In the late 1970s and for all of the 1980s, the West Indies touring Australia was one of the highlights in world cricket. Possibly even more than the Ashes because both of these sides were competitive. It was tough and uncompromising cricket and it was incredibly entertaining. With their calypso style, the West Indies side knew how to play the game and even though they were smashing the Australians black and blue, they had a lot of support from the Australian crowds.
All of this has changed. The West Indies are now nothing but a shadow of their former selves. It could have been even worst had the West Indian side gone on strike and not sent their best players as happened earlier in the year.
Still, the West Indies are going to have their hands filled with Australia. When they came in 2000-01, they lost 5-0 and in their next tour of Australia they only had a three test tour which they lost 3-0. Now again they have only been allocated three tests. They aren’t good enough to justify a five match series on their own. Cricket betting isn’t giving the Windies much hope of winning.
It is a shame because this used to be the best cricket you could hope to see. Now the West Indies are going to push Australia here and there but for the most part, Australia will have their way with the visitors. Shivnarine Chanderpaul never flinches and will give 100% like he normally does. Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Jerome Taylor are all going to put useful players but over and above that, the West Indies don’t have much in terms of experience.
The assembly line that was West Indian cricket for a generation has dried up. It used to have the most ridiculous depth where class players could only get a game here or there. Whereas in the past someone like Larry Gomes or Wayne Daniel were seen as handy players, now they would be the first picked.
Even some like Keith Arthurton or Anderson Cummins would be seen as a step up to what is available now. It is sad for world cricket that someone in such a dominant power who drop off so much. The big teams in world cricket need to be the custodians of the game and if this happens to one of them, then what will happen to those who really do need help?
David Wiseman writes for this blog. He also write about harness betting.