THE EDITOR: On January 29, a few days before the West Indies first Test against Bangladesh, I wrote, "Those who show commitment to the team's cause must be given priority. Given time, they will come good." Not even in my most optimistic expectation did I think the team would have "come good," so quickly. Putting up a good fight would have been acceptable. If the effort resulted in defeat, so be it.
But just two weeks later, West Indian fans are basking in the glory of a 2-0 series sweep, with new-found heroes under the imaginative captaincy of Kraigg Brathwaite. At long last, we did not have to hear the captain talk about "the positives" we will take away after yet another defeat.
As for the "stars" who prefer to play "village cricket" rather than Test matches, each must earn his future place in the team by good performances against meaningful opposition. I really hope the selectors don't view the current team as "place holders" until the "prima donnas" choose to grace us with their presence.
For me, the current team is the real WI team that was proud to represent us and which, in turn, made us proud. The real pretenders (including captain Jason Holder) must work their way back into the team, on merit, not name.
If it's one thing this team has taught us it is that raw talent alone is not enough to achieve victory. The players who chose not to go to Bangladesh may have more talent than the current team but the latter has shown what steely resolve and a fighting spirit can accomplish.
As far back as October 2014, former West Indies coach Ottis Gibson blamed "the lack of commitment from senior players as the reason why the Caribbean side failed to perform consistently." Since then, the problem has gotten progressively worse.
The 2021 Test team has proven Gibson right, that committed "junior" players will trump uncommitted "senior" players any day.