans lost in India. India lost in Sri Lanka. England lost in India.The problem for the West Indians in test cricket, especially while playing abroad is that they do well for a session or two, but over a period of 5 days their intensity level tapers off. What the West Indies needs is a good leader and 10 players who can always give their 100% on the field.Out with the divas, get some real players!

  • POSTED BY mach23 on | December 2, 2009, 4:43 GMT

    Well said sir, Aussies are the bloody bad mouths on the field and off the field. Who ever learns Cricket or any Sports in Australia,, at first test coaching of sledging..( reporters achieve Distinction in it.. ) WHAT about Ashes Loss..!!. what about losing to WI when they chased 400+ ( even their old fairy tale heroes were there) they still cry about retiring of Mcgra.. warne, langer.etc...

    Westindies team lack good management and sponcers who will make Players concentrate on their game & try to reach near to peak this Great country achived. in 70& 80s. GOOD LUCK WI and KNOCK BACK HARD. SHOW THE AGGRESSION WHICH WORLD EXPECTS FROM YOU once showed by Marhall, Sir G.Sobers, Ambross, Walsh,SIR Viv,

  • POSTED BY adamtwittey on | December 2, 2009, 4:42 GMT

    The Australian press, no, the press in general are becoming more inclined towards controversial authors and articles to win more newsstand purchases. Imagine their reactions towards the Australian team should the unthinkable happen and Australia lose in Adelaide. There are very few realist, unbiased and intellectual cricket journalists left in the world and Malcolm Conn is definitely not one of them. Anyone who follows cricket in the slightest knows the West Indies were no chance in this series, it was heavily reported on before. Instead, the journalists should be focussing on the real issues; the UDRS, analysis of the young West Indians (Barath for one), why Clark was dropped, why Hodge never made it back in the side, etc. There's a very good reason why I don't read the broadsheets for sporting news, it's practically a magazine full of biased, overly opinionated, purposely controversial rubbish.

  • POSTED BY vswami on | December 2, 2009, 4:42 GMT

    Cricket journalism has become incredibly vicious in the last 2-3 years, most of them usually directed against India of course. Abuse, derision, scorn, you name it .. is the name of the game. Former cricketers turned journalists are even worse, with their pent up frustrations to let out. Fox News style of journalism with invented facts, below the belt hitting, unadulterated partisanship is invading cricket journalism as well.

  • POSTED BY The_Maxophone on | December 2, 2009, 4:41 GMT

    Comparing the Australian team of 1984 to the West Indian one of today would be fair if they were both up against the same sort of opposition, but in reality it is the Australian team of today that is more like the Australian team of 1984 - both of them were/are rebuilding after losing 3 or 4 great players to retirement. That the West Indies have gone from demoralising such a side to be demoralised the same sort of side, is an indicator of where they are - not worthy of test match status.

  • POSTED BY captdavyjones on | December 2, 2009, 4:38 GMT

    I have to agree with Tony Cozier here. No doubt WI cricket has been in steady decline and no wonder the body language of the captain and his recent comments/thoughts on test cricket are not encouraging, but you have to still remember that WI has players of class like Chanderpaul, Sarwan and Barath, who seems to have a LOT of potential. The fast bowling unit seems to be developing slowly, although it is frustrating to see that WI has not been producing the kind of bowlers they had. Yes, there are other lucrative offers like basketball amongst others, but one should not lose hope completely. It is a delicate situation and it surely needs men with purpose at the helm of WI cricket for it to go anywhere. To reiterate, I still have mixed feelings; I agree with Tony Cozier, but at the same time WI cricket and cricketers have to "perform" for people to believe. As they say "let the bat and the ball do the talking". Hopefully, we can see a turnaround in the fortunes of WI cricket soon. Cheers

  • POSTED BY abhilashreddym on | December 2, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    Everyone wants a punching bag. Unfortunately it's West Indies now. Give a thought to the team that so dominated world cricket in 70's and 80's. ICC has all sorts of weird experiments and then wonders why people are not watching cricket.

  • POSTED BY jazzaaaaaaaa on | December 2, 2009, 4:29 GMT

    Im an Aussie and I normally respect Tony Cozier's opinions. But I have to say he has got it wrong here. The Australian public (and media) remembers the great West Indian sides very fondly, they were very popular out here and well respected because of how good they were and the competitive edge they had to go with their calypso style, good sportsmanship and respect for the game. This current West Indian side doesnt respect Test Cricket (Which is still the number 1 form here), and they are lazy and uncompetitive which is why the Australian public has been so critical. Cozier also makes comparisons to the Australian side in the 80s, I find the two scenario's very different, the Australian side struggled for about 4 years, and they played a lot of matches vs the best team in the world, the West Indies. This current West Indies side has won 8 of their last 67 Tests, they have been in decline for nearly 15 years and they havnt played as much vs Aus. So I dont think thats a good arguement.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | December 2, 2009, 4:26 GMT

    As usual, the Australian media have poured scorn on the visitors, This time upon who were once their nemesis. The West Indians. Like with every other team,they were given hardly any time to get prepared. Added to this the period of concern for their captain and injuries to their bowling spearhead Jerome Taylor, in the absence of Fidel Edwards and you get the real picture. The Australian media have a long tradition of telling the world how good the Australian team is. This is what they are presently engaged in so that they could demoralise the West Indians as they do with every other team. I am surprised that Tony Cozier,has not seen this in the past. What shocks me is that someone like Kim Hughes who "cried out" of Test cricket into retirement, in the immediate aftermath of a series with the West Indies after which Border took over,wants West Indies to be relegated. How utterly ironical. I will not be surprised if the Australian media have to eat their words before the series is over.

  • POSTED BY phoenix_29 on | December 2, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    Its really tough to see the WestIndian plight,but one really has to look at the basics,the quick men are getting shorter,the batsmen prefer airy fairy strokes,their doesnt seem to be any pride associated with this team...I would prefer if Gayle bats at 5 & Bravo at 7 to strengthen their batting,coz their tailenders fall away like nine cards..I would prefer if they bat Dowlin & Barath as Openers,for this series & maybe try somebody else with Barath in their home series.followed by Sarwan,Chanderpaul,Gayle,Nash,Bravo,Randin,Tonge,Roach & Rampaul....Benn bowls well,but if he cant bat,why play him....Question marks over Nash as well...I really hope WICB takes some steps in restoring the pride thats associated with the WESTINDIES

  • POSTED BY gtzshotta on | December 2, 2009, 4:08 GMT

    "At the height of their powers, when their fast bowling was its unequalled strength, legislation limited the number of bouncers in an over to one and there were proposals from serious commentators that the pitch should be lengthened. Prior to the tour of England in 1991, David Frith, editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, damned the team as "the most fearsome, the most successful and the most unpopular in the world".

    -Great input and this about sums up the article. Every team has to go through a decline right? There isn't pity on the West Indian team currently. You think if Australia were to go through a rough period that people would pity them? Your darn right they would because they apparently play the game clean?? Thats BULL.

    Considered one of the nastiest teams with people like McGrath who cannot compare to the Holdings and Garners. Good article and that Australian writer might want to put his articles through a larger editing screener.

  • POSTED BY Aakash_27 on | December 2, 2009, 3:59 GMT

    @Tony I absolutely agree with your views. Success of Australian cricket team has gone to Australian media's head more than the team. They are hypocrites at best. The West Indian team is on the mend and I for one, after the showing of TnT, am hopeful to see them drub the Aussies like the god ol' days.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Aakash_27 on | December 2, 2009, 3:59 GMT

    @Tony I absolutely agree with your views. Success of Australian cricket team has gone to Australian media's head more than the team. They are hypocrites at best. The West Indian team is on the mend and I for one, after the showing of TnT, am hopeful to see them drub the Aussies like the god ol' days.

  • POSTED BY gtzshotta on | December 2, 2009, 4:08 GMT

    "At the height of their powers, when their fast bowling was its unequalled strength, legislation limited the number of bouncers in an over to one and there were proposals from serious commentators that the pitch should be lengthened. Prior to the tour of England in 1991, David Frith, editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, damned the team as "the most fearsome, the most successful and the most unpopular in the world".

    -Great input and this about sums up the article. Every team has to go through a decline right? There isn't pity on the West Indian team currently. You think if Australia were to go through a rough period that people would pity them? Your darn right they would because they apparently play the game clean?? Thats BULL.

    Considered one of the nastiest teams with people like McGrath who cannot compare to the Holdings and Garners. Good article and that Australian writer might want to put his articles through a larger editing screener.

  • POSTED BY phoenix_29 on | December 2, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    Its really tough to see the WestIndian plight,but one really has to look at the basics,the quick men are getting shorter,the batsmen prefer airy fairy strokes,their doesnt seem to be any pride associated with this team...I would prefer if Gayle bats at 5 & Bravo at 7 to strengthen their batting,coz their tailenders fall away like nine cards..I would prefer if they bat Dowlin & Barath as Openers,for this series & maybe try somebody else with Barath in their home series.followed by Sarwan,Chanderpaul,Gayle,Nash,Bravo,Randin,Tonge,Roach & Rampaul....Benn bowls well,but if he cant bat,why play him....Question marks over Nash as well...I really hope WICB takes some steps in restoring the pride thats associated with the WESTINDIES

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | December 2, 2009, 4:26 GMT

    As usual, the Australian media have poured scorn on the visitors, This time upon who were once their nemesis. The West Indians. Like with every other team,they were given hardly any time to get prepared. Added to this the period of concern for their captain and injuries to their bowling spearhead Jerome Taylor, in the absence of Fidel Edwards and you get the real picture. The Australian media have a long tradition of telling the world how good the Australian team is. This is what they are presently engaged in so that they could demoralise the West Indians as they do with every other team. I am surprised that Tony Cozier,has not seen this in the past. What shocks me is that someone like Kim Hughes who "cried out" of Test cricket into retirement, in the immediate aftermath of a series with the West Indies after which Border took over,wants West Indies to be relegated. How utterly ironical. I will not be surprised if the Australian media have to eat their words before the series is over.

  • POSTED BY jazzaaaaaaaa on | December 2, 2009, 4:29 GMT

    Im an Aussie and I normally respect Tony Cozier's opinions. But I have to say he has got it wrong here. The Australian public (and media) remembers the great West Indian sides very fondly, they were very popular out here and well respected because of how good they were and the competitive edge they had to go with their calypso style, good sportsmanship and respect for the game. This current West Indian side doesnt respect Test Cricket (Which is still the number 1 form here), and they are lazy and uncompetitive which is why the Australian public has been so critical. Cozier also makes comparisons to the Australian side in the 80s, I find the two scenario's very different, the Australian side struggled for about 4 years, and they played a lot of matches vs the best team in the world, the West Indies. This current West Indies side has won 8 of their last 67 Tests, they have been in decline for nearly 15 years and they havnt played as much vs Aus. So I dont think thats a good arguement.

  • POSTED BY abhilashreddym on | December 2, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    Everyone wants a punching bag. Unfortunately it's West Indies now. Give a thought to the team that so dominated world cricket in 70's and 80's. ICC has all sorts of weird experiments and then wonders why people are not watching cricket.

  • POSTED BY captdavyjones on | December 2, 2009, 4:38 GMT

    I have to agree with Tony Cozier here. No doubt WI cricket has been in steady decline and no wonder the body language of the captain and his recent comments/thoughts on test cricket are not encouraging, but you have to still remember that WI has players of class like Chanderpaul, Sarwan and Barath, who seems to have a LOT of potential. The fast bowling unit seems to be developing slowly, although it is frustrating to see that WI has not been producing the kind of bowlers they had. Yes, there are other lucrative offers like basketball amongst others, but one should not lose hope completely. It is a delicate situation and it surely needs men with purpose at the helm of WI cricket for it to go anywhere. To reiterate, I still have mixed feelings; I agree with Tony Cozier, but at the same time WI cricket and cricketers have to "perform" for people to believe. As they say "let the bat and the ball do the talking". Hopefully, we can see a turnaround in the fortunes of WI cricket soon. Cheers

  • POSTED BY The_Maxophone on | December 2, 2009, 4:41 GMT

    Comparing the Australian team of 1984 to the West Indian one of today would be fair if they were both up against the same sort of opposition, but in reality it is the Australian team of today that is more like the Australian team of 1984 - both of them were/are rebuilding after losing 3 or 4 great players to retirement. That the West Indies have gone from demoralising such a side to be demoralised the same sort of side, is an indicator of where they are - not worthy of test match status.

  • POSTED BY vswami on | December 2, 2009, 4:42 GMT

    Cricket journalism has become incredibly vicious in the last 2-3 years, most of them usually directed against India of course. Abuse, derision, scorn, you name it .. is the name of the game. Former cricketers turned journalists are even worse, with their pent up frustrations to let out. Fox News style of journalism with invented facts, below the belt hitting, unadulterated partisanship is invading cricket journalism as well.

  • POSTED BY adamtwittey on | December 2, 2009, 4:42 GMT

    The Australian press, no, the press in general are becoming more inclined towards controversial authors and articles to win more newsstand purchases. Imagine their reactions towards the Australian team should the unthinkable happen and Australia lose in Adelaide. There are very few realist, unbiased and intellectual cricket journalists left in the world and Malcolm Conn is definitely not one of them. Anyone who follows cricket in the slightest knows the West Indies were no chance in this series, it was heavily reported on before. Instead, the journalists should be focussing on the real issues; the UDRS, analysis of the young West Indians (Barath for one), why Clark was dropped, why Hodge never made it back in the side, etc. There's a very good reason why I don't read the broadsheets for sporting news, it's practically a magazine full of biased, overly opinionated, purposely controversial rubbish.