The Fall of the Greatest Team in Sporting History


If you ask anybody who knows anything about cricket history they will tell you that the Windies team between the years of 1976 to 1990 who lost only one test series during that time period was the greatest cricket team of all time. However, 1990 was a long time ago and even the youngest players to play in those great Windies teams have long since retired, with Lara being the last to go in the 2007, this marked the end of a spectacular era of dominance by one of the greatest sporting teams in history.

Despite the historical greatness of that West Indian team the current team mirror none of the same pedigree as they currently lies 8th and 9th in test and ODI cricket, respectively. This low ranking isn’t due to a lack of talent in the team however as players like Jason Holder, who is the current captain of the test side and widely regarded as the best or second best test allrounder in the world; Kieron Pollard, who is known all other the world for his six hitting ability and boundary fielding; Shai Hope who has shown his class in the shorter ODI format and Chris Gayle, Gayle has been around the international cricket scene for 22 year after debuting for Jamaica in 1998 and holds numerous records especially in the t20 format of the game. The reason for the West Indies poor cricketing performance in recent years is due to the policy and politics of the WICB (West Indies Cricket Board) and the IPL. The WICB can be blamed for the collapse of Windies cricket due to favouritism from the board towards some of the Islands, the bigger island to be specific with more prestigious cricketing history the main 4 being Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana. These Islands have made up a large majority of the Windes players especially Barbados as they had the most players of the team’s recent tour of England.

The IPL is another major reason why the Windies have performed badly. The IPL, which stands for the Indian Premier League, is the largest domestic cricket tournament in the world and is watched by maximum capacity crowds in India and millions around the world. The IPL has had an adverse effect on Windies cricket as the best Windies players have all gone of to play in the IPL in return for exposure and a paycheck with many players earning millions of pounds. All the money that the IPL generated lead to many imitations around the world like the Pakistani Super League and the Big Bash in Australia which in turn lead to players like Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard touring the world earning significantly more money than if they played for their nation which left them with little to no incentive to play unless it was a major tournament like the World Cup or Champions trophy leading to poor performances during regular international matches. Despite what looks like a bleak future for the Windies the could be light at the end of the tunnel as relatively recently there was a new president of the Windies board a elected which many  hope could revitalise the system and bring new life to one of the all-time great cricketing nations.