Oh, how the “Mighty” have Fallen!
This is for real! Ireland knocked out West Indies! – “out of the ICC T20 World Cup on 19 October 2022!” Can you imagine that? Can you believe that? Can you take that in? Can you live with that?
If you did not know – yes – the West Indies T20 Team was embarrassingly eliminated at the qualifying stage in Australia! – the two-time World Champions!
Having seen all the games, I must confess that they were outplayed, if not humbled by Scotland; salvaged by the one-man assassin from Antigua and Barbuda (Alzarri Joseph) against Zimbabwe, and finally strangled and battered (more appropriately, thrashed) by Ireland – just in one week!
I suffered along with the many thousands in the Caribbean and the world who were strong enough to endure the afflictions of the long nights before the TV screens – and we will do it again, because “the west Indian blood” flows in our veins in good times and bad times.
I took notes and wrote nervously as I watched. In the first encounter against Scotland, I moaned embarrassingly, “simply disorderliness!” The applicable qualifications to what I saw would include indiscipline, disruptive; untrained; unskilled; unprepared; “do-not-belong!”
The playing limitations as well as the coaching limitations were evident. With repeated middle-order collapses, the batters were unable to put together competitive totals or to chase even below-par targets. Every opposing team suffocated the West Indian batters with slow bowling or genuine spin – they just cannot play the ball when it delays, twirls, spins, deviates or moves. What has happened to West Indies Cricket since the departure of Brian Lara and Sir Carl Hooper – two masters of pace and spin; fast and slow; friendly or hostile!
The coaching limitations were apparent in the tactical approach to bowling in the Powerplay (the first six overs with its fielding limitation). Bankrupt of the analytical and technical knowledge that should inform the choice of bowling attack in the powerplay, the inexperienced Captain was simply incapable on the field of play. Repeatedly, the penetrative bowlers came after the cafeteria was opened and the opposing batters had lavishly feasted on the offerings.
If the choice and mix of bowlers (in the powerplay) reflected the “brain trust” of the Head Coach, the Bowling Coach, and the Analyst, they are totally incompetent! We could have coached the team from our living rooms or on our beds – and produced better results!
The message is loud and clear. The West Indies T20 Team is comparatively un-manned; unprepared (even with its professional league experience); relatively unskilled and frankly, not world-class!
Exposed! The Selectors were exposed; the Head Coach and his staff were exposed; the Director of Cricket was exposed; the captain was exposed (if not demoralized), and the Cricketers were exposed!
Enough Said! The expression “how the mighty have fallen” indicates the decline or failure of an entity which used to be very successful and powerful. For the West Indies T20 Team, it is more appropriate to say – “falling; falling; fell!
If this debacle does not spur an investigation into the development of West Indies Cricket, those of us die-hards must brace ourselves for more excruciating pain!