must help Windies
West Indies Cricket needs
support from everyone.
By Raj Khosla
after disaster. Humiliating defeats after mediocrity. This is the
common feature of the present West Indies Cricket. Not only
devastating for the cricket loving Caribbean public but also for
others, who have high respect for once-mighty of the game.
is shocked to see the abysmal level of cricket played by the present
bunch and if this state of performances continues, then the sheer
popularity of the game will suffer at the hands of the Windies
themselves, who were once the King of the game. Their domination was
such that nobody could imagine cricket without them. It was due to
their dare-devilry, their flair and their arrogance that the
game’s popularity flourished. The game would be poorer indeed if
it loses the flair of West Indies.
was a time in the 80’s when drawing a Test match against the
Windies was considered as an excellent performance, leave alone
winning. And now things have deteriorated in such a fashion that
nobody is taking them seriously. Ironically a cruel transformation.
They are being mocked and ridiculed by even the weaker Test playing
nations. It is depressing to see how drastically things have changed
for them and the Windies are realizing it a bit too late. Now, one
can only hopes that their good days return soon.
save the tarnishing image of the West Indies, it is much required
from the International Cricket Council to intervene and save the
beleaguered Caribbean’s. ICC must address the basic problems
currently being faced by WICB. The West Indies Cricket Board is
unable to spend much on their infrastructure and the diminishing
level of cricket shows it. The youngsters in West Indies are opting
for more lucrative sports like Basketball and Baseball. The invasion
of American sports has further damaged the popularity of cricket.
of wasting money in the name of globalization, ICC should try to
lift the standard of current Test playing nations. It is not only
the West Indies but even Zimbabwe’s performance is disappointing.
Money is also a big factor in Zimbabwe cricket. What is the use of
spreading the game into other countries when some of the present
teams are struggling hard to survive?
must realize that the shattering defeats of West Indies are not only
West Indies woe but in a way, it also doesn’t augur well for the
game of cricket. Currently, West Indies is the only team to play a
five-test match series either in Australia or England. It speaks
volume on the importance of this team. Perhaps, it is high time that
the ICC starts some serious thinking and takes some radical measures
to boast up the game of cricket, which is the only game to be played
in each and every Caribbean Island, thereby uniting different
nations to formulate a common team called the
another feather in the cap of Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh is now 5th
on all time leading run getters!
By Vimal Kumar
fourth Test between Australia and West Indies was the 121th Test of
the Aussie Captain Steve Waugh. After missing the third Test due to
injury, Steve Waugh not only made a glorious century against the
West Indians at MCG but in the process, he became the 5th
all time leading run-getters in Test cricket by replacing the
master-blaster Vivan Richards.
late, he is not as consistent as before but still he is one of the
best batsmen in contemporary cricket. For long, Steve Waugh has been
the “crisis-man” for Australia. There has been an umpteenth
time, when Waugh has either saved a Test match from precarious
situations or has won the Test from hopeless situations.
1984-85, Steve Waugh started his career against the touring Indians.
Initially, he was vulnerable against the short-pitched deliveries
but he worked exceedingly hard to fine-tune this aspect of his
batting. And he succeeded in his effort. Australia won the
much-vaunted Frank Warrell Trophy in 1995, when it defeated West
Indies in their backyard. Steve Waugh, along with his brother Mark
was the key factor in winning the Trophy. Steve Waugh scored a
double-century in that series and thus enhanced his reputation as a
better player of fast bowling.
Simpson-one of the most astute thinkers of the game, rates Steve
Waugh very highly because of his ability to play fast and spin
bowling with equal adroitness. Steve Waugh has also performed
reasonably decent on the turning-tracks of sub-continent, where many
of the ‘foreign players’ have struggled over the years.
of the reasons for Steve’s lack of hype in media is due to his
comparison with his twin-brother Mark Waugh. Steve may not have the
silken grace of his brother Mark, but his credentials, as a great
batsman has never been in doubt. Needless to say, Steve is one of
the most admired and tough cricketers around the world.
is now aiming to enter the ‘10000
club’ because he has already scored more than 8500 runs with an
enviable average of 50 plus. It won’t take too many Tests for
Steve to surpass Javed Miandad’s 8832 runs and Graham Gooch’s
8900 runs. Coming tour of India may be his last tour as a player, so
he is determined to leave a solid stamp on Indian tracks and this is
certainly not good
news for Indian bowlers!
Every Captain’s choice
McGrath did what he is doing best at. Ripping the oppositions
batting line up apart. His spell of 6-17 in the first innings and 4-10
was nothing short of breathtaking and to add to that he took
Lara’s wicket in both the innings as well. West Indies which were
sitting comfortably on 45-2 in the first innings were doomed soon
after that, as they crashed to 82 all out, with last 7 wickets
falling for just 17 runs. And the chief destroyer was but of course
the big man McGrath, who returned with the excellent figures of 6-17
in overs. Ask him which wicket he thought was the most prized one
and he would reply without a wink, Brian Lara. He has dismissed Lara
11 times in test matches and claims to have a mental edge over the
special thing about this magnificent fast bowler is his ability to
take the wicket of the best batsman in the opposition team. Whether
it was that beauty that got rid of Lara in the 99’ World cup or
the ripper from which he got the little maestro Tendulkar out in the
same tournament as well. Even
in the one off test, which was held in Delhi in 1997, he removed
Tendulkar for a duck. Its this part of his bowling which makes him
truly magnificent. Add to that he is a miser, when it comes to
giving runs. His average is in the top bracket and strike rate is
also superb. He is just 8 short of 300 wickets, which would be
perfectly symbolic of his amazing talent. Not only in tests but in
one dayers as well, he has been very consistent and helped Australia
in winning matches.
His approach to
the stumps is simple as he has a smooth action and a flowing run-up.
He is tall, which gives him that extra bit to get bounce of the
pitch. His strength is his line and length as he keeps probing on
that off-stump. His line is so immaculate that it tests the patience
of the batsman and makes him do something silly.
all the Australians, he also takes pride in playing for his country
and is a great contributor. His presence in the team is a big
motivating factor. Australian team has never relied on Individual
brilliance and to have that kind of standing in the team is
absolutely incredible. After the emergence of Brett Lee and Shoaib
Akhtar, the media and public went berserk about the pace sensations.
McGrath on the other hand just went about doing his job quietly and
in no time he is close to the 300-test wickets mark. Infact he is
just 4 short. He has taken 183 wickets in 121 One-day
is a magnificent bowler, someone the captain can always count on at
the time of crisis. He
has been a tremendous asset to his team and like old wine; even he
is getting better with age. One only hopes that this trend continues
so that we can enjoy the class and talent of this man for a long
time to come.
West Indies Australia Curtain Raiser
One of the greatest rivalries in the history of Test Cricket is all set to be renewed, when West
Indies meet Australia at the Gaba. It is infact a telling commentary on the poverty of the present
that for everything great, we have to refer to
the past. A heavily demoralized and depleted
Caribbean side will perhaps have its proud past as its only inspiration at the beginning of the
series and most probably, its only consolation at the end of it.
The memories of the W trio playing music with their willows, the dynamo Richards on a song too
high pitched for the Aussie liking are some of
the legacies of this rivalry. And who can forget
the fearsome quartet making every batting artist dance to their tune! But alas its a part of the
past, dead and buried, except in memory.
Even before their days of unparalleled dominance began, the West Indian side never presented such a dismal and pathetic picture. Their only beacon
of hope, Brian Lara is but a shadow of himself. With him the depth, the strength and the class of
the West Indian batting begins and - ends. The only person who can hold a candle to him is the
Captain Jimmy Adams. But that would not be enough
as he has the unenviable task of rekindling and
resuscitating a side, which is groping in
In direct contrast to the fortunes of their
Caribbean counterparts, the Australian team is riding on an unprecedented high. The undisputed
Champions of world cricket are getting almost everything right. The bench strength of
the Kangaroos is an indication of their awesome
strength, which has players like Blewett, Hayden, Slater and Bevan struggling for a place. The West
Indians are yet to find a replacement for Richards or Richardson and on the other hand
there is a series of talented youngsters only too eager to walk into the shoes of Border, Taylor
A white wash is not a remote possibility. But then the series cannot be allowed to be a
massacre of the innocent. It comes at a crucial hour, when the credibility of the game is in question, where the existence of the game is at
stake. And anything that can restore the glory of
the game is a sterling performance by its finest
exponents. And God be thanked, that there is no
dearth of stars in either sides.
The magic mark of 500 will be a huge inspiration
for Walsh. It is not just another jewel in the
crown, but a gift to the game itself. It was in Australia, some ten years ago, that the Lara saga
began with an epic 277 and a new star in the
galaxy was announced. Nothing excites McGrath
more than Lara on the other end. The Lara-McGrath duel has all the potential to bring back all the
distracted viewers back to the game. When the
masters lead, the troupe invariably follows.
The battle lines are drawn. Odds are heavily in favour of Australia. Will the one-man army of
Lara stand between Australia and victory or will the one-man demolition squad of McGrath spell the doom? Not to forget that there are other stars
waiting for their share of glory, their own place
under the sun. So all said and done, we expect the West Indian side to prove not only a befitting inheritors of their past but also a worthy
contributor to the future.