“B-S would get you nowhere – A truly disappointing tour by West Indies to England 2012!”
Editor’s note:Due to a technical glitch, Colin Croft’s article was not received on time and carried on Sunday last as is customary. However, Kaieteur Sport carries the article in the interest of the many fans and readers who find ‘Crofty’s’ pieces interesting and informative. Enjoy.
By Colin E. H. Croft
There is that old saying: “Do not bull-s..t a bull-s.…er!” Boy, in West Indies cricket’s case, that is so true!
That should even be the motto of West Indies cricket. Despite “B-S” congealed by head coach Ottis Gibson and captain Darren Sammy, and strange, sudden emphasis on West Indies “A” team, nothing can hide facts that West Indies cricket team’s tour to England was a dismal failure in every aspect!
To politically but incorrectly dilute the effect of nothingness in senior West Indies cricket, no-one seems to want to acknowledged that West Indies 2012 tour to England was totally, diabolically so, an exact waste of time. Nothing that we did not know of beforehand happened!
Ironically, by end of both Test and ODI series, West Indies team leaders on tour were even suggesting the same thing: “We are going to do our best not to be white-washed!”
Where exactly is this progress? West Indies were quite poor on this tour. Both know that well too!
As Michael J. Fox said in the film ‘The American President’; “If you lead people into a desert, and they then see a mirage, thinking that they have seen water, they could even be convinced to drink that sand, as they really do not have any other choice!” That sounds so much like present-day West Indies cricket!
“You can fool half of the people all of the time, or you can fool all of the people half of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Also, the only person that you cannot fool at all is yourself!”
The tour started on a terribly negative note, with some better cricketers not being available for playing, political or profitable reasons, but, except for sporadic instances, everyone, except, it seems, West Indies team personnel, were extremely disappointed!
When West Indies, according to pundits, managed to lose by “only” 2-0 to Australia recently; West Indies losing by “only” three wickets (1st Test) and 75 runs (3rd Test), respectively; most were convinced that the tour of England would have been better.
Absolute madness! The tour of England was a totally retrograde step in this team’s development. What was certainly obvious is that many, maybe most, of our supposed top team cricketers lack abilities to play well at that level! Despite the massive smoke-screen effort, it was really quite embarrassing!
The only international game West Indies could have won was Test No. 1, at Lords, which West Indies lost by “only” five wickets. That West Indies even managed to last five days was due almost entirely to batting efforts of Shiv Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels, and herculean input by fast bowler Kemar Roach. Even their focused contributions could not avoid the very obvious.
Had it not been for those three, that Test experience could have been even worse, if that could have even been contemplated. The entire façade was complete shambles initially, and ended badly too!
By Test No. 2, West Indies were struggling to even be on the same game and Test arena as England. The beating in Test No. 2 was even worse; England winning by nine wickets. Where, exactly, was the improvement? “You can fool….etc!” Even West Indies players did not believe they could win anything!
So Sammy got his first Test hundred and Samuels another, but by the time Test No. 2 ended too, England was so far ahead in abilities and substance that they even rested their better bowlers for Test No. 3, acknowledging recognition that West Indies was what they actually thought; very second rate!
Test No. 3 saw some pyrotechnics, courtesy of Tino Best and wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin, but even that could not disguise the fact that West Indies were so far behind that it really did not matter!
So, we all thought that West Indies was a better one-day team than one for Tests. We even hoped that the return of Chris Gayle and Co. would aid West Indies efforts. We were all, extremely, badly wrong!
During the ODI at Kia Oval, comments were even overheard that “all West Indies stars have returned, yet they are still playing as badly as previously managed!” Even opposing supporters were resigned!
These days, because of the use of technology and the visage of television, ‘live’ into every home, it is almost impossible to hide behind shadows. Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Gayle were indeed back in the ODI team, but their overall contributions were more fantasy than real substance. None of them contributed substantially, so nothing changed for the results for West Indies!
ODI No. 1 was so poor that West Indies had already lost when threatened rains eventually came. By then, England had pummeled 288-6, twenty-five of fifty overs, bowled by a combination of Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine allowing an expensive 158 runs, while getting only two wickets!
When West Indies batted, they were soon all out for 172 in only 33.4 overs; a really putrid effort indeed!
Gayle’s inclusion in ODI No. 2 suggested help was at hand. ‘DRS’ saw to it that he would not contribute fully. My belief, for what it was worth, was that he was correctly adjudged out; LBW. In the olden days, that would have been given “not out”. With new technology, split-second timings can be measured!
West Indies lost ODI No. 2 by the massive margin of 8 wickets, England getting the required, paltry 239 in only 45 overs, for loss of only two wickets. In ODI’s, that is as bad a beating as can be had anywhere!
West Indies now plays New Zealand, starting next week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – two T-20-I’s, five ODI’s, two Tests. With many recycled “A” team players who do not seem to be able to make it permanently, properly and substantially into the senior team again available, expect familiar names.
Disappointingly so, at last, West Indies would now be playing at its own poor level, as they and New Zealand are, respectively, rated No. 7 and No. 8 (Tests), No. 8 and No. 7 (ODI), No. 9 and No. 4 (T-20-I’s).
The cricket itself would probably be competitive between these two teams, but it must say something odd about us that we would be whooping and applauding the dregs of world cricket’s standings!
The series might even be enjoyable and exciting, relatively speaking, but when West Indies plays New Zealand, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or any of the Associate countries, simply to be compared to their present meager output, then reality tells how far removed West Indies is from the summit!
At least, one would expect that since the opposition is nearly at that very nadir level of international cricket, a few new names would get outings for West Indies, none more so deserving than young left-arm medium fast bowler Delorn Johnson and right-arm pacer Kevin Mc Lean; two for the future.
Otherwise, interestingly, recent deserved knighthood of Wesley Winfield Hall, that fast bowler who started it for us all, counteracted the very hilarious escapades of another recently unfrocked “knight”, R. Allen Stanford; jailed for “only” 110 years. Who says West Indies cricket gives no pleasure? Enjoy!