WEST INDIES cricket has sunk so low that it is unrecognisable. I am still struggling to come to terms with our performance, or should I say non-performance, in the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Now they have a two-Test series against Australia. And although the Test team has been doing well under the captaincy of Kraigg Brathwaite, by winning series against Bangladesh and England within the last year, this time their opponents are a side that’s hurting badly over going from T20 champions in 2021 to not even qualifying for the semi-finals in 2022! And playing at home, to boot.
They’ll be coming hard at full strength on their home grounds of Perth (November 30-December 4) and Adelaide (December 8- 12). Perth, although a new ground, is still the fastest in the country and will be generous to their fast bowlers.
West Indian pacers can get assistance as well, but I fear that our batsmen may not be equipped for that battle. The second Test at Adelaide is a day/night game played with a pink ball, which has helped the quickies in the last couple of years.
I hope for the best, but I fear the worst.
As for the T20 World Cup, I see president of the TT Cricket Board Azim Bassarath is making excuses for the West Indies captain.
He said: “As we speak right now Nicholas Pooran is the captain for the WI white-ball teams and I think it would have been a great disrespect not to give him the captaincy (of TT Red Force) if he agreed to participate in this Super50 tournament.”
He went on to say the precedent was set when Dwayne Bravo was captain of WI white-ball teams and handed over to Kieron Pollard when the latter became WI captain.
What I gather from this is, no matter how badly Pooran leads the WI, even losing to lesser teams like Scotland and Ireland, he should still be the captain of the Red Force once he’s captain of the WI. The TT selectors must always bow to the WI choice of captain, regardless of whether they agree he’s the best man to lead the territorial team?
Also, “if he agreed to participate in this Super50 tournament.”
So players now decide in which tournaments to participate? It’s no wonder that WI cricket is collapsing.
Bassarath continues: “I think he has gotten the players to rally around him and I think he had a bad outing this time around in Australia and as a young man he will need some sort of coaching and advice, and we should not nail him to the cross because he made some errors. I think we need to rally around him, and he has the full support of the TTCB, and we will rally around him so long as he remains captain of the white-ball teams.”
Nobody’s nailing Pooran to the cross.
A captain is either good or he’s not. It’s not a popularity contest. It is not whether he’s a nice guy or not. It is whether he has leadership qualities.
It is not an easy task to lead an international team. The person chosen for this tough job has to have a strong character, a deep knowledge of the game and a true sense of responsibility.
He has to be self-confident without being arrogant. A good captain must be a fighter, firm but not obstinate. A professional at all times, directing his players resolutely.
I don’t know Pooran and I won’t cast judgement on him.
What I do know is quite a bit of cricket from years of playing and viewing experience. One thing I’m sure of, and that is, one never stops learning about this great game.
There are certain facts that are a must for a captain. He must at all times be prepared to win, for that is the main reason for participating.
Too many times I hear the expression, “We are going to be competitive.” That is nonsensical. The team is going out there on the field to win. It’s simple as that.
The captain has to build up his team’s enthusiasm and keep encouraging them by letting them know how good they are and that they’re playing to win. That is how passion and self-confidence are built.
Pooran’s fault when he took over was talking about building a family and sticking together, which was just baby talk – unprofessional and clueless.