Thursday, April 28, 2005

Caribbean capers

The final test between the Windies and SA begins tomorrow. It is unfortunate to see the Windies down 0-2. The mighty powerhouse of the 70s and 80s has finally been made to grovel at the feet of teams that they battered into submission with nonchalance when they were in their prime (something that Tony Greig promised, but never delivered on).
As we kids of the 80s would remember, it was the pacemen who made the Windies such a cool team. The one key factor that got incorporated into our building and galli games were the the high fives and punching of "gloves" after a well-struck four or a decent over. The great traditions that began (probably) with the likes of Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith in the 60s got transferred to Roberts, Craft, Garner and Holding in the 70s, and then to Marshall, Walsh, Ambrose, Bishop and some lesser pacemen of the 80s and early 90s. I'm sure a lot of batsman must be licking their wounds still 10-20 years down the line. These dudes were not just mean and hostile, they were almost like contract killers - just ask Mike Gatting. Just imagine what might have run through the batsman's head watching Patrick Patterson crouch, run in like a cheetah, kick his left leg high in the air and hurl a thunderbolt at him.
The batsmen were no mean pushovers either. Imagine the punch packed by a line-up featuring Greenidge, Haynes, Lloyd, Richards, Gomes..and later on Richardson..and one B.C.Lara.
I'd say the rot set in sometime in 1992 when Richards and a few others (Haynes, Marshall, Greenidge included) were unceremoniously dropped. I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but with the rise of the Brian Lara star, the star of Windies cricket began to wane. There was a buffer period ofcourse until 1995, when the Aussies defeated them in a Test series for the first time in 15 odd years.
IMHO Brian Lara is easily the most arrogant cricketer on earth. The guy's got talent undoubtedly, but the guy's also got oodles of the wrong attitude. Today the Windies team lacks cohesion, and I am sure Lara has had a huge role to play in that. God knows how many Windies tours/series he has put/almost sent into jeopardy thanks to his "spoilt brat" attitude. Believe me, the day Lara retires, that will be the day Windies will begin to shine again. Anyway, the less said about him, the better! It would be interesting what the immortal CLR James would have had to say about Mr. Lara.
The World Cup is finally going there in 2007 and hopefully they will make a success out of it. The carrreeebbean is full of fun and frolic and ofcourse calypso! It should be a lot of fun, and I hope to be able to watch it.
So that's that....

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