Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
Jarring as it was to hear him stumble over his words at the presentation, maybe Brendon Julian was onto something. This did not feel like a contest for the Frank Worrell Trophy, lasting as it did for six and a half days and taking in a pair of fearful hidings dished out by one of cricket's haves to its most widely mourned have not.
Signs of the Caribbean's retreat from Test cricket were everywhere these past two weeks, from the grand old ground Sabina Park being completely devoid of life a mere two days before the match began, to the stumps for the series not even having a fresh logo. They had been prepared for the preceding series, and instead of being emblazoned with the name Australia, England's lettering was crossed out with a marker pen.
The Australians performed well in conditions unfamiliar to them, but everywhere were taken aback by how utterly alien the experience was when compared to the tightly-wound corporate machines that run cricket matches down under - and will do again when they arrive in England. The series winner's novelty cheque for the series was US $2000, the kind of figure numerous members of the touring team would no doubt have spent on watches.
Of course all these disparities off the field were little more stark than that revealed in the middle, where Australia's rich supply of cricketing resources utterly overwhelmed a West Indian team that could call on only a quartet of plucky individual performances across the two matches. Devendra Bishoo and Marlon Samuels both contributed in the first Test but were absent from the second, leaving far too much for Jerome Taylor and Jason Holder to do, for all their obvious effort and skill.
A look down the Australian series aggregates demonstrates their domination in ways not seen perhaps since the drubbing inflicted upon Pakistan in the UAE as far back as 2002. Not a single Australian full-time bowler claimed their wickets at a rate more expensive than 20 runs apiece. For the Man of the Series Josh Hazlewood (12 wickets at 8.83) and his NSW offsider Mitchell Starc (10 at 16.00) it was tantamount to a turkey shoot. One can only wonder at what a fully-fit Ryan Harris might have achieved against such porous opposition.
If the batting statistics make for slightly less lopsided reading, there is still the fact that in Steven Smith and Adam Voges, Australia possessed the only two centurions for the series. Their respective averages of 141.50 and 167.00 were near enough to 100 runs ahead of Holder, the only West Indian to make his runs at better than 50. And while the likes of David Warner, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke could not go beyond starts, none had a shocking series of the kind produced by Darren Bravo. Vaunted beforehand as the man to step up in Shivnarine Chanderpaul's stead, he was totally outwitted and outfought by Australia's formidable attack, finishing with 49 runs in four innings.
The duel between the captains was telling, too. Clarke is now an old hand at this game, but it was still striking to see his nimble work when lined up against some of the leaden decision-making produced by Denesh Ramdin, who seemed always to find a way to spurn an opportunity. Many bemoaned Kemar Roach's no-ball allowing Clarke to evade a dismissal early on day one, but under Ramdin the West Indians proceeded to drop their bundles in frustration for the next hour even though the ball continued to swerve. Taylor may never know why he got only six overs that morning, when his figures read 6-6-0-2.
Opportunities lost tell a story of fragile confidence, but it is disturbing to think that the West Indies could fall in such a heap only weeks after they had registered a stirring victory over England. That result suggested the new coach Phil Simmons had his team on the right path, though it now looks as though it said more for how much England had allowed themselves to slide despite resources every bit as rich as Australia's. Certainly Alastair Cook's men will observe the scorecards from the Caribbean with some trepidation as yet another Ashes series creeps closer.
But the underlying truth of this series, both on the field and in the stands, is that the West Indies need all the help they can get if they are to return to a position of competitiveness as a Test match nation. The local caravan has moved on to the Caribbean Premier League, which will be played to packed houses and healthy television audiences over the next month, while the region's most talented senior players are IPL-tied and deeply cynical about the WICB. Simmons' efforts to mediate may grow more urgent as a result of this drubbing.
All at Cricket Australia are increasingly twitchy about the fact that next summer's showpiece Boxing Day and New Year's Test matches are due to be played against the West Indies. It will be a most painful return to the scene of past glories for support staff such as Simmons, Richie Richardson and Curtly Ambrose, and more pointedly an event where history and nostalgia will be expected to draw crowds to grounds and television sets when the cricket itself now looks incapable of doing so.
Clarke struck a note of some yearning for earlier days when he was asked about the state of the West Indies team and cricket in the region. "I've always loved playing against West Indies. My favourite player is Brian Lara, so I've always had a soft spot for the West Indies," he said of a place where he made his first international tour in 2003. "They've certainly got some fight in them, they've certainly got talent. I just think they need to be patient. Phil Simmons is a lovely guy and fantastic coach, so I've got a lot of confidence West Indies will continue to get better. I'm all for growing the game all around the world, so I hope cricket in any format can continue to improve."
Notably, the next ICC annual conference is due to be held in Barbados later this month. While the BCCI continue to quibble over the money lost when the West Indies squad pulled out of an India tour last year, it is beholden upon all the decision-makers assembling at the home of Sir Frank Worrell himself to work on ways to heal the fractures that have helped West Indies decline to this point. The region's best players need better incentives to play in the maroon cap, and its islands deserve better administration to regrow and develop future generations.
None of those administrators were present in Jamaica, but even from their offices, boardrooms, homes and airport lounges around the world they will be able to see what happened here. The game deserves better than lopsided days like this one, when the Caribbean legacy is mangled more badly even than Worrell's name had been.