Time for a complete clearout in West Indies cricket
The lead editorial in the Trinidad & Tobago Express has called for the resignation of the board, captain, coach and co-ordinator
The only solution is to close the book and open a new chapter by urging the resignations of the entire board, Brian Lara as captain, Clive Lloyd as coordinator and, last but certainly by no means least, coach Bennett King and his two Australian assistants
No excuses can be made by the managers of West Indies cricket for the team's all but certain impending exit from the World Cup, of which we happen to be the host. The West Indies were totally outplayed by Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and South Africa. The margins of those defeats were bad enough but what was even worse was the almost total absence of any kind of fighting spirit, both the supposedly lowly Bangladesh and Ireland showing us up in that regard.
All the evidence points to players who have either been unwilling or unable to meet the exacting demands of international sport in the modern era with both local and foreign commentators confessing bewilderment, if not astonishment, at the lack of intensity in the team's training sessions to say nothing of the players' inability to lift their game even as it was apparent to spectators that the Super Eights matches were drifting away or, indeed, hurtling out of their grasp.
Looking back over the years preceding the tournament the picture, except for a few bright spots, has been the same. The only conclusion, then, to be drawn from all this is that the much anticipated turnaround in the game that means, or used to mean, so much to the West Indian population resident both here and in the diaspora, is as far away as ever.
The only solution, therefore, is to close the book and open a new chapter by urging the resignations of the entire West Indies Cricket Board, now led by Mr Ken Gordon, Brian Lara as captain, Clive Lloyd as coordinator and, last but certainly by no means least, coach Bennett King and his two Australian assistants, none of them having been able to motivate the men out of the enduring stupor that prevented them from playing anything close to their true potential.
But, perhaps, that too has been a false hope in that we seem to have invested too much faith in the likes of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels over the years, neither of whom has been able to deliver notwithstanding the lucrative salaries they, like the rest of the players, have continued to receive even as the majority poor in the Caribbean continued to wonder how they could so easily have squandered the rich legacy of West Indies cricket that it has been their turn to safeguard.
Small wonder, then, that among the team's biggest critics have been those former players who gave of their all to maintain what amounts almost to the 20th century's greatest sporting miracle - that out of this scattered, relatively poor, disparate and disunited chain of islands came a line of cricketers who were able to dominate the world, not only here but wherever the game is played. This lot, to our shame, has left us wanting. The only decent thing left for the manifest failures among them to do now is to pack up their gear and go, taking with them those who, not to put too fine a point upon it, have found it impossible to make the slightest hand of them.