It is with great sadness that I bring to the floor West Indies’ cricket and the attitude that has not been developed and which was exhibited in the recent Test series against England.
Any gambler would have taken a bet that West Indies would have lost the second and third Test matches. The reasons they have lost those Test matches are very deep-seated and have now become sadly part of West Indies culture, in cricket.
Firstly, we can no longer produce players to play five days of cricket. They have the physical ability, but they cannot mentally handle the state of the game and interpret at any one time in five days of Test cricket.
Secondly, we can no longer produce cricketers, sportsmen, gentlemen and statesmen of the calibre of Sir Frank Worrell, Clive Lloyd, Jeffrey Stollmeyer, Conrad Hunte, Joey Carew, Joe Solomon, Basil Butcher, Wesley Hall and many others.
These players and others at that time brought a spirit and projected a personal aura when they walked onto the cricket field. Unfortunately, Jason Holder has a ladder to climb which is beyond his reach.
He exhibited two rungs of that ladder when Blackwood tried to take a risky single and Jason sent him back. The captain then called him and had a word with him. I thought he would have showed him the difference between him getting a personal Test century and winning a Test match for the West Indies. He was out with the next ball, playing a schoolboy shot to mid-off. He had no understanding of the state of the game. He was thinking only about himself.
Many of the things I wish to say are exemplified by this. One observation and an unforgiving one are the exhibits of the body language of the present group of players. One of my friends noted that not one of the English players had on a gold chain or any so-called bling. They were playing for England.
In my association with other Test cricket teams, who spoke to me confidentially over breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is a common feeling that we have the best athletes, good fieldsmen, good batsmen and good bowlers, but there is no development of the spiritual values of having a good understanding of the game of cricket in a five-day match.
These qualities enhance and complete the whole idea of patriotism.
The West Indies Cricket Board made me very sad to note that Barbados Cricket Association president Conde Riley insulted and belittled the West Indies team and brought out his local prejudices by calling for the removal of Phil Simmons for his attendance at a family funeral. Mr Simmons has done a lot of work in international circles. What was damaging is that he did this three days before the Test series began.
There are many other issues to be observed and corrected, if we are willing to face the truth.