ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP, 2019
Will the World Cup 2019 serve as a springboard for Cricket of West India? © Getty
In sports as well as in life, failure is a constant companion. However, all failures are the same. It can be a celebrated, heroic failure like Carlos Brathwaite – almost, but not quite, which means that West Indies last week against New Zealand. Then, there is a humble, all-encompassing, barely a game of failure. An example of this was the defeat of West Indies from England in Southampton. But where do they rank their failure on this World Cup, given that men from the Caribbean had a nice blend of both?
Simply put, of course, they came out of the competition and won only one game of seven. Their hitting showed a flash of sparks, but it was not strong or firm enough. The bowlers worked hard but did not have any variations and adaptations. In general, they were out of the box against most of their opponents. But among these general issues of disappointment, there was hope for the future. The team of young, talented players has shown that they deserve to be persistent.
Captain Jason Holder and Evin Lewis have 27, and Sunil Ambris 26. Shai Hope is 25, Fabian Allen 24. Nicholas Pooran is 23 years old. Shimron Hetmyer and Oshane Thomas are 22. Sheldon Cottrell, their tournament player, is not yet 30 years old. All of these players have, as a minimum, another World Cup in them – and most of all – and all except Ambris have at least made a contribution to this tournament. (Ambris played only one game after calling on Andrea Russell.)
And probably West India should be in the semifinals. They lost from Australia 15 runs, capitulating in the pursuit that was supposed to pass. One hundred Brathwaites against New Zealand could have, and probably should, translate them over the lines at Old Trafford. Against Bangladesh in Taunton, they made 321, but Shakib Al Hasan broke one-dimensional bowling. All three games brought them to the places they were defeated, and then retired.
That was not a problem. These were not the games where they were overtaken. These were close games with a little bit more pitch, a little more experience, a little more thought, could be gained. This was the theme of a long team meeting in the wardrobe after an encounter in India where leaders and leaders talked about what went wrong in their campaign.
"I do not think we have used the key moments in the games," said chief coach Floyd Reiffer before his team-mate against Sri Lanka in Durham. "We've been up to our tournament, we played well against Pakistan, we had Australia on the rope, New Zealand too, we have to use the key moments in the game, and in the crucial times we have fallen for a few opportunities: only small things we did not do, which was not good. These are the things we talked about as a team. The players do not feel comfortable with their performances. "
Often the lack of talent is more difficult to solve than to make that talent better. If you have quality ingredients, at least you have the potential to spice the best damned cake in the world, even if you need a few to realize that you should not put a Swiss roll in the oven for six hours. But if you can not get stuck a little, you will never be able to make a Swiss dream come true, no matter how much it might be.
The challenge for cricket of West India is now getting structures and training in place to challenge and persuade more than the players they have. "In the system we have good talents in the Caribbean," said Reifer. "We have to make sure that we give this talent well. When we return to the Caribbean it is important to put people in the environment and put them in a difficult situation where they have to train and train in order to prepare and prepare well. Creating leaders is something we have to focus on in the Caribbean and in our franchise and first class cricket.
The idea that disappointing tournaments can be used as a springboard for the future is well-splashed. England has used its 2015 failure as a catalyst for changing the overall one-day philosophy. Western Indians probably do not have to do anything so drastic as they have probably gained more building blocks than Eoin Morgan had after the Anglican capitulation in Australia and New Zealand four years ago.
Instead, West India's selectors have to keep up with this core of the player, adding a few key points. Opener John Campbell looks ready to replace when Chris Gayle retires, and Keemo Paul already plays in IPL and can turn into a significant versatile player. Allen's left arm is smart enough, but West India really needs a frontman who can take wickets. Ashley's nurse just does not match that account. They also need more athletics on the field.
Above all, however, they must find this immaterial victorious way of thinking. "We're out there, but there's still a lot of crickets that will play after the World Cup," Reifer said. "It's important for us to find a winning formula that goes ahead, we want to create this winning culture, we have to start from somewhere, we have had some good games at the World Cup, but we just need to get one percent, we get one percentage to the right, then you will see that we will get results .
"Our future is good," Reifer added. "I'm confident in these young people to go ahead we can bring cricket West Indies back to where it belongs to the top. Yes, that's unlucky we did not get into the final four in this competition but go ahead I'm happy we did from what I saw We have many young guys we can shape and build a strong unit that goes forward. "
The challenge is for this group of Western Indians. She is there for those like Holder, Silver and Cottrella. If they can draw more out of their individual talent, they together make more consistent basics and if they get the support of the select coaches and coaches they deserve, there is much hope for the future. This tournament could really be a springboard. It's up to all parties in the West Indies cricket to do so.