Consortium of T20 league superstars could propel Calypsos as world beaters again.


By  Samir Pai

 

A bygone era saw the West Indies as the supreme side that dominated world cricket in all the then existing formats of the game.  Winners of the first two editions of the ODI world Cup, a galaxy of feared fast bowlers and supremely attacking  batsmen made them the rulers of world cricket. 

The present day West Indian cricket is a shadow of its former glory days.  Many factors have been attributed to this fall- athletes and sports inclined talents, looking at other sporting disciplines ( mainly the more financiall lucrative  North American sports), talented individual players who could never collectively form a strong unit, essential for  a team sport like cricket!

 However since the advent of the T20 format of the game, something  suited to the temperament of  mercurial  & naturally talented cricketers , coupled with the mushrooming of T20 leagues around the world in the last five years, has led to a resurgence and realistic expectation of the famed Calypsos being bestowed  the favourite tags at the forthcoming T20 world in Sri Lanka.

Led by the affable and hard working all rounder Daryl Sammy, this side possess talents’ that have been most sought after in T20 leagues such as the Australian big bash and the glitzy IPL. The most destructive T20 player in the world  is undoubtedly Chris Gayle and his return to the national fold should see him propel the chances of his side along with other T20 hardened specialists such as Pollard, Bravo and new spin wonderkid at IPLV, Sunil Narine.  While the bulk work  in batting and bowling will be done by the galaxy of all rounders that reads names like Pollard, Russel, Bravo & Samuels; it will be the specialist of the  likes of Gayle, Darren Bravo with bat and Edwards , Rampaul and Narine with the ball, who may prove the deciding factor in big matches.

The Windies look to possess all the arsenals in terms of talent,  experience and natural aggressive flair, to do well  in this tournament!  However the deciding factor in their fortunes may  be decided by how these supremely talented individuals combine as a unit.

If the Windies succeed at this edition of the T20 World, it will also be a great testimonial of T20 leagues around the world , especially the subcontinent, where these talented individuals ply their trade. Rather than a domestic structure and talent harnessing system as that seen in  nations like Australia and South Africa, here is a multinational consortium  of players who have battle hardened their skills and game in foreign leagues.

However  even the most enthusiastic West Indian fan would be cautioned by the fact that his/her side participating at the T20 world is much akin to a talented African or South American  soccer nation, bestowed with brilliant indigenous talents plying their trade in top foreign leagues.  Though these  brilliant footballers are the toasts of their clubs in Europe , their proficiency at winning somehow never translates to the fullest while playing for their nation at the world stage.

This phenomenon  of  foreign talents from top cup leagues  trying to translate their club success  to their national  team was first displayed in maximum glare in the 1990 FIFA world cup in Italy by the indomitable lions , Cameroon & is now displayed by the West Indies in cricket in the T20 format. It also reflects how like Europe is the nerve centre of football the subcontinent is the nerve centre for world cricket.

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