WICB director predicts good times
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – West Indies Cricket Board director Baldath Mahabir believes the proper structure is in place to move West Indies cricket forward and says bright days are ahead for the regional game.
Speaking at the recent St. Vincent and Grenadines Cricket Association annual awards ceremony, Mahabir said the WICB had created a strong developmental base to produce the next generation of players, and noted that the current crop of players were also make huge strides.
He also argued that the West Indies team’s performance was also trending in the right direction.
“Our Test ranking is stuck at seventh, our ODI ranking has moved up one from eighth to seventh, and our T20 ranking is second,” said Mahabir, an executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board.
“In the Test ranking we have one batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul at number five, one bowler Kemar Roach at number 10. We have one batsman in the top 10 in T20 and that’s Chris Gayle in second position and three all-rounders in Gayle at five and Dwayne Bravo seventh and Marlon Samuels ninth.
“Are these indicators strong enough to really say that we are trending upwards or are we living in false hope? My personal view … is that the collective entity that is West Indies cricket is now structurally, in a better place than it has been for a very long time, if not ever.”
He continued: “Why do I say this? I say so because at this time, West Indies cricket is displaying quality and depth. We have a competitive West Indian team in all three formats, we have resurrected our ‘A’ team programme and we have a vibrant Sagicor High Performance Centre.
“Our Digicel Grassroots development work is on-going in every territory and Women’s Cricket is attracting positive attention due to consistently quality performances.”
West Indies have made strides over the last year, winning the World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka last month to capture their first world title in eight years and only their second since 1979.
They also swept New Zealand and Bangladesh in two-Test series, to also win four Tests on the trot for the first time in 19 years.
Mahabir reminded that several of the Windies players were now also the major attractions on the international T20 circuit and said though this had posed challenges, the WICB had successfully deal with these.
“Even though those tournaments have resulted in issues related to player availability, the WICB has made huge strides in working with our players to nurture and maintain relationships that are both pleasant and professional,” Mahabir pointed out.
“So now can we conclude with a measure of justification that West Indies cricket is on the way up.”