Wednesday, April 14, 2004

T&T: 400 not enough

Even as he, justifiably, soaks in the adulation of his Caribbean compatriots, the West Indies captain must recognise that his is a job as yet unfinished. Having said this, however, we have to stress that the job cannot be held to be his or even mainly his alone. The entire superstructure that is in charge of West Indies cricket has to be called to answer in that the WI has manifestly failed to acquire the physical and mental toughness, to say nothing of the thinking technique demanded by the game of modern cricket which we all but invented to the dismay of those cricket conservatives who chafed that we were bringing an unwelcome kind of steely professionalism into their gentleman's game.

So telling was that professionalism, however, that the West Indies held sway for a decade and a half with our observant rivals, not least Australia, taking note.

It is no accident, therefore, that the Australians are now the undisputed champions by dint of having introduced a demanding development programme and instilled a ruthless level of discipline that has led to the abandonment of star players once their light was deemed to have dimmed. It is this with which we will have to continue to contend when the current brightness of our one star is but a fading, though treasured memory if we do not put everything in place to fix more stars to the cricket firmament.

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