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Sohel
May 17, 2007, 06:11 AM
The so called Sarwan-era begins today. The Era of Uncertainty would have been the more accurate way of putting it. Brian Charles Lara, after shouldering the declining legacy of West Indian cricket almost entirely on his own, decided to call it quits a few years too soon - and however hard to believe it still may be, here we finally are.

It's been the bowling, we've been told time and again and they were right. We've learned to root for Sri Lanka in the mean time, and they're still singing the same old song. Before long, our very own Bangladesh will start to bring the dreams of our fellow 150 million Bangladeshis to life and the same damn island tune will continue reverberate throughout the world until West Indian selectors fabricate the sort of cohesive courage that looks beyond temporary plug-ins and start the process of restoring West Indian cricket back to its rightful place. They need to take chances with what they have and remember that excitement and victory can regenerate interest, and revitalize the pool of talent from within the rich cricketing culture faster than the lax, play it safe-type of mediocrity that has stagnated West Indian cricket over the past decade, despite the heroic resistance of legends like Brian Charles Lara.

Sure... Powell, Taylor, Lawson and Edwards can still develop into the new fearsome foursome all of us WI die-hards wish for, but the part time antics of Chris Gayle still remains a band-aid solution in our search for that essential spinner. The likes of Nagamutoo never cut the mustard and never will in the future. Find that spinner out there somewhere, before fielding a test side at this day and age, I'd say.

Sarwan, Gayle, Chanderpaul, Samuels and Ganga need to realize for once and for all, that the honeymoon is over, that Lara's not around anymore, and that it's time to deliver on all that promise with type of consistency that can start the process of the much awaited revival of West Indian cricket. Bravo and Ramdin are good finds, but they need to consistently improve, and play out of their skins until better players come along. That's a tough ask through a divided system still dependent on talent, rather than talent and the structure to develop that talent - still lurking in places like Guyana, Trinidad and parts of Jamaica - into the type of steady match-winning performances that defined Caribbean cricket during the latter half of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and even the early part of the 90s. Maybe the time has finally come for a genuinely unified cricket board, and the gradual implementation of an Australian-style, more systematic approach to find, harness, and develop the Laras and Holdings yet to come.

Good luck guys, we'll always believe that you can do it.

Tintin
May 17, 2007, 06:18 AM
On the other hand, now that Lara is not around, West Indian cricket may find itself on calm waters after a long time, without player/administration or player/sponsor/admin disputes that happened in almost every series, a lot of which, at least indirectly, had some connection with the BCL.

Sohel
May 17, 2007, 06:29 AM
On the other hand, now that Lara is not around, West Indian cricket may find itself on calm waters after a long time, without player/administration or player/sponsor/admin disputes that happened in almost every series, a lot of which, at least indirectly, had some connection with the BCL.

I see your point... but the problem has always been the system around Lara that refused to upgrade itself. Maybe his allegedly whimsical approach did more harm than good, but then again, the substance of what he was concerned about still needs to be addressed by the boards that really need to come together into the cohesive governing body it never needed to be during those glory years. Besides, where would the all important brand equity of West Indian Cricket be for the last 10 or so years without the man? I'd say it's the type of trade off that can only lead a team to the sad little hole it needs to claw itself out of... :(