The topsy-turvy affair that is being a West Indies supporter showed up once again over the past couple days. The installation of Kieron Pollard as white ball captain had many holding renewed hope for the Caribbean boys. But after Monday’s match, the headlines were basically “new management, new captain, new strategies, same old result”. The somewhat surprising loss against Afghanistan in their first match of the tour in India, albeit a practice match, left many unnerved at what seemed to be much of the same from the past 15 years or so.
Many, including us, hailed new captain Kieron Pollard as part of the possible solution to take the regional team out of the realms of despair and bring back some sort of respectability to the Caribbean. But after the first exhibition match, many were up in arms and of the opinion that it’s the “same ole’ story” once again. Oh ye of little faith.
Monday’s result was due to much more than meets the eye – a new captain and some fresh inexperienced players in a country that is often named as one of the toughest cricketing environments.
All things considered, the first match was more of an experiment that anything else. Of course, there can be no excuse for poor returns and all contributions or lack thereof would send some sort of signal to the hierarchy about the way forward. That being said and done, the first ODI brought much better returns. It was comprehensive victory and a winning start to what is officially the Kieron Pollard era of captaincy.
Michael Holding is a gentleman we have great respect for, both because of his contributions to the West Indies in their glory days and also for his input since – as a commentator and an analyst. Most recently, he openly said that Darren Bravo was too talented to be left out of the West Indies squad. Assistant coach Roger Harper also previously voiced a similar sentiment. Bravo however was dropped from the team for the one-off Test against the Afghans. We at the station believe that while talent must be considered, nobody should be a shoo-in unless their form speaks for itself. The younger Bravo has lacked recent form and we believe he and others should work to earn their spot. What is also heartening is that these legends stand by the talent of the youngsters. They say form in temporary but class is permanent and we couldn’t agree more. The fact that they lend support to men like DM Bravo and encourage his renewal of form is admirable and could only serve as a morale-booster for this clearly gifted cricketer and those like him.
We’re not ones to count chickens before they are hatched, but from our vantage point, we think that West Indies cricket is on the road to recovery. Mending relations with the Board, a charismatic coach and captain, the right reasoning behind selections and a young team that can grow together – all signs that they may be coming together at the right time. It’s going to be a long road ahead, but we believe firmly that this time we will bend the corner. Not tomorrow, not next month. Maybe not even next year. But keep at it and it will come. Let us once again rally ‘round the West Indies!